Left to right: Tyler Eliason, Eli Simonson, Ben Mauer and Justin Odney, band members of PG-13. Photo by Maddie Malat.

Students crowded into the Centrum to hear music Saturday night at 8 p.m. Battle of the Bands was the conclusion to Dance Marathon’s BIG Event. The room buzzed with anticipation as three student bands took the stage: PG-13, 60/40 and Cobber Nation. The student bands rocked the crowd as their excitement rose surrounding the announcement of Cornstock’s headliner and supporting act. At the event, it was revealed that Relient K will be the headliner, with Hippo Campus as the supporting act.

Three bands played at Battle of the Bands for the chance to be chosen to open for Cornstock.

Although all three bands captured the crowd’s complete attention, PG-13 was voted the winner. Its members: Ben Mauer, Justin Odney, Evan Camrud, David Holtey, Eli Simonson, Miles Otstot and Tyler Eliason have known each other for a while, but haven’t been playing music together for very long.

“We were all sitting in DS one day and just thought let’s do it. Let’s do something for Cornstock,” Otstot said.

Even though the group hasn’t been making music together for very long, they obviously work very well together and their talent showed through on Saturday.

“We honestly only met like four times,” Simonson said. “We just pounded out a setlist, and that was that. Just had a lot of fun with it.”

Saturday night’s crowd had a lot of fun as well. PG-13’s covers of Fountain of Wayne’s hit song “Stacy’s Mom,” “Don’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake and “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars got the crowd’s energy up immediately.

Even though two of the songs PG-13 covered fell more into the pop music genre, the group says that they won’t stick to just current songs on the night of Cornstock.

“We’ll definitely play a lot of upbeat songs,” Camrud said. “Ones that you’ll recognize and can dance to and have a good time, but not necessarily all current pop songs.”

After PG-13 has their moment on stage, supporting act, Hippo Campus will step into the spotlight.

Hippo Campus, was formed in 2013 while its members were still in high school at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in St. Paul, Minn. The band members: Jake Luppen, Nathan Stocker, Zach Sutton and Whistler Allen were all part of separate bands in high school, but eventually came together to form Hippo Campus. Since then, the group has released two EPs, as well as an album that just came out on February 24 of this year.

Relient K, the 2017 headliner was formed in 1998 in Canton, Ohio, by current band members Matt Hoopes and Matt Thiessen, as well as ex-band member Brian Pittman. Throughout the band’s 18 years, many members have come and gone, but currently, Relient K has six touring members: Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes, Dave Douglas, Tom Breyfogle, Josh Suddeth and Jake Germany. Their first self-titled album was released in 2000, and since then, seven other studio albums, a karaoke album and two christmas albums have been released. Although the group originally associated themselves with the genre of Christian Rock, they have since melded into more into the mainstream alternative rock genre.

With Cornstock just a few weeks away, everyone is getting excited, but no one is as excited as the members of PG-13.

“This is like my middle school dream,” Mauer said. “I’m a huge fan of Relient K; this is basically a once in a lifetime thing.”

Cornstock will be held at 7:15 p.m. on April 29 in Memorial Auditorium. Tickets for the event will be on sale sometime the week after Easter break, and T-shirts are currently on sale in the Atrium.

 

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