Thursday’s Battle of the Bands might have started with severe weather warnings, but it resulted in some incredible acts, with eight bands playing for the chance to perform during Rites of Spring. Joel Heumannn’s band was given the chance to start off the entire festival, earning the first time slot on Friday, with the band Acklen winning the first time slot on Saturday.
Heumann’s band brings a modern twist to 1940s big band music, sounding similar to Michael Buble. Sitting atop Heumann’s driving rock is a three-piece horn section, which nicely rounds out the band’s sound. Heumann is a highly enthusiastic front man, who is expected to pump up the crowd as the gates open on Friday.
Formed at Belmont University, Acklen is a fairly typical four-man rock band, with a distinctly Nashvillian style, evidenced by their roots-driven sound. Lead guitarist Cassey Benefield showed off his skill with various solos. Interestingly, the band’s rhythm guitarist, Kyle Burnside, engaged the crowd the most, bringing energy to the stage throughout the performance.
Overall, these two acts had a great sound, and their energy definitely won them over with the crowd and judges alike. Heumann will be playing from 5:10 – 5:30 p.m. tonight and Acklen will be playing from 4:20 – 4:50 on Saturday.