Prince is fond of the color purple. Jimi Hendrix belted out “Purple Haze” on his Fender Stratocaster.
And then there’s Rising Union. With purple streaks in two guys’ hair and a female bassist sporting a purple T-shirt, the Inglemoor High band won the Battle of the Bands last Thursday night.
With a mixture of cover songs and originals, the four-piece melodic rock band received more votes from the 200 attendees than the other five groups to take the title.
Fueled by Mountain Dew and an acoustic/electric tune, “In My Head,” the 2-year-old band experienced the highlight of its career, said singer/guitarist Peter McMurray.
Fill-in bassist Jenna Rutherford — the only female in the contest — introduced the song, saying, “It’s very swell, I might add.”
The song was a hit with the crowd and had the kids waving their blue-lit cell phones in the air for proper rock-show atmosphere.
“We’ve been working on that song for about one-and-a-half months. We had that down rock solid,” said drummer Taylor Joy.
McMurray enjoyed the ride despite the band dealing with technical difficulties.
“It kind of was a little shaky for us. We were a little nervous,” he said after the gig. “This summer, we’re gonna get better equipment so we don’t have that happen again.”
Early on in Rising Union’s set, guitarist Greg Stewart’s amplifier blew out and he had to replace it on the fly.
Rutherford said she learned Rising Union’s set in about a week and felt comfortable in the spotlight.
“It guess it’s pretty cool because there are not that many girls in bands,” she said. “It was cool to represent the females.”
Rising Union friend Ariana Zeazas joked that she played a part in the band’s success, as well.
“I’m the groupie — and hair stylist. (The purple hair) is what made them win,” she said with a smile.
The Battle of the Bands was a benefit for the Inglemoor sophomore class, and the money raised will go toward their senior-prom fund, said secretary Marky Sandico.
Sophomore Danny Howe came up with the idea for Battle of the Bands.
“I just thought it would be an interesting thing to do for our school and the community,” Howe said. “I think it’s been very successful and has gone very smoothly.”