As a part of its 75th Birthday celebration, the Ionia Theatre is host to the First Annual Celtic Battle of the Bands. We attended last Sunday's battle, wherein five bands (Rare Combination, Craic Wisely, Equinox, Thistle Head, and Fonn Mor) competed. First place went to Craic Wisely, which I found disappointing. A large group of Craic Wisely fans were among spectators at the battle and were extremely vocal in their support of the band, but for a combination of audience responsiveness and musicianship, I believe first place should have gone to Fonn Mor. Each member of Craic Wisely appeared to be doing his utmost to drown out the other members, resulting in a wall of sound that made distinguishing instrumentation, let alone the words to the songs, impossible.
I think the judges must have been paying more attention to the way the audience responded to each band than to the music itself. Had I been in charge, first place would have gone to Fonn Mor, Second to Equinox, and Third to Craic Wisely.