A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Bands battle for a stepping stone toward new fame to the LA County Fair

Andrea Gutierrez
Do Not Air performing at The Haven’s Battle of the Bands

For the lead singer and guitarist of Mental Bouquet, Luis Ramirez, playing the stage at the small venue of the Haven in downtown Pomona felt like they unlocked a new skill–fame.

After finishing their set at Sunday’s Battle of the Bands, Ramirez said, “When we got our first Haven gig, we were like, oh my gosh, guys! We are famous now.”

The battle pinned six bands against each other for the chance to gain a new level of popularity. The band that attracted the biggest crowd of the night will get the opportunity to play at this year’s LA County Fair.

Every year, the summer season is kicked off with the fair that welcomes roughly 750 thousand patrons during May. Performing in front of a crowd at the fair would allow the winner to play for new fans and gain instant gratification for their work.



Mental Bousquet bass player Julio Hernandez reflected on the impact playing on such a big stage would have for the band.

“It’d make us feel like an actual band, and feel respected, you know?” Hernandez said. “The professionalism of just playing [on] a big stage like that, yeah…It encourages us to write more music and strive for that.”


Halfway to Neptune lead singer Madison Melocoton shared that reaching a stage like the LA County Fair would be a small step toward achieving their ultimate goal of making music their career for any of the bands.

“I just enjoy doing what I love for the world,” Melocoton said. “I just want to form a career out of my passion and I know it’s the same for all of us.”

Playing the LA County Fair would be familiar territory for Halfway to Neptune. In previous years, the band had performed at the OC Fair where they gained a new set of fans on their social media accounts. They understood what was being played for, “Every county fair that we go to, it’s always a great crowd, great energy, a lot of exposure,” Melocoton said.

Promoting a show and new music has changed throughout the years. The Battle of the Bands took place on a Sunday and the crowd reflected the end of the week energy.


The veterans of the consent, Filibuster, remember printing fliers at their local community college to advertise their upcoming shows. The duet, Andy Lush and Chris Ivan, is at the age where they start to lie about their age.

“We’re old as fuck,” Lush said.

They have dealt with the different kinds of challenges that come with the local music scene. Posting a flier on social media accounts isn’t enough to gain popularity and streams. The years of experience have taught them enough wisdom to pass down to the new generation of punks in the scene.

“To any band out there who’s struggling, don’t get discouraged because that’s gonna happen to everybody,” Lush said. “Our best advice is you just have to have integrity and play the best at every show because you never know who’s listening.”



When it was Apolloson’s turn to battle for a spot at stardom, the band proved the power of a flier on Instagram and word-of-mouth gorilla advertising was effective. Their set was met from a packed house full of their fans.

At the end of their set, the crowd cheered for an encore.

Their melodic, high-energy rock had the crowd dancing and their presence on stage demonstrated how committed they were to winning the battle, “Being from around here, too,” Apolloson bass player Ashton Poynter said. “You know, [I] kinda grew up at the fair. It’d be cool to play homage.”

Their set on Sunday marked Apolloson’s second show at the Haven. The band hopes to one day play a weekend prime-time set on a Friday or Saturday.

After edging out the rest of their opponents by one point, Apolloson won the battle and will soon have the big stage for themselves at the LA County Fair.

The hopes of playing a weekend slot at the Haven just got that much more real.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Solorzano
Anthony Solorzano, Opinions Editor
Anthony Solorzano is the Opinions Editor. He has been pursuing journalism since he realized he hated his job. Anthony loves to tell stories using humor. He finds pop culture to be the truest form of pretentious art.

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