Lewiston is a large-ish mill town located about an hour south of where we live. It's the second-largest city in the state of Maine, and it's home to Bates College. Lewiston is on one side of the Androscoggin River, and Auburn is on the other. They are joined at the hip and considered one metropolitan area, hence the L/A name for the Fighting Spirit.
The Spirit Weekend had all sorts of activities. There was a kind of carnival outside the arena. There was a street hockey tournament that brought a tear of fond remembrance to my eye, a chicken wing contest, a dunk tank to embarrass local dignitaries, and an exhibition game with the Spirit pitted against an all-star team from all the local prep schools.
The Battle of the Bands went off on time, more or less, and the day was a benignant 80+ degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. Our boys went on third, and played a few songs from their regular repertoire, then finished with their hockey fight song, which is the sort of a thing that makes you pump your fist and chant along.
All of the bands were different from each other, and all were good, which lent a lively competition to the proceedings. There was a metal band, a trio of triplet girls that played something like upbeat punk, and a sort of jam/prog band for alternative rock. Our boys have invented their own style they call Intergalactabilly.
They made a great show of announcing the winner. The hockey team voted to determine what song they wanted to skate around to, which is really the only way to judge such a thing. I'm not a big fan of music contests. The purpose of musicians is to entertain an audience. I'm not sure having judging involved helps that, but it's a popular format for music lately, and no one cares what I think about it. More on that in a minute.
They had all the kids from the bands gather around, and the hockey team made their selection, and the emcee from Z 105.5, a talented and genial fellow named Matty B., made a few anodyne remarks. My wife and I were on tenterhooks, which is another name for hot pavement.
Wouldn't you know it? Our boys won:
The giant check thing was a surprise, and seven sorts of awesome. My sons looked vaguely dazed and happy, which is pretty much the same thing in this world. They received their applause from the assembled crowd, the hockey team you see in the background, and the other bands, all without throwing up on themselves or falling off the stage. It was one of those moments in time that you will remember sweetly forever.
All the kids from all the bands made friends, and finally made me see some kind of point to a Facebook page. They established a little network I hoped would continue.
I told my children that they had done something wonderful, but it wasn't winning a contest. They had made people smile, which is exactly what they're supposed to do. They made friends, which is a big bonus. I told them the big check isn't a payment for beating other bands. My boys had sold a musical composition. That's an amazing accomplishment for a band made up of two children and two plywood cutouts.
The owners of the L/A Fighting Spirit, Rod and Lisa Simmons, are wonderful and commendable people, kind to a fault to my boys, and I hope their hockey team wins all their games 12-0.