Connor Dwinell performs at last year’s CHP. SAB | Courtesy

Eight new and returning bands will take the stage Thursday night for the Student Activity Board’s Centralhallapalooza Showdown to test their mettle as openings acts for SAB’s largest event of the year.

SAB Director Anthony Manno said eight bands is unprecedented — last year, five bands competed — especially since most of the groups are relatively new.

More bands means less time to play, so each group will attempt to dazzle the audience with crowd favorites while balancing their own preferred genres. The event runs from 8 p.m. to midnight and for students without a car or a ride, SAB will provide shuttles starting at 7:30 p.m. and ending at 12:30 a.m. departing from Lane Hall’s parking lot.

Deaf Davey and the Wine Boxes, an all-Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity cast and winners of November’s Battle of the Bands, will return for its second CHP Showdown.

“We are going to play some ear-shredding soul music, including an original song,” lead vocalist junior Mark Naida said.

My Dog’s Name is Keith, also Battle of the Bands veterans, will hit audiences with some late ’90s and mid-2000s grunge with music from bands like Sublime and Weezer.

Lead guitarist senior Conner Dwinnel is a two-time Welcome Party and Centralhallapalooza musician. He said he likes CHP showdown because unlike larger shows, it features students’ friends and their favorite songs.

Plus, Dwinnel said, students get a say on who plays at CHP, which is not something that Hillsdale’s size accommodates.

An all-Mu Alpha music fraternity band, Insect Nation, will also pull out some grunge favorites.

Two members of Se7en Days Younger, the band that placed third in Battle of the Bands and will also appear onstage at the showdown, left, so they could explore more blues-rock and alternative rock as The Birthday Boys. Notable on this five-man band’s setlist is Kaleo’s “Way Down We Go,” which the “Logan” movie trailer popularized this year.

But for those nostalgic for their parents’ college years, Retro Ready is an entirely freshman band of Simpson residents ready to rock to classics like “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “What I Like About You.”

  • Andrew Egger