Meet the Future of South Dakota Music

If you weren’t at the 2nd Annual South Dakota Youth Battle of the Bands this fall, you missed a great showing by some enormously talented kids.

Bands from across the state converged on the Ramkota Event Hall in Sioux Falls to compete against the best of the best. Genre’s ranged from an 80s cover band to pop and alternative rock to death/thrash metal.

“This is the first time some of these kids have been on a stage like this,” said Brian Wheeler, President of the South Dakota Rock & Roll Music Assocation. “We want to give kids a platform to thrive.”

And thrive they did. Each band reminded me of a different time in my life. The DownBoys, the 80s cover band that won the Battle, brought me back to junior high dances, listening to Bon Jovi and Van Halen while we danced arms-length apart, too scared to look our dance partners in the eye.

Older concert goers taught the new generation the proper way to head bang. And the bands were so supportive of one another, each band out in the crowd cheering for the other competitors. The talented musical prodigies full-on wailing on their guitars like they’d been playing for decades, much like the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who would be inducted the following night. You’re all going places.

“Awe” doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of watching. You were all badass and should be so proud of yourselves and gifts you’re able to share with the world.

Youth Battle of the Bands 2022

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