While Boston-area college students eagerly await the annual ice hockey Beanpot Tournament to settle Hub bragging rights for the year, local bands will look to shut out the competition in a battle of their own.
Student bands from the four Beanpot hockey teams — Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University and Northeastern University — will compete at Paradise Rock Club for a chance to headline at its sister venue, the Paradise Lounge.
Area students voted on the four bands through the Internet and text messaging, and the results for which bands will compete this year on Feb. 8 will be announced today.
For the second-straight year, Paradise Rock Club will host the ‘Rice and Beanpot’ Battle of the Bands, which also features a burrito-eating contest sponsored by Qdoba Mexican Grill. Though event spokesman Scott Bernstein said the lesser-known ‘Beanpot’ started out solely as a burrito-eating contest, the bands were a huge draw for the event last year.
Paradise Rock Club manager Matt Weiss said so many people attended the battle of the bands last year that organizers had to ‘shove people out the door’ of the club. Four popular bands from each school’s campus played live sets last year in a show headlined by the band Apollo Sunshine.
Although a prominent band will not headline this year’s show, the college bands’ sets will be extended to 20 minutes each. Weiss said he is confident the bands will attract a sizeable audience on their own and sell out the show ‘even quicker’ than last year.
Brian Bergeron, a junior at Northeastern University, said he assembled a band for the event only after he heard he was nominated for the preliminary rounds. If he makes the final tournament, his new band, the Late Greats, will perform live for the first time at the legendary rock club.
‘As far as rock prestige, it can’t be beat,’ Bergeron said. ‘A lot of the bands that I admire have come through the Paradise, and it has long been a dream of mine to play there.’
Extraordinary eating skills haven’t been entirely sidelined from the main attraction, however. Four teams of students will still compete to finish an 18-ounce burrito first.
Proceeds from the event, which will be hosted by former National Hockey League Bruins player Cam Neely, will benefit the Neely House at Tufts-New England Medical Center.