Eight "bands" battled it out on the stage at SUNY Fredonia Wednesday night, and all in front of the game's developer.
SUNY Fredonia is hosting Karthik Bala, the Chief Executive Officer of Vicarious Visions, the gaming company that developed Guitar Hero, for its convocation address.
Bala, along with SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner and SUNY Fredonia Professor of Guitar Jim Piorkowski, judged the competition.
Guitar Hero, SUNY Fredonia
Bala said he had never judged a Band Hero competition before this one. Hefner said he had never seen Guitar Hero played before.
The rules were simple - eight groups of four band members played against each other on the guitar, drums, bass and microphone. Bands were judged on their accuracy score, their level of difficulty and their creativity and showmanship.
Before the show started Bala said he didn't have favorite songs on the game, but later admitted after The Sensations played Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" that it was his second favorite song.
OBSERVER Photos by Nicole Gugino
Left: David Butzer, guitarist for Stop, Drop and Light a Fire, which won the Fredonia Hero competition.
Top: Pictured are the members of winning band Stop, Drop and Light a Fire with judges of the competition. From left to right: SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner, guitarist David Butzer, Guitar Hero Developer Karthik Bala, SUNY Fredonia Professor of Guitar Jim Piorkowski, drummer Howard Smith, vocalist Zach Weber and bassist Jason Davidson.
The Sensations came in third place behind Charlie Sheen and the Winners in second and Stop, Drop and Light a Fire in first place.
Charlie Sheen and the Winners' performance of "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down was in first place for a majority of the competition, but was bumped into second by one point after the last performance of "Two Minutes to Midnight."
"I feel like I put my hand in the cookie jar and I had the cookie, but the jar slammed on my hand before I could get it out," Charlie Sheen and the Winners vocalist Chris Coufal said after the winners were announced.
Bala said the guitarist, David Butzer, "nailed" the guitar solo and that the overall song is one of the hardest on the game.
After the winners were announced, Butzer and drummer Howard Smith said they had just told their other two bandmates, vocalist Zach Weber and bassist Jason Davidson, earlier that day that they had signed them up for the competition.
Weber said he didn't even know the words to the song the morning before they performed, but the band came out on top for its superb playing skills with 55 out of 60 points. Each of the band members was awarded his own Band Hero set.
After the competition, Bala said he would definitely judge another.
"It was a lot of fun. It's all about the crowd and how the bands play and people really got into it. It's great to see it, when you're working on a game for a year or more sometimes you lose perspective so it's really good to see it," he said.
Bala will give his convocation address today at 3 p.m. in King Concert Hall. He said he will be talking about how "disruptive innovation" can lead to success.
"The name of the speech is breaking the rules or how I stopped listening to my parents and started being disruptive. It's all about being disruptive and coming up with your own ideas, not really doing what people are telling you to do but doing what suits you and what you're passionate about," he said.