My band is playing a battle on September 1st. It will be our first show together, but we all have played before with other bands. We plan to do all originals, but we were thinking about whether or not to do a couple covers or not. Any advice/suggestions? How long do we get? How are they judged? Any battle experiences you'd like to share? Thanks.
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They'll judge you on the sound quality, on your stage presence and how well the band plays together.
If you do some covers then make sure they're catchy, memorable and people will know them.
Try and play to cater to what the judges like listening to.

Other than that, how long you get and how many songs etc. should be given to you by the people organising/hosting it.

Good luck with that.
Yeah, covers will always be a good idea. Also, it's good to make sure your tone is good, and that the band blends together well, with nobody sticking out.
Sup Bro,
The main advice man i can give you is make sure you guys sound good before stepping on stage and making monkeys of your selfs. Also if you play covers play a good song that is no convered by another 1,000 bands around the world. Other than that i would say go for it man.
Yeah man basically what everyone else said. Covers are usually a safe bet, but i've seen some judges get into some orignals. That being said someones set list that looks like smells like teen spirit, enter sandman, and american idiot will probably lose.
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id make sure that covers are allowed though before you do any. cuz ive had people tell me they did covers at battles and the judges told them after that covers werent allowed. so definately look into that.also, id do constant sound checks to make sure no instruments are overpowered.
badly played covers sound worse than badly played originals.
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it's good to start your set with a well-known cover song...it gets the audience's attention. My band played a Battle of the Bands and we opened with "Crazy on You" by Heart. It was a hard song to prepare but we got to the point where it sounded a lot like the original version-and as soon as the crowd heard it we got lots of applause. The judges were also impressed!