The ties came off and the amps were turned up to 11 at the inaugural Battle of the Corporate Bands on Sunday.
Employees and friends of five of Richmond’s biggest corporations converged on The National to cheer on their respective bands of coworkers, who competed for the title of Corporate Band of the Year.
Dominion Resources’ Class 5 set the tone for the night with their opening set of covers that included Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “American Girl.”
Capital One’s Inur Wallet played a Latin-flavored set that was led off with Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Altria’s The Tobacco Beetles rocked out with Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” And The Martin Agency’s Pork Chop Revival got creative with bluegrass renditions of Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train” and the theme from “The Pink Panther.”
But it was WestRock’s newly formed group, Glass House, that took home the “golden guitar” trophy and title of best corporate band, besting the second-place Pork Chop Revival by a margin of one point, according to the panel of judges that included Jamison Land of GWAR, Beau Cribbs of RVA Tonight, Lance Koehler of No BS Brass Band and Marlysse Simmons of Bio Ritmo.
The packaging giant had an impressive turnout, with a crowd of employees armed with inflatable noisemakers to cheer on their band, which performed The Beatles’ “Come Together,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
As the judges tabulated their scores, a youth band from Mako Music School performed two songs from the musical “American Idiot,” a future production of Firehouse Theatre, which put on the event.
The event, which is planned to be held every year, drew about 200 attendees and raised approximately $6,500 for Firehouse Theatre.