anahata wins brooklyn battle of the bands

August 12, 2019
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The moshpit beckoned — and the moshpit gave out its just rewards. At the end of an epic 2019 AFROPUNK Brooklyn Battle of the Bands Finals at the Knitting Factory on Friday, it was the fierce, detonating and slamdance-inciting NYC hardcore of Anahata that reigned triumphant. 

Closing out an exhilarating night of music, the Queens trio set the Williamsburg club off something fierce, and were deservedly awarded top billing. On an evening when every single act brought its a-game, giving five distinct, incredible performances, no one could deny that Anahata’s closing set raised the energy levels to another dimension. As the group were blasting through “Seed (pieces),” with bodies and drinks flying across the floor, you could find members of at least two other, competing bands ping-ponging in the pit. Imagine the respect that entails.

Prior to Anahata’s late heroics, it would have been plausible to see any of the other finalists take home the title. The smooth danceable soul of the Byhaze big band was a lordly, adult way to open the show. Jersey rap crew Vibe World Order masterfully traded rhymes and stirred the pot, while engaging its sizable cheering section. Houston’s new-school punks Fade Em All, led by rockstar-in-waiting Isaish Rusk, gave the moshers a first taste, with hard, fast numbers. And North Carolina crowd faves Black Haüs, showed off every single musical trick in their creative arsenal — one, you could be sure, we’ll be hearing from in the future.

Beyond the cliche of “everyone’s a winner,” this year’s Finals proved that it ain’t no fluke to make it at AFROPUNK Battle of the Bands. There’s no gimmes any more. The night proved every single artist here will have a deserving career, should they continue to work they asses off the way they did. Start adding every single one of them to your feed now, so you could one day say, “I knew them when…” 

Anahata, blazing through its winning set at Battle of the Bands Brooklyn Finals, Knitting Factory, August 9th, 2019 (photo: Dennis Manuel)

Yet by the time Gitoo announced Anahata as the winner — set to perform on AFROPUNK Brooklyn’s Black stage in Commodore Barry Park on August 24thTKTK — few were surprised. The “HOLY SHIT!” moment came when the BOTB master of ceremonies told the crowd that the other four finalists would also be making appearances at AFROPUNK Brooklyn, courtesy of the brand-new Toyota Stage. There, we’ll get to do it all again.