Bands and big batches of beans, beef

TIM PEPPER
Arts & Entertainment

Music, chili and crowd surfing. And all for 18 bucks! What better way to spend an overcast Saturday?
Richmond’s rock station XL 102 held their annual Chili Cook-Off this weekend at the Richmond International Raceway and it was a blast, to say the least. With numerous stands handing out free chili samples, as well as others selling other carnival delicacies, and an excessive amount of locally-brewed beer, the Chili Cook-Off had all of its bases covered.
Headlining this year’s event were bands: Panic! at the Disco, A Day to Remember, and Seether, as well as local bands: The Hold Steady, Kongos, The Orwells, and Fun Size.
“All of the bands were fantastic, but Panic! at the Disco’s lead singer, Brendon Urie, really stole the show with a backflip and some unexpected screaming,” said freshman Stephanie Gotschall. “Screaming isn’t something the band is known for, so it was an unexpected, but welcome, surprise.”
Panic! at the Disco is a pop punk band from Las Vegas, Nevada. They were founded in 2004 and have been making music consistently ever since. Their debut studio album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” (2005), put them on the charts with the single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” on the top ten lead singles that year and leading to a more awards for the album in the future. The band is most well-known for their single “Nine in the Afternoon” and is adored by fans nationwide.
A Day to Remember is a band from Ocala, Florida and tends to swing between the metalcore and pop punk genres. It was founded in 2003 and is most well-known for the song “The Downfall of Us All” from their album Homesick (2009). The band has been touring since their debut and released their most recent album, Common Courtesy in 2013.
Seether, a South American band founded in 1999, was very popular at this year’s Chili Cook-Off. The crowd was suddenly filled with hundreds of middle aged parents as this post-grunge alternative rock band took the stage. This band is most well-known for their songs “Broken,” “Remedy,” and “Fake It,” which have all hit top lists at one point or another.
The chili, provided by multiple local restaurants such as Famous Dave’s, was very popular and disappeared shortly after the event started. The beer, on the other hand, remained throughout the event and many fans could be seen stumbling through the crowd in a drunken stupor.
All in all, the 2014 XL 102 Chili Cook-Off was a fantastic experience, its fans hope it will continue to be just as good, if not better, in the future.

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