By Christian Thompson

Even though the final round of Loudoun Youthfest’s Battle of the Bands took place at the Tally Ho Theater nearly four months ago, the aftershocks are still being felt.

Yes, the gig easily clocked in around 8.5 on the Richter Scale. [You should have seen my grandma’s china cabinet afterwards. What a mess.] But more importantly, it was clear that there was simply too much talent on display for the rocking to end there.

StoneCold, an all-girl hard rock band made up of middle and high schoolers from the Leesburg/Sterling area, took a much-deserved first place slot that evening, but the judges didn’t come to that decision easily.

Other musical genres, like second-place winners Suburbia’s groove-heavy funk, and fan favorites Shreve Mill’s tuneful indie pop helped to make the evening as eclectic as possible, showcasing the massive amounts of skill that’s currently possessed by Loudoun County’s iGeneration.

Those who missed the final battle or the other rounds that led up to April’s electrifying conclusion will have another opportunity to catch some of these groups shredding, screaming, and generally rocking out like they were the second coming of Black Flag.

In response to the overwhelmingly positive reception from the Battle of the Bands, Loudoun County’s Youth Advisory Council organized a two-part Summer Concert Series to reunite some of the groups and to recreate the energy from the battle finale.

The first show in the series took place on July 20 at One Loudoun. It saw the bluesy, acoustic folk of Eli Pafumi paired with 2017’s Battle of the Bands winners, Never Born to Follow, who were last spotted opening for Bon Jovi at Washington’s Capital One Arena in May.

This Friday, Aug. 10, the second and final show in the series will take place at Leesburg’s Paxton Campus Manor House.

Performers this Friday will include classic rock-revivalists Spiral Stairs, as well as the Battle of the Bands Fan Favorite award-winners, Shreve Mill, who play a chilled out, indie take on ska music that would make Camper Van Beethoven proud.

The evening will also feature not one, but two all-girl bands; Alaska and Aurora, who took home the Best Original Song Award, and the aforementioned champions, Stone Cold. The skill of their lead guitarist is astonishing and their drummer plays loud enough to evoke the envy of Zeus himself.

The outdoor show will be held from 5-8 p.m. and is free to enter, so you have no excuse to miss the rocking. You’ll not only be glad you caught it, but it just might motivate you to call up the gang and get your old band from high school back together again.


Paxton Campus Manor House is located at 601 Catoctin Circle NE in Leesburg. More information on the show and Loudoun’s Youth Advisory Council can be found at

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