If you didn't get the chance to see this year's Battle of the Bands (BOTB), I can sum it up for you pretty quickly—Wilmah blew the competition out of the water.
The band is comprised of Will O'Connor and Matt Connolly. Will, a sophomore here at Loyola, plays bass, while Matt, a senior in high school, plays guitar. When the duo plays live performances, their middle school music teacher, Jeff Walling, accompanies them on drums. The three of them together is pretty unbelievable.
Will and Matt go way back, starting in 8th grade when they started taking guitar lessons together... I guess you could say the rest is history. The summer before Will’s senior year, his old music teacher, Jeff, contacted him to join a band that he had started with former students. Will was with Matt when he got the message about joining and decided to go for it. During Will’s senior year of high school and into his freshman year of Loyola he played with the band before the distance got to be too great.
Will can tell you the rest of the story: “So basically this all happened because I knew Matt was serious about his music career and I wanted to be with him along the way. Because we shared such a similar taste in music, we knew we could make great music together. I basically had to convince him throughout my freshman year that it was a good idea and he agreed.”
What ensued from this idea was their band, Wilmah. The name of their duo was originally Call Waiting, before Matt's mom came up with Wilmah. According to Will, Matt's mom suggested Wilmah because it's a combination of their names. And thus, Wilmah was born.
What Matt and Will produce through Wilmah is an awesome mix of indie pop and covers which help to show off their skills. After their epic win at BOTB their celebratory song was “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison, which consisted of solos from both Matt and Will and left the crowd wanting more.
Loyolapalooza goers can expect nothing less. As Matt puts it, “We're adding to our Battle set. Things are going be a little rearranged and it's going be mainly originals.” Regardless of what they play, they're sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Make sure to go to Loyolapalooza on April 29th to see them perform live before Sean Paul, alongside performances from the Chimes, 2becontinued dance group, JELEEL!, and Gianni (DJ). There will be food, games, rides, and live music— all that you need for a Sunday fun-day in preparation for finals week!
If you want to keep up with the band, check out their Twitter @WilmahTheBand.
Photos courtesy of WLOY Loyola Radio, which puts on Battle of the Bands each year.
Update: An earlier version of this article stated that Loyolapalooza is May 29th. The correct date is this Sunday, April 29th.