Geraldton’s annual Battle of the Bands competition reached a thrilling crescendo on Saturday of local talent and electrifying performances. Hosted by the City of Greater Geraldton, the musical extravaganza provided a platform for aspiring artists to showcase their talent and the 2023 line-up did not disappoint. Three judges, including Anne Williams, James Thompson, and Brenton Meynell, had the challenging task of determining the best of the best who performed inside the cool confines of Queens Park Theatre’s big stage. The winners left the crowd buzzing with excitement and in a spectacular showdown, Xhalisse took home the title of overall winners. Band member and singer Sarah O’Malley was overjoyed with the win and the event as a whole. “The band is super stoked on the win,” she said. O’Malley gave personal shout-out to two-person band Menma, Psychedelic Foot Fungus and high school-aged band 8 of Spades. The show’s openers, Good Question, won the best original song category, for their soul-stirring track Tomorrow You Leave, written and composed by Berklee College of Music graduate Paul Frick. Peter Marshall earned the title of best musician, after his ability to play harmonica, sing, and drum simultaneously left the crowd in awe. Psychedelic Foot Fungus secured the best youth band award for the second year running. Judge Anne Williams was enthralled by the talent on display. Xhalisse was judged overall best because of a “polished and effective set that gave us chills with their thick harmonies and effects”. “To those who didn’t place, don’t give up; work on your stage presence and all the aspects we judged today. We were so impressed, and you made it very, very hard,” she said. Mid West music identity Daron Keogh said it was a great turnout and was pleased to see the high ratio of original songs and acts in the line-up. “It gives me real confidence in the future of the music arts in this region because we have worked hard to make sure people feel comfortable expressing themselves through their songs,” he said.