Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Six local bands students should know

CW Archive
Tuscaloosans enjoy live music at the summer 2023 Live at the Plaza concert series.

Title Town, Druid City — Tuscaloosa has many names. While it certainly has earned a reputation for producing successful sports teams, the local music scene is also bustling, helped in part by the large number of bars and other concert venues.  

As you start your time at the University, here’s a look at some of the big names in the local music scene you should watch — and listen — for. 

Wax Monkey 

The winner of the second annual SGA Battle of the Bands last fall, Wax Monkey is a jam rock band you won’t soon forget. The band’s four members have been playing together since high school and liven up fraternities, bars and house parties with their covers of big names in the scene like the Grateful Dead, Phish, and Widespread Panic. 

Top Heavy 

This jam band also commanded audiences at the Battle of the Bands last fall. Top Heavy often plays fan-favorite songs from well-known artists in the pop, country, rock and other genres, mixing it up occasionally with lesser-known jam pieces or original soft or alternative rock pieces. You can find Top Heavy jamming at bars like The Booth and The Rabbit Hole or playing for fraternity and sorority events. 

Five Card Draw 

Some college bands go the unfortunate route of disbanding after graduation, but that isn’t so for Five Card Draw. Established at the University in 2015, this band has been going strong for nearly a decade thanks to its tradition of recruiting new members to fill the spots of graduating members. 

Students can experience this band’s alternative rock covers of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters and more at local bars like The Red Shed, The Rabbit Hole and Moe’s Original BBQ.  


Pranxter has been covering ’80s hard rock classics since its formation in December 2022. You can find its members rocking it out to hits from Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Motley Crue, and other ’80s legends at Greek events or at The Red Shed to travel back in time. 


If a broad range of genres is what you like, Amberwave has got you covered. Their debut EP, “Leland Drive” covers many genres, mainly centering on indie/alternative rock, while the band is known to cover 2000s pop and indie music, classic rock, and some country. Head to The Rabbit Hole, Moe’s or Innisfree to catch this group. 

Midnight Steel  

Classic rock and hits like “Dixieland Delight” and “Mr. Brightside” are this band’s forte. Composed of six members, including a keyboard player and flutist, Midnight Steel plays high-energy shows that enliven local bars, Greek events and philanthropic events. The group, which won the 2022 Battle of the Bands competition, has also released one original single called “On the Run” with more in the works. 

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