2018 Battle of the Advertising Bands

Control Alt Delete opened with "Ex’s & Oh’s"

Control Alt Delete opened with “Ex’s & Oh’s”

A rocking
six-band lineup
performed for a sold-out
Cubby Bear crowd
at the 2018
Battle For Hope

Control Alt Delete — a six-piece rock and roll band from the data-driven marketing agency Epsilon — opened the 6th annual Battle for Hope with a knock-out version of Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s” at the Cubby Bear last Friday Night.

The bouncy 2015 hit launched a six-band, four-hour, sold-out show that featured covers of songs by the Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Childish Gambino, Heart, Prince, Rihanna, and others.

The Battle for Hope was founded by Sujal Patel, Kris English, and Simon Kessler (all of whom worked for Digitas at the time) to raise funds for Off The Street Club, a nonprofit that helps kids on Chicago’s West Side. Like it does every year, the 2018 event packed the house.



Large groups of coworkers from the agencies where the bands work by day showed enthusiastic support. They wore t-shirts, carried signs, waved foot-long glow tubes, cheered when one musician leaped off the stage into the crowd, and paraded through the joint with gigantic cardboard cutouts of another’s head.

Participating agency groups included AbelsonTaylor’s Hard To Swallow, Conversant’s LCA Soundsystem, FCB’s Consolidated Feedback, Havas’ Tap That Ads, and Weber Shandwick’s RFP.

English, who is now Director of Brand Development for the Pitchfork Music Festival, was part of a three-panel jury that reviewed the show and selected the evening’s best.

The other judges were Dave Dakich, who currently serves as Director of Business Development for Chicago Recording Company; and Martin Atkins, a professional drummer who played and recorded with the likes of Public Image Ltd, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, and Killing Joke before becoming Department Chair of Music Business at the SAE Institute Chicago.

When the music stopped, they declared LCA Soundsystem’s performance to be the best of the night.

Conversant's LCA Soundsystem
Conversant’s LCA Soundsystem

Making their first appearance at the event, LCA’s sixteen-member ensemble played a set that included Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

The total amount raised for Off The Street Club during the event, which topped $75,000 in 2017, is still being tallied.

Check out Reel Chicago’s Facebook photo album of the event here.

Send your agency news to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.