Cardboard Prison Performs in Battle of the Bands


Photo Courtesy of Evan Park

Lead guitarist Yash Menon, rhythm guitarist Nicholas Hung, bass guitarist Brian Yip, and drummer and vocalist Derrick Peng of Cardboard Prison performed a medley of songs, playing several original compositions.

Maya Sabbaghian, Co-Editor-in-Chief

With members skillfully strumming electric guitars and pounding a beat on the drums, Cardboard Prison, a student-led band, performed in the 25th annual Battle of the Bands against five other groups from Irvine high schools. It is the first band from Portola to compete in this event hosted by High School Youth Action Team.

“Even last year when Portola was founded, we didn’t have Portola participate,” Portola HSYAT club co-president Ankith Desai said. “This year we are going to create history by having Portola perform for the first time in the many years of Battle of the Bands, which is really breaking the glass ceiling.”

After each band performed a handful of songs, the judges for the event selected The Monks of Funk as the winner. Although Cardboard Prison did not win the event, the band stood out to the audience for its unique hard rock style of music.

“It was unique seeing them because they had a very special taste in music, especially that hard rock type of music,” freshman Dishita Arora said. “You don’t see that very much out there in high school bands. It takes a lot of guts to put your own music out there for the first time.”

Parents and students watching the event enjoyed Italian soda and snacks from a bake sale as they cheered on each band.

“I really enjoyed that it was a way for everyone to come together and share music that they love. It was fun to see the bands performing, to see each school putting their own music out there,” Arora said.

Cardboard Prison’s performance opens a path for future Portola bands to participate in this popular event and share music with peers and other musicians.

“I think it is really good that we are able as representatives of Portola to do this, and I think we would like to do it again in the future because…to be able to reach this many people as just a new band starting out at a new high school is really nice,” band member and sophomore Nicholas Hung said.