Lamberton Hall shook this past Friday, rocked by Lehigh University Music Box’s “Frattle of the Bands.” The “Frattle,” coined for its affiliation with Greek organizations and the traditional term “battle of the bands,” was a charity event in support of the local Boys and Girls Club celebrating its 85th anniversary in south Bethlehem.
The event was a way to give back to the community and to jump start involvement on campus with Music Box, a student organization that aims to bring live music entertainment to Lehigh.
“The idea for the Frattle of the Bands as a charity event gave incentive for fraternities and sororities to sponsor and make donations,” Evan Eckersley, ’17, the event coordinator, said. “When we reached out to fraternities and sororities, we weren’t sure if there would be interest, but we found that there was. Some of the bands just never had the chance to showcase their stuff at Lehigh and wanted to perform.”
Five bands participated in and co-sponsored the event. Kappa Kappa Psi and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternities sponsored “Plan B,” Alpha Tau Omega fraternity sponsored “Transfer Switch,” Delta Chi and Theta Xi fraternities sponsored “Steel City Sunrise,” Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity sponsored “Red Light Rally,” and Chi Phi fraternity and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sponsored “Crescent Left.” In the spirit of the battle of the bands competition, each act was judged by a panel — including Lucy’s Cafe barista Chris Snyder — on the amount of money donated in its name, the band’s overall musicianship and crowd interaction.
As the event rolled through the night, each set rocked the house and got the crowd moving with their own distinct sound. Plan B started off the night with a ska (punk, big-band reggae) feel, playing lively songs including a version of “Under the Sea,” from “The Little Mermaid.” Up next was Transfer Switch, who kept the vibe going with a heavier sound and got the crowd a little rowdy, and had guest singer Matt Gavin close with the song “Free Fallin’.”
Red Light Rally showcased its alternative rock vibe with original pieces and a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover. Steel City Sunrise kicked off its set by getting the crowd involved and moving with a ukulele before rocking out to some originals, and a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
Closing out the night, Crescent Left kept the energy going, drawing a crowd with solid musicianship and strong stage presence.
The varying acts made for stiff competition, but in the end, Steel City Sunrise was deemed the winner by best overall score and most donations made in the band’s name.
“The event was a great success and there was a great turn out,” Christine Gelotte, ’18, the vice president of Music Box, said. “I hope it will encourage more interest and participation in the music community on campus.”
The Frattle of the Bands raised over $1,000 in donations and proceeds for the South Bethlehem Boys and Girls Club.
“The Frattle is definitely a fantastic way to show that there are bands that exist at Lehigh, and hopefully our peers will hear everyone’s music and there will be a greater following of the local bands possibly leading to more events later at Lehigh or off-campus,” James Currie, ’17. a member of Red Light Rally, said.
This event is one of many live-music-related events on campus that the Music Box hopes to host, Eckersley said.
“The Music Box is open to anyone,” said Eckersley. “It’s whatever you want to make of it. If you want to come play an instrument, you can come do that, or if you want to help in planning gigs and event, you can do that too.”