Eight student bands battled it out Saturday for the chance to move on to an intercollegiate Battle of the Bands next month. Lehigh’s Battle of the Bands had three winners, two of which will move on to the larger competition.
Plan B, a punk-alternative band, nabbed the first place prize, followed by Red Light Rally, an alternative rock group. Fractal Draft came in third.
In order to enter in the Battle of the Bands event, auditions were held for bands that had at least two members attending Lehigh University.
“It was nice this year because of the degree of talent and the amount of talent that we saw come out for auditions, and as you can see tonight, we have eight really good bands. It’s just more than ever before,” Evan Eckersley, ’17, said. He encouraged everyone to try out and give it a shot.
The bands are judged on four different categories: musicianship, which Eckersley describes as “the skill level and talent of the individual musicians in the band and how well they perform,” performance, or “how well they play together,” originality, and stage presence.
Eckersley said in regards to the originality category, the judges were looking for bands that write their own quality and creative music.
The eight bands played for about thirty minutes each from 8 p.m. to midnight. They incorporated original pieces, songs from their favorite artists and music to show off their talent. Engagement with the audience was also a crucial part to their performances.
Aaron Krovette, ’16, attended the event and said as a musician, it was fun to come to the event to hear the variety of music Lehigh has to offer.
Pat Donahoe is a junior at Moravian and a member of “Here Goes Nothing,” one of the bands that performed Saturday night.
“It was a good time, and it was very chill,” Donahoe said. “I’ve been playing music for about seven to eight years and I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to.”
Battle of the Band champion Plan B formed just last spring. Nick White, ’15, the lead singer said the instrumentalists are in band and Marching 97, and he was living with some of them. They said they needed a singer and asked if he would sing with them since he’s in choir, and he decided to join. He said between his vocals, the horn section and the rhythm section, they all have different energy.
The main focus of Plan B’s music stems from ska music, a pre-reggae music genre that combines jazz with R&B, but they like to play music from all types of genres. One crowd-pleaser song the band played Saturday was the Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson hit “Uptown Funk.”
“We pick songs and our main focus is ska music,” White said. “We just kinda pick songs we want to do, and someone in the band arranges it for horns.”
White highlighted that some of their inspiration stems from their favorite ska bands, as well.
“Streetlight Manifesto and Reel Big Fish are the two really well known ska bands,” White said. “They’re always on point and their live concerts are great, so we get a lot of inspiration from them.”