Six of Lehigh's music artists competed in a Battle of the Bands on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at Lamberton Hall. Dirty Mike & the Boys took first place, winning a $150 Amazon gift card and a gig at Lehigh's Founder's Day. (Ariana Dimitrakis/B&W Staff)

Battle of the Bands rocks Lamberton Hall

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Music flooded Lamberton Hall when six student-run music groups competed in a Battle of the Bands on Sept. 27.

Dirty Mike & the Boys took first place with Connor Leach, ‘20, and Jack Rosenblatt, ‘21, as co-lead guitarists; Luke Andrassy, ‘20, on the drums; Elijiah Resnick, ‘21, on the piano; Liborio Ricottilli, ‘19, on the bass; and Jake Berger, ‘21, on vocals.

The band’s act featured six songs, including one original called, “The Scheme,” which Rosenblatt wrote.

“We’ve been together as a group since last year, but our lead singer, drummer and third guitarist all graduated, so we brought in (Resnick) on piano, (Andrassy) on drums, and (Berger) on vocals to replace them,” Leach said. “We’ve been playing together, getting the vibe and working on the setlist.”

The grand prize was a $150 Amazon gift card and a Founder’s Day gig, said Kendall Prime, ‘22, the co-director of ThirdSpace. ThirdSpace is an initiative started by University Productions to give students from different backgrounds the opportunity to connect with one another in a safe environment.

“It was great to share the stage with other great acts from Lehigh,” Leach said.

In addition to performing at Founder’s Day, Dirty Mike & the Boys will perform at Funhouse on Nov. 7 and Nov. 21.

Seth Witcher, a former Lehigh student who now attends Kutztown University, sang and played guitar. Witcher came in second place and won a $100 Amazon gift card.

ThirdSpace Co-director Matthew Gunton, ‘22, said the winner was determined by popular vote in an effort to keep the audience engaged.

“To keep people from leaving the concert, we would have the victory calculation split into two,” Gunton said. “Forty percent is measured based on how loud the applause is after the act and 60 percent is measured at the very end of the night. After all the acts have performed, we bring them all back onto the stage and we say to the audience one-by-one to applaud if this was the best act of the night.”

Gunton and Prime got the idea for the event over the summer when they noticed how often people posted at concerts on Instagram and Snapchat. They decided to create this competition to allow people to support their favorite artists and recognize the talent on Lehigh’s campus.

Prime said they put out an open-call and reached out to various artists.

“The day of the battle we determine the lineup and it’s randomly selected, but we do take into account the order of which genre because we do want a coherent flow of acts even though we have a diverse range of music that’s being performed,” Prime said. “It’s about which acts sound better after the next. It’s like putting together a playlist.”

ThirdSpace partnered with other organizations, including Music Box and Lehigh After Dark, to create the event.

Prime said Music Box is a collection of musicians.

“(Music Box) plans concerts and performs at concerts, but ThirdSpace is a sub-committee of University Productions and we are event-based,” he said.

Other clubs—such as the Cheese Club, which cut free cheese for the audience—were also involved.

Gunton said the goal of the event was to bring students together to interact with new people and go outside of their comfort zones.

“The whole point of ThirdSpace is to create a forum where all the various bubbles of Lehigh who don’t interact from day-to-day have a space where they can get together, and hopefully, if we bring everybody together, they will talk to each other,” Prime said. “That’s the overarching goal.”

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