Bands battle for musical dominance in T/W

WTSR hosted its annual Battle of the Bands Friday in the Travers and Wolfe lounge, awarding the band Honah Lee the first-place prize of free recording time at R&M Music Studios in Langhorne, Pa.

The event introduced a myriad of musical genres, kick-starting the night with the sounds of Seven Second Delay. Judging by the size and response of the rapidly growing audience, the Staten Island band held true to their history of performing well at the Battle of the Bands.

The Spooning followed next, delivering a series of individualized covers. Cat Cosentino, junior communication studies major, on guitar, shakers and vocals, made jokes between songs and attempted to liven up the audience.

“It’s actually a requirement to stand,” Cosentino said to a primarily seated and placid audience.

This calm demeanor changed swiftly with the arrival of The Scandals. The punk band from Bayonne got the audience to its feet, clapping and shouting along with a few more dedicated fans moshing in front of the stage.

While the aggressive enthusiasm occasionally had WTSR asking the audience to tone it down, the excitement surrounding the performance remained safe and seemed to animate the audience for the remainder of the night.

The victors of the night shifted styles next, characterizing themselves as primarily a rock ‘n’ roll band. Honah Lee consists of Justin Pellechia on guitar and vocals, Anthony Catanese on drums, Tim Hoh, junior, on vocals and guitar, and Jim Graziano on bass and vocals. The Trenton band won over the panel of WTSR judges and were awarded free recording time at R&M Music Studios. Honah Lee will be releasing a three-song EP this month.

New Brilliant closed the night with pop-rock songs from their full-length album, “Cue the Sun,” which audience members were encouraged to buy or “Get it for free if you impress us,” vocalist Carsten Dietz said to the slowly dwindling audience. New Brilliant was named runner-up of the night, receiving low-rotation on WTSR.

Between band performances, audience members were invited to participate in a variety of activities, including root-beer pong, Twister and a Guitar Hero tournament. Though enthusiasm for the activities fluctuated, audience members were gradually drawn into the competitive atmosphere of the night. The audience was also granted chances to win various prizes in a free raffle.

Bands are selected for this event each year by WTSR. This year marked the second time Battle of the Bands was held in T/W lounge rather than the Rathskeller. WTSR Station Manager Darren Farinas said the new location allowed the station to use its own system without dealing with the restrictions of the Rat.

“The lounge gives a lot more freedom. We’re able to have all these side activities. It basically gives us free reign for six hours,” Farinas said.

Katie Brenzel can be reached at brenzel2@tcnj.edu.