Student bands battle it out at the Rat

The College Union Board and WTSR’s Battle of the Bands allowed student bands to showcase their talent on stage while raising money for a worthy cause on Saturday, March 2. Emerging victorious was Knuckle Puck Time, defeating last year’s staunch winner The Dundees.

Each band faced a prepped and persuasive repertoire of student groups vying for the title, but a close decision was called in favor of Knuckle.
Their talent and modernized R.E.M. style were ultimately hailed a fan favorite.

In order to crown a victor and raise money, raffle tickets were available for student purchase, each ticket valued at one vote and $1 to charity. Once bought, students could support their favorite group in the final vote and compete for prizes given by WTSR, the College’s radio station.

Unlike other Rathskeller shows, Battle of the Bands had a dual appeal through entertainment and charity. For band members under the gun, reputation and notoriety are at stake in their performances.

As the winner also receives airtime on WTSR, the ambition to play well exceeds the normal occasion. Yet, on a humanitarian level, the event provided invaluable fundraising for topical issues in need.
Due to ongoing reconstruction efforts in New Jersey and other areas, following Hurricane Sandy CUB’s Rat Chairs decided that the money raised could best be allocated to disaster relief — in this way, audience members felt more involved with the program, both musically and charitably.

The College Union Board’s Battle of the Bands, co-sponsored by WTSR, raises money for disaster relief. (Photo courtesy of CUB Rat Facebook)

“Its great to see students come out and support their friends’  bands,” said Rat Chair Brian Green. “There is a lot of good music around here that people don’t notice, and I believe this event gives students the chance to perform too.”

Battle of the Bands is additionally unique for the extra production necessary for a successful show.
Event organizers had to spread the word to students and local musical outlets, promote the event in advertising, and then audition bands recruited from the area.

WTSR’s contributions were also a large factor in the show’s significant appeal.

“WTSR was a huge part of the success of the event and planned a lot of the details. They were fantastic and really helped make the event go so smoothly,” Green said.

For students and performers who enjoyed this semester’s Battle, they can almost certainly expect to see the shows continue. CUB’s Rat Chairs hope the event’s popularity will grow with such a diverse source of campus talent, while student musicians remain ever eager to jam out.