By Haley Martin
An inviting and electric atmosphere filled Kendall Hall as students piled in to watch the tri-state area’s most talented up-and-coming bands perform live.
The College’s radio station, WTSR, hosted its semi-annual Underground concert on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, which featured awe-inspiring performances by student and local bands like TV Afterlife, Clown Baby, Format War and Ogbert the Nerd. Genres ranged from indie to hard core.
“Some good friends of ours played and it was great to see them with proper mixing and stuff,” said Format War lead singer and guitarist Jack Sofka, who is a senior English major. “Thanks WTSR and LTV for having us…we had a lot of fun. We’re excited to have the session line up with our upcoming EP.”
Colin Lawn, a junior marketing major, enjoyed the amount of energy Ogbert the Nerd brought to the stage.
“Their emo yells were full of passion, and their banter was hilarious,” Lawn said.
Dylan Lembo, a junior communication studies major and music director of WTSR, coordinated the acts for the concert from head to toe, booking the bands and venue and being the liaison to Lion’s Television. When selecting which groups to invite to the concert, Lembo uses his real world experiences.
“Many of these bands I have seen live, whether that be in a venue in Philadelphia, a bar in Asbury Park or a basement in New Brunswick,” Lembo said.
During Underground, Lembo acted as the floor manager during the live sessions. His main responsibilities were to communicate with the bands, sound technicians and the control room.
In collaboration with Lion’s Television, WTSR hosts Underground once a semester. The bands play three songs live in the studio, where the audio is recorded for the radio 91.3 FM. Members of Lion’s Television also live cut footage and later publish videos of the bands’ performances on their YouTube channel.
Paulo Rojas, a junior communication studies major and member of Lion’s Television, said participating in Underground has enhanced his professional experience. During his freshman year, he was thrown on camera, and a few semesters later, he was promoted to technical director in the control room.
“I like being able to work with my friends while recording bands and listening to good music,” Rojas said. “It’s a bonding experience that wouldn’t happen elsewhere.”
Another member of Lion’s Television, Cassie Sokoloff, a junior communication studies major, expressed her love for filming bands, especially at Underground.
“There is no other experience to work as a really big team and get the ability to bond together,” Sokoloff said. “This is how it works in the real world.”
Many students stopped by to listen to these bands perform for free while WTSR handed out popcorn and sold merchandise to attendees. At the event, Lembo was thrilled to see his hard work come together.
“It felt like a dream seeing the bands I booked all the way back in October come in, do their thing and have a great time,” Lembo said. “At the end of the day, it’s a tired and exhausted dream, but hey, a dream nonetheless.”