September 18, 2020

Battle of the Bands awards studio time

Lucas Rinz provides one third of the sound that led Philadelphia trio Satellite Hearts to victory at WTSR’s Rock ’n’ Raffle Battle of the Bands. Satellite Hearts’ music won it studio time at Landbridge Records. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

Four bands competed for the chance to make their music dreams a reality at WTSR’s Rock ’n’ Raffle Battle of the Bands on Friday, Feb. 4 in the Brower Student Center.

Acting as judges for the competition were Jon Irizarry, secondary education graduate student Chris Payne and Chris Kubak, all former College undergraduates and WTSR directors who have gone on to work in some aspect of the music industry.

Emerging victorious from the night was Satellite Hearts, a trio from Philadelphia comprised of Justin Pellecchia, senior College student Lucas Rinz and Keaton Thandi. Mixing R&B, soul and funk, the boys brought high energy, sheer volume and a sense of humor to the stage, capturing the approval of both the audience and the judges.

As the winners of the competition, Satellite Hearts will receive studio time with Landbridge Records, Irizarry’s record label and potential label consideration, as well as having its music played on high rotation on WTSR.

The band will also be appearing on Arts and Entertainment Discourse on WTSR on Friday, Feb. 11, at noon.

Placing second in the competition was Toms River-based Creeptones, a rock band featuring Carmine Stoppiello, Will Hernandez, Johnny Vines and Tom Cirillo.

They performed original songs such as “Disarray” and “Dead Phone” and handed out demo CDs to the crowd after their set, promising that a full album was on its way.

To show their support of WTSR, Creeptones urged the audience to donate to the station and promised that they too would pay the $2 entrance fee. As its prize, the band will be featured on low rotation on WTSR.

While they might not have won, Ossu was easily the most interesting band of the night. Specializing in Japanese pop and rock, Christopher Fuentes, Evan Mydlowski, Ben Knudson and junior computer science major Scott Lettera performed under the stage names Kenji, Artemis, Benkei and Xero.

Lettera, the only member of the band who attends the College, spoke about Ossu’s image and music.

“We were hoping to get a little uniqueness,” he said. “We didn’t want to sound like all of the mainstream punk rock bands out there.”

Ossu takes influence from Japanese Visual Kei performers and sticks to this theme by wearing anime-inspired costumes and singing in both English and Japanese.

Rounding out the acts was Man Up Houston, a pop-punk/rock band from Bucks County, Pa. Despite the best efforts of members Derek Gaughan, Joe Lally, Pat Soriero and Josh Havier, the band’s enthusiasm couldn’t overcome its weak vocals, leaving them in the shadow of the preceding acts.

Danielle Steward, junior history secondary education major, opened up for the show. Steward sang original songs while accompanying herself on the acoustic guitar. She was the winner of WTSR’s Battle of the Soloists competition.

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