On March 31, the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB) hosted the annual Battle of the Bands competition in the University Union Undergrounds, creating an opportunity for student musicians to perform for a chance to be an opening act for this year’s Spring Fling. This event featured an array of local bands, allowing them three songs each to pump up the crowd and showcase their music.
This year the SAPB featured 10 of Binghamton University’s local bands including From The Bronx, BUG, the droogz, Happy To Be Here, kwk, The Plasters, 80%, That’s Tuff, Husband Material and Dream! Students flooded the University Union Undergrounds for the majority of the night, bringing excitement, energy and anticipation to the show. If the audience prepared for a night of new music, dancing and even crowd-surfing, the musicians certainly did not disappoint. With a mix of both covers and original songs, the show allowed these musicians to present BU with their unique sounds and performance styles.
Nicolas Gregoris, the tenor saxophone player of Husband Material, discussed what being able to perform in front of live audiences means for them, opening for the Spring Fling aside.
“This performance was different because the crowd’s reaction and energy would have a direct impact on whether or not we would win or lose,” Gregoris wrote in an email. “More than just opening for the Spring Fling, I hope that finally getting Husband Material together after two years will start a lasting tradition where the younger members from the band carry on and recruit new talent from the jazz department as it finds its way to BU. Jazzers don’t get a chance to play for student audiences very much, so the opportunity to play for a very enthusiastic audience is a great feeling.”
Lucas Bianculli, vice president of programming for the Student Association (SA) and a senior double-majoring in economics and environmental studies, emphasized the importance of highlighting the very talented BU music scene, especially after a stressful few years when they could not hold the event. He also spoke on the task of choosing the bands to compete in this year’s competition for a chance to perform in front of thousands of students at the Spring Fling.
“As far as why these bands were chosen to perform, we had an open application in which bands could sign up to play in [Battle of the Bands],” Bianculli wrote in an email. “However, we received a massive amount of responses and ended up having acts send in audition tapes in which we chose the main acts from.”
Bianculli also mentioned the judging process behind choosing this year’s winner, who will be opening for this year’s headliners Gunna and Social House, according to the SAPB’s Instagram.
“We have a panel of five judges, including me and our chairs and vice chairs of the Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) and concert committees,” Bianculli wrote. “We are the people who plan and execute the BUMP music shows and the fall concert/Spring Fling concert, respectively. We are also the people who organized this event as part of SAPB. [We chose] the winner from last night, which was the band called The Plasters.”
The Plasters are a band made up of four musicians including vocalist Cameron Cantine, a junior double-majoring in cinema economics, bassist Audrey Park, an undeclared sophomore and Lucy Goodman, an undeclared freshman, on drums. Julian Mahboubian, guitarist and a junior majoring in psychology, shared his excitement on behalf of the band and for all the work they have been putting in, especially the last three months to hopefully release new music and further their connection as a band. Mahboubian shared the band’s reaction to their win last Thursday and their preparation for the Spring Fling.
“Winning [Battle of the Bands] was an amazing feeling and has made all the work we have been putting in much more rewarding,” Mahboubian wrote. “Along with some other news we’ll hopefully share soon enough, the theme as of late is that we’ve been getting a lot of great feedback on the music we’re making, and opening for Spring Fling fits perfectly in that theme. We’re really just super excited overall to see where our music takes us, it feels like this is just the beginning of a crazy journey!”