Springfest’s Battle of the Bands bursts into Thwing Ballroom


Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer

Student bands, such as Strangers in a Car (pictured), uplifted crowds during the annual Battle of the Bands with unique covers and original songs.

Shejuti Wahed, Video Editor

This past Friday, I felt as though I was an extra on the set of “Lemonade Mouth” or even a “Pitch Perfect” movie. While I was taking my time setting up interviews in a corner of Thwing 201 with The Observer video team, several student musicians were bustling about the makeshift green room with nervous energy in preparation for their upcoming performances in Springfest’s highly-anticipated Battle of the Bands.

Each year, student musicians showcase their talents by competing against each other for the coveted opener spot in Case Western Reserve University’s annual Springfest concert—the biggest event on campus. This year’s lineup was nothing short of impressive, featuring 10 bands that displayed a variety of musical genres, instruments and students from every class.

First up was ASIR (A Story I’ll Remember), an electronic group featuring a saxophone player that pleasantly surprised the crowd. While one listener remarked that their performance was “hard to compare to other bands because they haven’t gone yet,” everyone seemed to enjoy the band’s performance and energy. The combination of the saxophone with their all original, upbeat electronic music was exciting to say the least.

Next up were the Space Cadets, a band with an energetic rock feel. Their lead singer, Franco Krais, had performed solo the year before, but came back this year with a band to back his powerful vocals. Their energy and stage presence captivated the audience, especially when the lyrics switched to Spanish. 

Lake Effect followed, and the lead singer’s smooth voice immediately entranced the crowd. Several people interviewed by The Observer commented on the lead singer’s charisma as he moved around the stage—even ending the performance by jumping into a split. Their cover of Sublime’s “Santeria” was one of my favorites of the night, and clearly for others as well by the way everyone was tapping their feet and dancing.

Dishwasher Possum entered the stage next in matching costumes, and the crowd was in an uproar. The fan-favorite band made their return after placing as a runner-up in the 2022 Battle of the Bands, and their performance this year did not disappoint. Their guitar chords resonated with fans, and the crowd loved waving their hands to the infectious rhythms.

Ohio Revival joined the stage shortly after—a first-year duo performing live for the first time ever. The lead singer told The Observer that Oasis was his favorite artist, and, in his excitement, even played a few of their songs in the green room. Naturally, as the biggest Oasis fans, they had to play a cover of “Wonderwall,” which was well-received by the crowd and their initial nervous energy was nonexistent by the end of their performance.

Strangers in a Car caused yet another uproar, returning better than ever after their second place performance last year. These veterans were an eclectic but groovy mix of students, and people loved their “jazzy style,” the bassists’ dynamic energy and the entire band’s unparalleled enthusiasm.

No Shame was brought together by their fraternity Fiji—apparently they just loved jamming out together so much that they decided to enter Battle of the Bands. Their musical inspirations such as Title Fight and Basement lended to their performance’s drum and guitar-heavy grittiness.

No Pitches? has a silly play on words as their name, and their sound was just as unique. The audience was awestruck when the violin began, and people continued to rave about the unexpectedness and how perfect it fit with the entire band. My favorite song of the night was their cover of “I Know the End” by Phoebe Bridgers—a performance made sublime by the violin and the final scream at the end.

Next was EXMAPLE, and before they even joined the stage, the crowd was already chanting their names. Their original songs showcased their incredible talent and creativity, with a sound that was uniquely their own. Their guitarists were completely in sync with each other, and the crowd loved every second of them.

Last but certainly not least, Hit It and Quit It joined the stage. The lead singer told me that the band name implies they are never returning to the stage again, but the fans seemed to prefer otherwise. The crowd was obsessed with the band’s energy and the lead singer’s aura, specifically their platform boots and style. 

Battle of the Bands was the perfect way to showcase the hidden talents at CWRU, which should be applauded and celebrated more often. While voting for who would open the upcoming Springfest concert, the student audience was able to celebrate the talent and passion of their peers. At the same time, band members were able to do what they love on stage, as well as connect with other musicians on campus. While winners have not yet been announced, everyone had an enjoyable night celebrating the creativity, talent and passion that defines this campus.