A Night of Lyrics and Laughter: Battle of the Bands with the YU Music Club

By: Emily Goldberg  |  April 16, 2024

By Emily Goldberg, Publication Manager and Layout Editor

“Live Music.” A sign depicting these words prominently hung over the stage of Schottenstein Theater on March 26, 2024. That is because on this night, a battle took place at Yeshiva University, and it was anything but typical; it was waged with a base, a set of drums, and a keyboard. 

On this Monday evening, the Music Club at Yeshiva University held its second-ever Battle of the Bands. Students arrived promptly at the theater and stuffed into the entryway waiting for the doors to open. Overcrowded with attendees, the coordinators of the event had to open doors a few minutes early. As students trickled into the dimly lit audience section of the theater, they chatted excitedly amongst themselves. “This is such good vibes,” one student exclaimed to her friend. “I want them to play music already,” responded the other. 

In this battle, nine different bands performed one or two songs, and at the end of the performances, audience members got to vote on the winners for three different categories: Best Overall, Most Original Performance, and Best Outfits. 

The theater itself was packed to the brim with enthusiastic students carrying handmade posters cheering on their peers’ bands. The bands that performed were named Do Not Disturb, Bowling Green, Block Arrangers, ADHB, Jazz Ensemble, Pajamas, Norville, My Roommate’s Fiancé, and Desert Pond. 

The stage itself was colorfully decorated with graffiti-style art depicting a music note and a monkey wearing headphones. Just beneath the spotlight, a keyboard, drumset, and microphones were displayed on the stage. Seats in the packed theater were nearly all filled as the show began. 

As Danny Kutin (YC ‘25) walked onto the stage, the crowd applauded loudly. “I am so excited. We have been working on this for a long time so thank you all for coming,” said Danny. As the show was about to start, Danny asked the audience, “Please be quiet,” to which they responded with loud cheers and applause. “That’s the opposite of what I asked for,” joked Danny with a laugh.    

The entire show was full of similar funny comments thanks to the humor of the Battle of the Bands members, especially hosts Benny Klein (YC ‘24) and Yitzy Warren (SSSB ‘24). Let’s just say they made what was already an extremely fun event, even more hilarious. As the two introduced the bands, they cracked jokes and performed funny skits, keeping the audience laughing along with them the entire night. 

The show began with Hatikvah sung by Eitan Markovitz (YC ‘27) as Miriam Bluth (SCW ‘24) accompanied on the piano. Afterwards, bands jumped right into performing their songs. For example, Do Not Disturb performed “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, for which the singer commented, “I think my message was clear.” ADHB sang a never-ending mashup which included the song “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and when the hosts entertainingly tried to get the band to wrap up their performance, a band member joked, “We said we were never gonna leave you.”  

As band members rocked out onstage, the audience was enthusiastically engaged, waving their hands in the air and clapping along with the music. The performances also included unique costumes, such as playful pajama sets and black rock and roll wigs with strips of colored hair. ADHB even had an onstage costume change where they took off black sweaters to reveal sparkly shirts underneath. 

At the end of the performance, Miriam Bluth, President of the Music Club and a graduating senior, thanked her fellow club and audience members for being a part of the musical space she and her peers made at YU. “We just wanted to create a space for musicians to play, have an audience, and get to know each other. It means the world that we get to have an audience,” said Miriam. “For the last time, thank you all.”

The music club was only formed at the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year. At the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester, Miriam had started a music club and Danny had started a band club and the two decided to merge to form what is now the YU Music Club, for which Danny and Miriam serve as co-presidents. 

At the beginning of the academic year, Danny sorts students into bands. They then have the opportunity to play and practice together as much as they please. In addition, these bands get the chance to perform at Battle of the Bands and the Open Mic Night at the end of each year. 

During the performance, one of the hosts joked while introducing the members of the band Jazz Ensemble, saying “And making his YU Music Club debut, Danny Kutin.” Danny was a part of all the bands except for two and is obviously a significant part of the YU Music Club.

In an interview with the YU Observer, Danny elaborated on what prompted him to start this club at YU. “I did a band program throughout all of high school and the end of middle school and it was my favorite thing,” said Danny. “It was just amazing to get to play music with people every week.” 

For Danny, creating a space where YU students can have a similar experience is extremely important. “I really wanted an opportunity here to continue to play with other people and to I guess provide opportunities for people to experience how fun it is to be part of a band and part of a group.”  

Members of the YU Music Club are extremely grateful for the opportunities that this club provides them with to showcase their music. “I have always loved performing in front of others,” Hayley Goldberg (SCW ‘26), a student who performed in Battle of the Bands, told the YU Observer. “ I was still nervous though [but] performing in front of people you know is a lot different than performing in front of people you don’t.” She continued, “Getting to play music for others again and perform was just what I needed to end the year off strong!”  

Music is an extremely important part of Danny’s life that he hopes to share with others at YU. “It sort of is like a universal language. You could take people from all over the world, from completely different cultures, but music can be something that can bring everyone together,” said Danny. “The more people who are experiencing music and music-related things, the better.” 

At the end of the night, the winners of Battle of the Bands were announced, with My Roommate’s Fiancé winning Best Outfit, Norville winning Most Original Performance, and Desert Pond taking home Best Overall. 

However, for Danny, “This wasn’t [really] a competition.” He elaborated, “It’s fun to phrase it as a competition and that gets more crowd engagement, but for me, it’s just a way for us to showcase what we’ve been working on all year.”