Daniel Belgrad

Student band Vern Matz will open the outdoor concert at Spring Fling on Saturday, joining outside performers Cupcakke, Dagny, A$AP Ferg and Madeon.

The indie band was declared the winner of this year’s Battle of the Bands by Yale’s WYBCx Radio. Hosted by Yale’s WYBCx Radio on Monday night, the competition featured four other acts, including jazz band Hersh and the Guptas, rock band January, rapper Billy BOAT and indie rock band Sargasso. Every year the winner of the Battle of the Bands performs at Spring Fling.

“My friends are excited, and I’m definitely excited.” said Daniel Belgrad ’18, lead singer and guitarist of Vern Matz. “I imagine we’ll sort of be background music to people hanging out earlier in the day, but hopefully we’re a nice part of the whole experience.”

This year’s Battle of the Bands, which admitted students were able to attend during Bulldog Days, was held in the crypt of St. Anthony Hall. Both current and admitted students were allowed to vote for the best act as they filtered in and out of the crypt during the three-hour event.

Formed by Belgrad, Michael Lituchy ’18 and Noah Silvestry ’19 in 2016, Vern Matz was the first act of the night. The band will play acoustic songs from its recently released EP, which is called Vern Matz.

Yale’s WYBCx Radio decided the winner of the competition, but the YCC Events Committee played a role in choosing the groups that got to compete at Battle of the Bands.

“When selecting the acts, we use criteria similar to when we choose our professional acts,” said YCC Events Committee Director Tyler Bleuel ’19. “That is, we take a holistic approach, thinking about the merits of the act in isolation as well as contribution to the whole day.”

Vern Matz’s set will be followed by performances by Myles Cameron ’19 and student DJ Oscar O’Reilly ’18. Cupcakke, the first professional act of the concert, will perform after O’Reilly at 4:45 p.m.

Belgrad said he enjoyed Battle of the Bands, saying it was “always cool” to have the chance to spend time with a variety of musicians.

“I’ve always felt like indie music could be a little more communal at Yale,” Belgrad told the News. “I really have such admiration for the other bands on campus — I just wish we’d gotten together and played earlier in the year.”

Students also enjoyed Battle of the Bands and were impressed with the talent of the performers.

Joseph Peck ’21, a member of WYBCx radio, said he thought the event “brilliantly demonstrated the extraordinary amount of talent Yale’s music scene has to offer.”

Ben Reattoir ’21, another attendee, also emphasized the talent of the performers.

“I thought it was a cool event and it was great to see some student bands play,” Reattoir said. “We have some really talented people here.”

Bleuel said that student bands are an integral part of Spring Fling, adding that he is proud to give students an opportunity to showcase their talent.

This year’s Spring Fling will be headlined by A$AP Ferg.

Aakshi Chaba | aakshi.chaba@yale.edu .

Jever Mariwala | jever.mariwala@yale.edu .