Battle of the DJs 2014
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    Photo by Jon Palmer / North by Northwestern

    Surrounded by TV screens flashing their names in bright colors and facing a crowd of students pumping their fists in the air to electronic music, six DJs battled it out Thursday night at Buffalo Wild Wings during Mayfest’s Battle of the DJs. The prize? A spot on the Dillo Day stage.

    Behind These Eyes, Bienen junior Lucas Messore, reigned victorious. He won last year but did not get to play at Dillo Day due to the rain, so he said he was happy about winning again.

    “I definitely like this year better than last year,” Messore said. “I got to play a lot of edits and my own music. I play that because it’s more true to myself.”

    Messore closed the night with a dancing crowd packing the back of BDubs. Twice, students crowd surfed to his beats, a blend of trap and other genres.

    “[Battle of the DJs is] a cool place for people to hang out with their friends,” said Bri Hightower, Communication senior and co-director of Mayfest promotions. “It’s a place where more people come, and we’re able to transform it into a dance party.”

    Many students were drinking throughout the night, and one woman attempted to distribute what she called “molly” in blue ink pens. Around 10:45 p.m., Luke Cianciotto, a SESP junior and Mayfest special events committee member, had to ask the crowd to not drink alcohol purchased outside the restaurant. But, the DJs rocked the venue all the same. Here’s a recap.

    1. Communication freshman Lorenzo Gonzalez-Lamassonne (zorenLo) started off the night at 10 p.m. His music featured zany beats, including a fusion of Soulja Boy and other hip hop artists. zorenLo describes his music as a blend of house, future bass, club, hip hop, disco, electro, reggae, trap and tribal. A loyal group of friends, including Communication freshman Cameron Smith, supported him by raging in front of the DJ booth. “Let’s get it going for Lorenzooooo,” Smith shouted over the microphone as he jumped around. zorenLo won third place in the Battle of the DJs.

    2. Weinberg junior Robert Zhang (RZeebs) was up next at 10:30 p.m. His music had a more aggressive, grindier style with clean mixing and clear beats. According to, his sound recipe looks a little something like this: [(EDM-Big Room) + (Deep+Tech)*(house)]^Bass.

    “It’s been a lot of fun,” McCormick senior Patrick Leonard said. “There’s been a lot of energy. The DJs have been great and brought out a lot of people.”

    3. Weinberg junior Mike Lee (KaitoS) took the floor at 11 p.m. His music had a high pitched and excited tone, with fast, fruity, techno flair. According to, he describes his music as (Rage + Music) Substance = Moombah-core-glitch-trap.

    “The beats were clear, and it was loud and upbeat,” Weinberg junior Tricia Luko said. “The last drop was sick.”

    4. Communication junior Mary Spohn (Blitzen) performed at 11:30 p.m. She was the only female DJ. Focused but lively, she describes her set as sassy, multi-genre and versatile. Blending experimental, vocals, trap and bass, she included remixes of “Live for the Night” and “Party and Bullshit.” The drops and upbeat electronic music got the crowd chanting her name at the end of the set. “I’m just really happy that I was able to play here,” Spohn said. “I like being able to vibe with the crowd and getting a reaction.”

    5. McCormick freshman Marc Gyongyosi (MARC) took the floor at midnight, taking the audience on a “roller coaster” with remixes of popular songs. An intense blend of big room house, progressive house, trap and top 40, MARC fully immersed himself into his music, mouthing the words to the songs on his mashups and moving his head to the beats. MARC’s remixes included LMFAO, Speak Hardwell, Nirvana, Martin Garrix, the Chainsmokers and others. He won second place in Battle of the DJs. Not only did he get clusters of students dancing to remixes of familiar, upbeat songs, he also got a crowd singing to him - it was his birthday.

    “He’s talented, and I know he practiced for a long time,” Weinberg freshman Julia Kovalenko said.

    6. Messore (Behind These Eyes) closed the night with infectious dance music, trap drum cadences and psychedelic images flashing from the TV screens. Students packed the dancefloor and banged their fists to the air as Messore blasted a fusion of trap, bass, rap and rock. Messore joined into the dancing as well, jumping up and down behind the set. His last song was a song off his new album.

    “I think the best way to describe my music is rock music in the disguise of electronic,” Messore said. “It’s sort of a combination of bass, dubstep and trap. I’m just really thankful that everyone came out tonight. It was really crazy.”


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