LMA helps student performers get up on the stage

Lucy Gavin, news staff

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With clubs and organizations like Tastemakers, Green Line Records, WRBB and CUP, Northeastern has no shortage of music and performance clubs on campus. One of these entertainment clubs, the Live Music Association — or LMA — has a more specific purpose. 

“We’re the one club on campus that focuses solely on music as a live act,” LMA President and fifth-year business administration major Sam Laureano said.  

LMA puts on about five to six events per semester, including concerts for national touring acts like Duckwrth, a singer and rapper who performed at Northeastern earlier this semester for LMA’s Welcome Week show. 

In addition to putting on events with more famous musicians, LMA is passionate about creating a community for student performers through their regular open mics, where performances range from music to comedy to interpretive dance, and their annual showcase. 

LMA uses their showcase as a way for some of their open mic regulars “to showcase their originals,” Laureano said.

At their showcases, they also make a point of recording the student performers so they have a demo ready if needed. 

“Obviously, it’s not as great as being in an enclosed studio, but it kind of has that live feel to it so that if they needed to send their demos to a producer, to a manager, to whoever, they not only have their recorded work, but also what it feels like live,” Laureano said. “Because sometimes that can be very different for artists.” 

One LMA open mic regular, third-year communications major Tyler Gaccione, also known by his stage name Gatch, is no newcomer to live performances, but appreciates the collaborative atmosphere at LMA events. 

“I found that I get to meet other artists at Northeastern,” he said. “But also just getting to know people at the school and getting to chat to people after playing is a really huge perk.” 

Gatch recently released an album and sees open mics as a helpful way to try out new songs. 

“It’s a fun way to workshop,” Gatch said. “It’s a great easy crowd to work stuff out.”

LMA club members also have the unique opportunity to meet and work with national touring acts. After seeing Hippo Campus in concert, LMA Co-design Chair and third-year graphic design major Sara Hartleben was so impressed by the band’s opener, The Districts, that she reached out to book them for an LMA gig.

“It was one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen and they were … at the time, a smaller band that we were able to book here,” Hartleben said. “So I got to meet them and help them load and unload the van.” 

LMA members also provide hospitality riders — requests put in by musicians for things like food or water — for the non-student bands LMA contacts to play gigs. One band LMA hosted had a more unique rider request, according to LMA Vice President Kevin Hassenfratz, a third year computer science major. 

“It was for a VHS copy of Jurassic Park,” he said. “Normally when I see something weird like that, my first question would be, ‘Why?’ But in this situation I decided to not ask myself why and actually just do it.”

Hassenfratz was able to track down the VHS, for only one dollar, and delivered it to the band the day of the show. 

“They were like, ‘No way, no way, he actually did it.’… They were so happy,” Hassenfratz said. “So it turns out that the drummer of the band is collecting — kind of hoarding — these VHS copies of Jurassic Park in the hopes that they will skyrocket in value one day.”

Whether organizing showcases for students or booking off-campus bands, LMA strives to entertain Northeastern’s student body. 

“It’s really just opening the floor to saying, ‘We, as a club, have the power to reserve the AfterHours stage. How can we give it back to the students?’” Laureano said.