Rivalry Week brings new sounds: B Street Band and Walla to preform at community concert

From Midnight Breakfast to the game itself, Rivalry Week is packed with traditions — but there is always room for more excitement. For the first time this year, a community concert will be held Friday evening on the lawn outside of the Oechsle Center for Global Education.

The concert will feature the B Street Band and open with Walla. According to the official B Street Band website, the group is “the original Springsteen Tribute Band” that was started in 1980. Over the years, the New Jersey-based group has performed over 5,500 shows including performances at all of the Philadelphia Eagles’ home games in 2013.

Manager of the Chicago Cubs Joe Maddon ’76 came up with the idea for the concert, according to Director of Student Involvement Kristin Cothran. Maddon presented the concert as a Rivalry Week event that would be geared toward students. Cothran said that Maddon looks back fondly upon his time at Lafayette, and wanted to create an event that would generate the same sense of nostalgia among current students when they look back at their college experience.

Cothran said that organizing the event was a joint effort between the college and Maddon. He found B Street Band – vocalist and keyboardist for the B Street Band, Willie Forte, is Maddon’s longtime friend – and the school reached out to students for input on the opening band. In the end, Walla, a Los Angeles-based band started in 2012, was chosen to perform.

“We reached out to a few students who love music and asked them who was a great band that students would like,” Cothran said. “We wanted an up and coming band that students kind of new that would be fun.”

The event, which takes place from 8:30 to 11 p.m., is intended for members of the Lafayette College community, Cothran said. While alumni and friends are welcome, the event is not intended for those unaffiliated with the college.