Following a successful series of concerts in the spring, Seton Hall’s radio station WSOU will be presenting an additional eight concerts over the next three months, with most taking place at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.
The student-run station has hosted a lot of shows, presenting 23 in 2015 as well as a successful series of Killswitch Engage concerts to promote the band’s new album last spring. WSOU gets to work with some really big names as well, having previously presented Lamb of God and Anthrax and hosting concerts with Parkway Drive and Meshuggah on Oct. 7 and Nov. 5, respectively.
“For the shows what we do is set up a promotional table,” said Megan Stolarz, WSOU’s Promo Director. “We have a wheel there that we bring to student events but instead of recruiting new members, we interact people with already listen to us or try to get new people to check us out. We give out things like keychains and T-shirts that help get the name out.”
Seton Hall’s radio station is well known and successful, “reaching a weekly over the air audience of more than 120,000 listeners, while thousands of others listen to WSOU’s audio streams each month broadcasting to over 120 thousand listeners per week,” as stated by WSOU’s website. They also were named the 2016 Non-Commercial Station of the year and given the NAB Marconi Award, a prestigious radio honor. However, there’s always room for more listeners.
“As well known as WSOU is, there’s still plenty of people who don’t know who we are,” WSOU general manager Mark Maben said. “So these do raise awareness of the station and that we’re out there and that there is a station that plays metal pretty much full-time in this market.”
The format WSOU uses is not a common one, being one of the few full-time metal stations in the entire country. Filling that niche in the New York area market does attract unique listeners, and the presents shows help reinforce that relationship according to Maben.
“Right now, media is more fragmented and frankly people are more fragmented in terms of their attention and relationships,” Maben said. “Radio needs to not only keep pace with these things, and face-to-face interaction with listeners makes it more likely that we’re a part of their media diet.”
WSOU staff members have also said that face-to-face connection and interaction with the fans and listeners winds up being an effective way to keep them coming back for more.
“It’s one of the only times that the people get to meet us – the people behind the boards and answering their phone calls or reading the news to them – and it helps establish a personal connection,” Stolarz said. “It reinforces that we care that they listen to us.”
It’s been 30 years since the station has adopted the hard rock format, and they’ve built the station into a nationally recognized, award winning mainstay in the metal community. According to Stolarz, the concerts hosted by the station only help further their status among listeners, bands and fans alike.
“I honestly don’t see other college radio stations able to present shows that often,” said Stolarz. “And with us, we fill a niche in the market with metal shows. With bands like Meshuggah or Soilwork that wouldn’t get played on other mainstream stations, we play them and present their shows. The fact that you see us out there with the scene and the big bands helps our reputation.”
Here’s a full list of the upcoming WSOU Presents Shows:
- Bad Religion with Against Me!
- Sept. 30 @ Starland Ballroom
- E-Town Concrete
- Oct. 1 @ Starland Ballroom
- Parkway Drive
- Oct. 7 @ Starland Ballroom
- Coheed & Cambria
- Oct. 15 @ Starland Ballroom
- Meshuggah with High on Fire
- Nov. 5 @ Starland Ballroom
- Nov. 13 @ Gramercy Theater
- Dec. 29 & 30 @ Starland Ballroom