On Oct. 29, the WHUS radio station took over the Student Union Ballroom for their annual Mischief After Dark concert. Throughout the evening, students adorned in costume were treated to three wildly different artists; local act Wavy McGrady opened for internationally known headliners Jordana and Injury Reserve.
Earlier in the year, a poll opened up on the WHUS Instagram, giving students a chance to vote for who they wanted to perform.
“It was great to have people interact and have a say in who came,” said WHUS Events Coordinator Lee McAndrews, a fifth-semester biological sciences major. “Ultimately it came between two artists, and we ended up bringing both of them, which was amazing.”
The powerhouse lineup for this year’s Mischief After Dark was announced on Oct. 17, giving students ample time to prepare.
When the clock struck 6 p.m., it was time for the first act. Wavy McGrady, dressed in Halloween-appropriate attire, shined right out the gate. The band mostly performed original songs from their large catalog, including some choice cuts from their newest album “I Hope You Don’t Mind.” The audience was also treated to a song that Wavy McGrady had never performed live before. In addition, the band performed covers of “Dani California” by Red Hot Chili Peppers and “Circles” by Post Malone, the latter of which was transformed into a funky indie rock jam.
Following a short break in which visuals of various jungle birds were shown on the backing screen, Maryland native Jordana took over the stage with her band. Despite being plagued in the beginning by audio issues causing her voice to be distorted beyond recognition, she effortlessly kept her cool. When these problems were resolved, she became a musical force to be reckoned with.
With exceptional charisma, Jordana performed tracks from her newest album, “Face the Wall,” as well as from her 2021 EP with TV Girl, “Summer’s Over.” She commanded the audience with her passionate vocal delivery and a variety of unique guitar effects. Between songs, she interacted with the audience, sharing stories of her dog Ducky and asking everyone how their day was going. After finishing off her set with a massive guitar solo featuring a riff from Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” she invited the audience to talk with her after the concert had concluded.
WHUS also held a costume contest, announcing the results after Jordana’s set. Audience members dressed as Poison Ivy from the Batman comics, Riddler from the 2022 film “The Batman” and a plague doctor took the stage to share a three-way tie. As the stage lights transitioned to a moody shade of red and all visuals were cut from the screen, Injury Reserve began setting up.
Phoenix-based hip-hop duo Injury Reserve, consisting of rapper Ritchie with a T and producer Parker Corey, opened their set with dissonant synths. Ritchie with a T asked the audience how the volume was before jokingly remarking “You’re gonna die.” Due to their abstract style of experimental hip-hop, a few audience members left early in the set. Those who remained were given a wholly unique concert experience.
Injury Reserve performed nearly the entirety of their 2021 album “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” created after fellow bandmate Stepa J. Groggs passed away in 2020. The audience was treated to a raw, emotional set. As the band created a surreal and enveloping atmosphere, Injury Reserve and the audience became one, feeding off each other’s energy. After the final track from the album concluded, Injury Reserve performed one last song from their 2019 self-titled album, “Jailbreak the Tesla,” during which a mosh pit formed among the crowd. When the concert concluded and the ballroom lights turned back on, the band conversed with members of the audience.
“Overall, it was a great performance,” said Dave Patel, a fifth-semester nutritional sciences major. “Injury Reserve was definitely unlike anything I’ve heard before, but it was very interesting to experience.”
As one may imagine, planning an event on this scale took a lot of dedication.
“I had no idea just how many moving pieces there were to an event before I became an event coordinator,” McAndrews said. “There was the production company, all three of the artists, the Student Union workers, the catering people and WHUS board members that had to be harmonious in some capacity.”
Despite the numerous complexities of organizing, it appears that this year’s Mischief After Dark was a huge success.
“I’ve never heard of any of these artists, but going to this concert was really cool,” said Abhiram Gunti, a fifth-semester computer science major.
Students can look forward to future WHUS events throughout the school year, including the annual Spring Fling and Battle of the Bands in the spring semester.