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“Challengers” releases in theaters on April 26.
Review: “Challengers”
Published April 13, 2024

The Wake Magazine presents aWake After Dark

Campus student publication the Wake Magazine hosted a concert to raise money for their internship stipends.
Local Band Kids Ski Free performs at The Whole Music Venue in Coffman on Thursday, April 21.

The Wake Magazine hosted aWake After Dark, a concert featuring bands Distant Edge, Kids Ski Free and WHY NOT, in Coffman Union’s Whole Music Club this past Thursday. 

The event was a laid-back opportunity for students and non-students to socialize, learn more about the Wake Magazine and support local artists. 

“We’re so ecstatic that we get to host these kinds of events in person now after a long few semesters doing things virtually,” said Wake Magazine Editor-in-Chief Marley Richmond. 

The Wake Magazine, colloquially referred to as “the Wake,” is a fortnightly student-run magazine at the University of Minnesota by students, for students. The publication features stories centered around arts and entertainment, culture and student social commentary. Since its inception in 2002, the Wake Magazine has been dedicated to prioritizing the student voice through fostering authenticity in reporting and cultivating a space for opinion and creativity. 

Richmond has been in her current role since the fall and with the publication since her first year, citing an interest in writing and publishing as why she has stuck with the magazine for so long. 

“I’ve stuck around because the community has been so wonderful,” Richmond said.

In addition to promoting local talent, aWake After Dark supports the magazine’s paid internship program, with all the proceeds going toward stipends, Richmond said. In recent years, the Wake has seen an uptick in interest from the student body. Richmond said she believes it’s important that students have opportunities to gain professional experience.

“We’ve had the internship program for a while now, but more recently we really wanted to make it more accessible by offering the stipends,” Richmond said. Richmond said that many of the Wake staff are heavily involved with or passionate about the local music scene, which makes concerts an easy go-to fundraising strategy. In addition, two of the bands at aWake After Dark, Distant Edge and Kids Ski Free, were previously in feature stories for the Wake.

“We’re constantly on the lookout for enthusiastic new talent to feature in our stories and concerts,” said Richmond.

Vivian Nguyen is a prospective computer science major at the University of Minnesota. A lover of music and discovering new bands, Nguyen said she had heard about the concert through friends and decided to buy a ticket.

“I’m so excited: I think this is going to be a fun night,” Nguyen said. “I also had no idea that the Wake was a thing, so it’s cool seeing what they’re all about too.”

Ariana Carlson is a prospective environmental science major at the University. Carlson said she’s excited to get connected to the school and the events it has to offer.

“I think it’s so cool that the Wake hosts concerts, it’s a really great way to bring people together,” Carlson said.

The first band to play was Distant Edge, an alternative pop rock band composed of guitarist Nate Erickson, vocalist Nolan Litschewski, drummer Jahmal Fisher, keyboard player Sam Swanson and bassist Aaron Eiden. The group first started playing together in 2015, and since then have released an EP, some singles and their most recent album, “Redlight.”

One of their most popular songs was “Fade,” a poppy song about setting boundaries. It starts off slow but gets upbeat leading up to the chorus, creating a build-up effect. This song stood out from their more “rocky” songs they played and had a nostalgic 2008 pop radio feel. Most people weren’t standing still: the song was funky enough to keep people on their feet swaying, jumping and moving. 

The venue was small and the concert felt personal. The stage was low to the ground, so attendees could dance around it. People gathered around the stage with their friends, chatted between sets, met new people and jammed out to the music.

The next band to play was Kids Ski Free, who played their hit from their EP, “Film School Graduate.” The song has a classic 2000s rock band feel, and the band energized the concert hall with their electric guitar melodies and dynamic stage presence. Many attendees threw their heads back in heavy-metal fashion to the beat.

The final band to play was WHY NOT, an alternative/indie rock band that dabbles in pop and hip-hop. According to First Avenue, WHY NOT was formed in 2015 when high schoolers Henry Breen, Isaac Dell and Joshua MacGregor embarked on a musical project together. The group combines elements of punk, rock, jazz and pop to create a “distinct and dynamic sound.”

In their lineup was their song “Addition by Subtraction,” a song with a heavy metal feel in the chorus. This was another song that had the crowd excited: people were jumping and dancing to the music. There was also a bit of screamo mixed in from the vocalist, which was unexpected, but nevertheless, fun for the audience.

Students said they enjoyed themselves and met new people. In between sets, they chatted, reflected on their favorite songs and purchased band apparel at the merch table.

These local bands can be found playing shows at concert venues and pop-up events in the Twin Cities. Kids Ski Free will be playing at Spring Jam next weekend.

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