October 30, 2017 — Roughly thirty bodies floated around the 700 capacity Westcott Theater on Monday night, a small crowd likely due in part to the Halloween festivities of the nights before and those to come. Latecomers missed out on a performance by San Diego musician Ashe, who — despite being sick — bare footedly pranced across the stage in a sunshine yellow coat energizing the crowd with her vibey pop songs. “Right to It”, a groovy steel drum track she made with Louis the Child, immediately got the crowd on their feet and swaying their hips side to side. The small but dedicated audience fell in love with her raspy voice and free spirit in the short thirty minutes she commanded the stage. The rising artist thanked everyone for taking part in the “intimate lovefest” that was her set before handing the stage over to the second opener of the night.
German producer SAINT WKND stepped out to a slightly larger stream of people filling in the gaps before the stage. The audience didn’t seem to mind that he lacked stage presence and audience interaction; lashing strobe lights and pulsating rhythms were enough to shake everyone out of their corners and onto the dance floor. The energy in the room continued to build with every bass-soaked beat SAINT WKND drove through the speakers.
A now full crowd of costumed college students bathed in the vibrant spotlights bordering the stage backdrop and cheered in wait for 18-year-old Whethan to take the stage. The young producer immediately engaged the crowd with his infectious hits featuring vocal artists by the likes of Charli XCX, Elohim, and Oliver Tree. Two of the many songs that triggered overwhelming crowd reactions that night were his remix of “It’s Strange” by Louis the Child (who will be at the Westcott Theater November 10th) and “Savage”, his most streamed song on Spotify featuring Flux Pavilion and MAX. Blinding strobe lights in every shade of the rainbow illuminated jumping, twisting, and fist pumping from every elaborately dressed sailor and unicorn in the audience. Fans had to wait until the end of the night to shout the catchy chorus of “Good Nights” along with Whethan himself, who matched the excitement and enthusiasm of everyone in the crowd. At the end of his final song, Whethan jumped off the stage to personally say hello and snap selfies with everyone in the audience.
Victoriously drained, the sea of premature Halloween celebrators filed out just before the hour of midnight—back to campus, back to work, and for Whethan, back to the bus for the last two weeks of tour.