By Miranda Wilder
It’s that time of year again: Furry vests, face paint, pirate costumes, glitter, glow sticks and students urinating in the bushes all came as a part of SCOPE’s annual fall concert Saturday evening at the Whittemore Center.
Students and non-students weren’t perturbed by the bitter late-October air as they formed a line that curved around Memorial Field out to the road on Main Street, awaiting doors to open at 7 p.m. for the concert’s feature: EDM artist DJ Kygo.
“He’s kind of a new genre,” Christina Merrill, publicity member of SCOPE said as she was handing out free Dominos pizza to those waiting in the queue. “He’s tropical house. It’s really chill…inside looks sick.”
And as the lights dimmed at 8:03 p.m., the crowd undoubtedly went wild for Kygo’s opener, Vanic. At this point, concertgoers were pressed tightly against the barrier, but were still eager for the beat to drop.
“UNH,” Vanic called to an ecstatic crowd through the dark. “How’s everybody feeling?”
According to Merrill, SCOPE chose Kygo to perform after a lot of students requested an EDM-type genre on the SCOPE survey. The organization thought Kygo would be perfect, considering he fit the genre while maintaining a calmer style and onstage persona. February 2013 was the last time an EDM artist played at UNH, when DJ Tiesto came to campus, so it’s been a couple of years.
“I think (the genre choice is) awesome,” first-time concertgoer and sophomore Bre Belisle said. “It’s better than country.”
Belisle recently got into EDM music, and brought her non-student boyfriend from Bedford along, who was equally as excited despite not being that familiar with Kygo’s music.
Per usual, the paddy wagons lined the back of the Whitt and a plethora of people was escorted out periodically during the show, including several barefoot girls, but the music and energy did remain very “chill.”
Vanic stayed interactive with the crowd, recording videos and taking Snapchats, engulfed in green, blue and red lights. He exited the stage with much thanks and gratitude for UNH.
With the 9 p.m. hour approaching the chants for the night’s main event: Kygo’s performance onstage.
With the lights off, hundreds of glow sticks dotted the bowl, giving off a rave-like feel, and SCOPE members walked around squirting water into the thirsty mouths of dehydrated crowd members.
Kygo hopped onstage, much farther back than Vanic, wearing a backward white baseball cap and a plain white T-shirt to contrast Vanic’s black beanie and black tee. Kygo effortlessly threw a pair of headphones around his neck and began performing to a sold-out crowd of over 5,500, in front of a screen portraying images of mountains, fire and lightning to his remix of “I See Fire.”
To the crowd’s pleasure, intervals of pyrotechnics, steam and confetti were shot over the stadium throughout the performance.
Not quite as interactive with the crowd, Kygo bopped and sang along to his songs.
Illuminated by a halo of white light, the Norwegian performer faded “I See Fire” into “Here for You,” and the screen changed to glowing naked girls.
The fireworks emitted a smoky scent, intermingling with wafts of dirty people. The crowd maintained a very calm vibe, some people wildly dancing in their own zones, others chatting with their friends during the calmer songs. Everyone was particularly hyped about a mix of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” that Kygo’s backdrop presented as a karaoke sing-along.
A steady number of attendees packed the stadium throughout the night, and some of the concert-goers even traveled from out of state to attend the show.
“I just heard about it through the grapevine,” Madison Thompson, a sophomore from University of Massachusetts Amherst said. “UMass is the ‘zoo.’ I wanted to get away, experience something different, so I thought a concert– we have reason to go.”
Next Gen Climate Action was present, promoting a clean environment and climate change awareness. The group encouraged students to get involved by emphasizing a contest to meet Kygo before the concert.
The show tapered to a close with “Younger” and “Firestone,” ending with a simple “thank you” and no encore.