Winter WonderJam gets hot

Cody Vaughn making history as the first Hamline student performing at Winter WonderJam

Adam Whitt, A&E Editor

Booming music, a cheering crowd and an abundance of talent brought the campus to life as Hamline University held its fourth annual Winter WonderJam.

Once again, HU Radio and the Hamline University Programming Board, with support from the Oracle, put on Hamline’s largest student-organized concert, Winter WonderJam. This year’s performers included Covenant (Hamline’s own Cody Vaughn), Bryce Vine and CRUISR.

The fourth annual Winter WonderJam was all about the music and the atmosphere. Each of the artists took their own approach to energizing the crowd. Whether it was one of Covenant’s impassioned rhymes, Bryce Vine’s upbeat energy or CRUISR’s ability to keep a crowd excited through the final moments of a song, each brought a unique performance to Winter WonderJam.

Sophomore Joe Davidson expressed his appreciation for the different acts.

“There was a great variety to the performances,” Davidson said. “I really like that someone from Hamline performed. [Covenant] was probably my favorite of the three.”

Covenant’s performance was possibly Winter WonderJam’s most notable change in formula, as a Hamline student has never before performed for the event in its previous three years. Covenant opened to a crowd eager to support their peer. He took to the stage like a natural, performing one original song after another, using every inch of the stage to project his passionate persona.

Junior Ben Heaney also praised Covenant’s performance.

“It was good to see Hamline draw on talent from its own student body,” Heaney said. “Cody’s a great artist. I really enjoyed Bryce Vine as well.”

Bryce Vine, a rap artist from Los Angeles, followed Vaughn with an upbeat gig and a smile on his face. Vine performed almost every song he has released to date.

While each in his style, all of Vine’s songs are unique. It’s clear in his music that Vine is influenced by current events and artists he respects. Vine’s “Thug Song” samples Green Day’s “Brain Stew,” but is very different from the infamous Billie Joe Armstrong song. Instead of performing about drug-induced insomnia, Vine makes comments on the common themes found in rap music.

The event concluded with an energetic act from CRUISR, an indie pop band from Philadelphia with a youthful flair to its music. Andy States, the band’s lead vocalist, encouraged the crowd to let loose on the dance floor in tune with the band’s punchy songs. Young love and other anxieties were the focus of the group’s songs, sung to wailing electric guitar riffs and rapid percussive bursts that rose and fell in emotional charge.

Junior Grace Barnstead was enthusiastic about CRUISR’s showing.

“I thought CRUISR was really cool and I liked their music a lot,” Barnstead said. “The lead guitarist had an especially vibrant stage presence that made their performance stand out. They were really cool to talk to as well, they seemed really laid back and humble.”

Hamline was a midpoint in the band’s tour across the midwest.

Ben Heaney was pleased with how the Jam turned out, saying that he would like to see more Hamline students perform in the future.

“I don’t think I’d change much about the event, but I’d like to see Anderson Center used for things like that more often,” Heaney said. “Events like Winter WonderJam appeal to a large part of the student body, so I think that kind of thing is an important use of the student center.”

Senior Belle Allan looks forward to the future of Winter WonderJam.

“I think that having a diverse selection of artists was a great opportunity,” Allan said. “[It] is a great legacy to continue for Winter WonderJam.”

Barnstead appreciated the opportunity to meet and greet the various performers.

“I think having the opportunity to meet the band members was awesome because that’s not usually the case at bigger concerts,” Barnstead said. “I would say to definitely keep that for future Winter WonderJams.”

Another WonderJam has come and gone. The night was lively and no doubt one that Hamline students will remember for years to come.

If you have feedback or are interested in getting involved with next year’s WonderJam, contact or