Primrose in Full Bloom at Basement Show

The energy of the first Primrose show post-mask mandate was electric. It was obvious that everyone in the crowd was starving for new Primrose content, and it was clear by the end of the show they got a feast.

Wheaton students turned out in record numbers to the basement show, located in Cole Memorial Chapel. Even before the show started, the murmur of the crowd belied the excitement and anticipation for the band’s first show of the spring semester.

Before Primrose started playing, I was able to speak to their manager, Elias Stevens ‘25, of Newark, New Jersey, about what this show meant for the band. “I think this is a transition show, where it’s like, okay this is no longer just a student band- they are a band, ” said Stevens, “[It’s an] hour and a half set, they’re still doing covers, but it’s songs people have requested [too].”

Stevens is still relatively new to the position of manager, getting the job in December of 2021, but has great enthusiasm and belief for the small band and where it will go.

“We’re getting a couple thousand listens on each song, our monthly listener count is growing for sure… I think after this show, it’ll definitely go up more,” said Stevens when asked about the band’s success on streaming platforms. The rookie manager also said he was looking forward to expanding from just playing locally.

“We want to do shows not just at Wheaton but in Maine, where they’re all based, y’know, here in Mass [too]. I think these next couple months we’re going to see the greatest growth,” he added.

I was also able to speak to two members of the band, Gardy Converse, 20 (Vocals and Lead Guitar), and Jeremy Brogan, 19 (Bass Guitar). The two Freeport, Maine natives were happy with what the changes in the mask mandate meant for their performance. 

“It’s better that we don’t have to wear masks on stage ‘cause our singing’s not muffled, especially with Cam because he’s like behind a drum set so it’s really hard to mic him so people can hear him,” said Converse.

While still relatively small, the band has been growing in popularity and social media presence, with one of their Tik-Tok videos breaking 20,000 views — although Converse joked that it doesn’t really mean anything because it’s “just Tik-Tok.” Meanwhile, Brogan talked about their success on various platforms, citing Spotify and Tik-Tok to be some of their best representations.

“It’s seeming like Tik-Tok is giving us a little broader reach… Tik-Tok and even the Spotify algorithm, like, there are some serious criticisms of Spotify for how they treat their artists. But for us, the algorithm has been good” said Brogan.

Both seemed excited about what the turnout meant for the energy of the crowd, but also hopeful for a little more energy than normal. At “our shows are usually like people start dancing halfway through,” said Converse, referring to the previous show they did in the Lyon’s Den Cafe on campus. “Yeah, We’re hoping to kind of like expand on the Lyon’s Den show,” joked Brogan. The two were not to be disappointed, as the energy of the crowd was unparalleled by their past performances, with people dancing from the first song to the last encore. 

Primrose debuted two new songs, “Rain” and “One Exception”, from their upcoming album, whose title has yet to be revealed. The songs were met with explosive enthusiasm from the crowd, especially the latter; One Exception was in drummer Cam Currier’s words “Really pop-punk inspired” and had fans dancing like nothing else in the show.

“We want to get them out and recorded and on Spotify, Apple Music like, end of the semester hopefully,” said Stevens in regards to a release date for the new tracks.

“f*ck f*ck f*ck, that was amazing,” said Josephine Mortrud, 19, of Cottage Grove Minnesota. Mortrud has been a fan of Primrose since their Fall festival show in October at Outdoor’s House, with their song “That’s Not The Big Dipper” being her top listened to track of the last six months on Spotify. Between that first fall show and now, she has not missed a single performance, and it’s not hard to see why.