Strange things in Waco: Calpurnia performs on Fountain Mall for Dia

Indie-rock band Calpurnia, featuring Stranger Thing's Finn Wolfhard, performed at Baylor's campus Tuesday night as a part of the Diadeloso festivities on Fountain Mall. The group performed a list of covers and original songs. Branson Hardcastle | Multimedia Journalist

After a day’s worth of exciting Dia festivities, Baylor students made their way to Fountain Mall where they were entertained by Calpurnia, a Vancouver-based indie rock band whose leader singer Finn Wolfhard is known for playing Mike on the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things”.

In mid-2018, the group released their first EP, “Scout,” which includes its single “City Boy,” a track that has been streamed over 4 million times on Spotify. The group also includes drummer Malcolm Craig, bass player Jack Anderson and vocalist and guitar player Ayla Tesler-Mabe. Calpurnia played for an hour, showcasing a mix of covers like Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Beatles, as well as original tracks like “Greyhound” and “Blame.” They also played their new single “Cell” live for the first time.

Wolfhard played a red guitar and rocked a Baylor slime hat during the performance, and the group congratulated the Baylor women’s basketball team on its recent championship win. They also discussed that Baylor is the first university they have ever played at, and engaged with the crowd on topics ranging from the Baylor campus to hype surrounding the Buccee’s chain.

Baylor Chamber of Commerce and Union Board paid tribute to Wolfhard and his famous TV role by hosting a “Stranger Things” marathon from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Bill Daniel Student Center. The room was also decorated with strung rainbow lights as a reference to the show.

Jordy Dickey, assistant director of the student union, saw the event as a way to both pay tribute to Wolfhard and to get students excited about Calpurnia’s upcoming on-campus concert.

“When the Dia team announced that Calpurnia was coming and that the lead singer is in ‘Stranger Things,’ we asked to partner on a marathon screening and they said absolutely,” Dickey said. “We thought it would be a great way to pay tribute to the lead singer while also creating promo for the concert. Chamber gave us freedom to design what the program would look like—we wanted to make the show come to life by pulling out strings of lightbulbs and making a comfortable feel.”

Along with the all-day marathon, the groups partnered with Common Grounds to create custom coffee and pizza orders (from Slow Rise) to fit the Stranger Things theme. As a reference to the Eggos in the show, the pizza served included fried chicken, buttermilk Eggo waffles and maple barbecue sauce with maple syrup on the side. Common Grounds barista Matthew Owen was excited about the turnout of the event and described the coffee order as a reference to Stranger Things’ “the upside down.”

“It was a strawberry white chocolate mocha where we dyed the milk and espresso—it’s inspired by the upside down in Stranger Things where everything is inverted,” Owen said. “There’s been a lot more people than I thought would be here—we had about 300 drink and pizza vouchers and we got rid of all of them in 15 to 30 minutes. It’s been a solid influx of people.”

Dickey saw the partnership with Common Grounds as a successful way to incorporate the theme and was impressed by the fan base that was present for the marathon and event.

“We love the partnership with Common Grounds. They took the vision and took it to another level—that’s exactly what we want. They took their creativity and helped make the event a home run,” Dickey said. “People are really intrigued by the show—we’re excited there’s been a really good response. There’s a huge fan base for Stranger Things—the season three trailer got over 2.2 million hits, so we knew there would be fans and it has been fun bringing this to life.”