Spring Weekend wrangles Chargers on the Gravy Train


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Mia Adduci.

Yung Gravy points to the sky, West Haven, April 28, 2023.

There were no brakes on the Gravy Train on Friday night with the North Campus parking lot filled with a herd of U. New Haven students sporting cow print cowboy hats as the sun set over West Haven.

BbyMutha opened up the night just as the crowd began to tighten up. She stormed into Connecticut with unbelievable confidence, despite not being able to remember whether or not she had ever visited the state before.

Her raunchy lyricism had jaws dropping all across the parking lot, at least when she managed to remember the lyrics to her own songs. Her setlist included some of her hits such as “Heaven’s Little Bastard,” which includes the iconic line “I go to church but only if I f*** the pastor.”

BbyMutha not only sported her own merch paired with a risque miniskirt and dangerously high heels, but even accentuated her performance with a light up whip in the middle of her set. She was clearly feeling herself as she wove between it during her performance, only putting it down to step back to her DJ and select the next song in her lineup.

Her energy was so high, it was almost possible to tune out the studio recording of each song playing behind her live performance. At one point, she was requested to sing her second most popular song on Spotify: “Cocaine Catwalk,” to which she obliged, despite an accurate warning that she no longer knew the words.

At one point, BbyMutha got the crowd chanting along to her song “Frida,” repeating the hard-hitting line “F*** his b**ch, break his heart.” This proved to be a SoundCloud style therapy session for the audience who clearly had damaging experiences they should be unpacking.

The second performance was Bad Suns, a California-based indie rock band that heavily juxtaposed the artist that preceded them. The group provided a wave of calm that was welcomed with open arms, transforming the ambiance into something that encapsulated a summer evening on the beach.

Their lead singer Christopher Bowman was made for the stage. He optimized the space given to him, gliding around and soaking up every speck of artificial light, somehow still managing to glow warmly underneath it.

Bowman, dripping in sweat, eventually removed his jacket to unveil a tattered muscle tee. Not long after, the lights were all switched to red, and as the boy band sang about love under the heavy saturation, their dark neutral wardrobe expelled even more vibrancy as they deepened their sound even further.

Bad Suns closed their set with their most heavily streamed song “Daft Pretty Boys,” kicking the energy into their highest gear to leave the crowd with enough adrenaline to soon take on their headliner.

In both their sound and complimentary visuals, Bad Suns played perfectly into this year’s theme of the kaleidoscope concept.

Students provided their own entertainment between sets, stacking cowboy hats aiming to reach the same height as Yung Gravy, blowing bubbles into the darkening sky, failing to crowdsurf one another towards the stage and even managing to bring in jumbo blowups of a donkey and a naked man.

Finally, DJ Tip took to the stage to kick things into gear before Gravy made his appearance. He played an immensely wide range of hits as everyone waited for the main act of the night, though some may argue that the show had already begun once Tip tore open his backpack to throw Zebra Cakes and Little Bites into the ravenous crowd.

Once everyone was amply amped up, Yung Gravy really woke everyone up as he stepped onstage to open with “Good Morning.”

He announced having received his first bra of the night by the end of his first song, and expressed wicked excitement for what he called Friday night’s “parking lot turnup.”

Yung Gravy onstage, West Haven, April 28, 2023.

Performing some of his greatest hits off of his discography, including “Oops,” “Cheryl” and “Mr. Clean,” the energy from the Kaleidoscope stage was unwavering for the rest of the night.

As Yung Gravy got deeper into his setlist, so did his level of interactivity with the crowd. His “banter” was a full-fledged conversation, and not once during the night was his next move a predictable one.

His bra collection grew impressively, but his give-and-take with the university students expanded far beyond that. Gravy repeatedly pulled out stacks of Lunchables from the side of the stage and proceeded to sign each one individually before tossing it into a direction that he felt was giving him the most enthusiasm.

The rapper had an interesting relationship with pasties that he collected from the crowd, which he decided to strictly call “chicken cutlets.” Not only did he put one on and wear it for a portion of his set, but he took another off of the DJ table and signed it. Upon returning it to the crowd, Yung Gravy watched a group of students fight over a piece of silicone that was on an unknown member’s body for the earlier parts of the show. By the end of the night, Gravy had written so many signatures that he might as well have branded the North Campus lot with a can of spray paint.

When Gravy hit the point of “Vanessa” in his setlist, the bass was finally kicked into full gear, letting you feel it shaking your chest to its core as the 6’6” rapper jumped around the stage.

By the end of the night, Yung Gravy had managed to tease a country collab with HARDY and Morgan Wallen, sport a New Haven jersey, drop down from the stage to hand out roses to the crowd and close out with a baptismal ceremony by bathing the parking lot with a box of Froot Loops.

The concrete was chalked-up in rainbow as the parking lot began to clear out, and by the end of the night only a couple of neglected cowboy hats remained of the herd, sitting facing the stage long after Gravy and his endless supply of snacks had cleared out.