After Hours Radio knows Ypsilanti, Mich., is the perfect place to end a summer tour.
After starting their tour June 22, band members Nate Erickson (vocals and guitar), Greg Hughes (bass and cello), Jordan Compton (keys and synths) and Mark Dunne (drums) are ready to deliver local fans a memorable and energetic wrap-up show at their own venue.
“We have a fan base out there, and I think that by us going out on tour and coming back by playing a show in our hometown builds a lot of anticipation and excitement in the community,” Dunne said. “We’re well-seasoned by this time, and we’re playing really well together. We want everyone to come out and have a good time.”
After Hours Radio will share their homecoming show with three other artists, including EDM and video game music extraordinaire Vest and Tyler, psychedelic funk rock jam band Trifocal and jazz singer-songwriter Dani Darling. A special “mystery artist” also will be announced the day of the show.
“It’s nice to have it at the tail end versus the beginning because we’ve been sleeping on floors and couches for two weeks straight,” Erickson said. “We want to be able to have a big bash where we can party out late with our friends to really celebrate wrapping it up and just walk nearby to our own beds.”
This isn’t the first time After Hours Radio has performed outside their hometown. In 2016, the band played a show in Maryland and decided to add more East Coast dates after receiving a warm reception from fans.
“We made a lot of new friends,” Hughes said. “We also were able to draw some inspiration from the experience for the songs off our EP with Nate providing the lyrics for each track.”
Hughes admits the band’s current tour has been a strong growth experience for them musically and professionally. He reached out to different venues nationwide to personally book the band’s tour.
“We learn a lot just by doing and really interacting with people that we know who’ve done it before,” he said. “Facebook and social media is a very important tool. I would say at least a third to two-thirds of this tour was booked through that.”
As DIY artists, Hughes and Erickson formed After Hours Radio in 2014 as students at the University of Michigan and played shows at student co-ops, including Nakamura and Luther Buchele. Hughes attributes the band’s moniker to his stint as a late-night college DJ at WCBN-FM (88.3), a University of Michigan student-run radio station.
The band went through a few lineup changes before adding Compton in 2016 and Dunne last fall. With their two newest members in the creative fold, After Hours Radio’s sound has evolved beyond guitar, bass and drums to include keys, synths and other effects.
“It was an interesting challenge at first trying to join something that’s already established,” said Compton, who’s also in a local instrumental side project called I’m A GinE with Dunne. “I took the original material they had and expanded on it with my own sound. I wanted to push things more in a psychedelic direction.”
The new psychedelic direction is woven throughout “What Happened?” and complements the band’s eclectic songwriting approach as well as musical training and background.
Hailing from the metro Detroit area, all four members started playing their instruments of choice in elementary and middle school and received inspiration from classic, progressive and alternative rock as well as reggae.
“We work fairly collaboratively compared to a lot of other bands,” Erickson said. “There are a lot of bands where there’s like one core songwriter. We don’t really function that way. We each write lines and recommend things. The cohesive sound comes from the fact that we have varied tastes in music and what we like to play.”
Currently, the band is working on new material and plans to release a new single soon. However, After Hours Radio won’t be debuting any new songs just yet.
“It’s a process of getting the material to a point where we’re satisfied with it,” Compton said. “Once that’s done, then we can put the effort and time into the studio to get that going. It’s definitely in the works.”
As for Saturday’s show, After Hours Radio is ready to bring it home to their fans after spending more than two weeks on the road.
“Honestly, it’s been great for the most part, and people have been generous,” Erickson said. “They’ve taken care of us, and they’ve shown us a lot of love everywhere we’ve been.”
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Upcoming After Hours Radio Shows
When: Saturday, July 28 at 9 p.m.
Where: Club Above, 215 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Who: Magical Mitten Productions’ Summer Jam with Sun Tribe, Ma Baker and After Hours Radio
When: Friday, Aug. 31 at 10 p.m.
Where: Mulligan’s Pub, 1518 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Who: In the Whale, Hoffey and After Hours Radio
I’m A GinE Show (Mark Dunne and Jordan Compton of After Hours Radio)
When: Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m.
Where: Luther House, 1510-1520 Hill St., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Who: Luther Fest Lineup