The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The Happy Fits discuss Lollapalooza performance, band inception, recent tours

Jacob Slabosz
(Left to right) Raina Mullen (guitarist), Calvin Langman (lead vocalist and cellist), Luke Davis (drummer) and Graham Orbe (guitarist).

The Happy Fits brought their smiles to the Coinbase stage at 1:45 p.m. on the final day of Lollapalooza. Despite the rainy day, the indie rock band brought plenty of positive energy to the crowd who sang and danced along to their set.

The band, consisting of lead vocalist and cellist Calvin Langman, drummer and vocalist Luke Davis, guitarist Raina Mullen and guitarist Graham Orbe, gave an energetic 45-minute performance to a large crowd of fans.

“We came here for one reason and one reason only,” Langman said. “And that’s to get y’all moving!”

The set consisted of one peppy rock tune after another, drawing even more passers by to an already big crowd. The band continuously expressed love and gratitude for their fans from the stage.

The Happy Fits earned positive cheers from the crowd as they dedicated their song “Little One” to members of the LGBTQ+ community, with Langman saying “we see you, and we love you.”

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The group closed out their performance by snapping a group selfie with the crowd before running off stage.




The Daily Illini talked to The Happy Fits and discussed the band’s history, their Lollapalooza set, and much more.

This interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity. 


DI: You guys played your Lollapalooza set earlier today. How was it? 

Langman:  It was a dream come true. 

Davis: It was amazing. Lollapalooza is a legendary festival. To be able to play it and have such an amazing crowd was insane. It was really, really special. 


DI:  Was this the first time you played Lollapalooza? 

Orbe: Yeah. The festival has treated us very nice as well, so we had a great experience. 


DI: At your set, you dedicated a song to the LGBTQ+ community. What’s the story behind that? 

Langman:  “Little one,” yeah. I wrote that when I was living in our old practice space over the pandemic, and it was kind of in response to Jan. 6., when there was this massive rise of otherism. It’s such a simple concept that we all belong and that we’re all equal, but it seems so lost — especially with the older generation. It’s so silly because all we teach children is to love each other and to treat others the way you want to be treated. 

So, “Little One” is a song that I wrote for my future kid; it’s just something that I want them to know. No matter what happens, they belong. 


DI: Calvin, you mentioned you played cello on stage. How did that decision come about? 

Langman:  I grew up playing classical cello. I knew that I wanted to write and play rock’n’roll music. Right before going off to college, when we started this, I just didn’t want to learn bass. I just played every note that the bass would have played on cello and people seem to like it. Since then, I’ve been sticking with it. I haven’t had to learn bass yet. 


DI: You guys have a bit of a fruit theme going with your albums. Why is that? 

Langman:  It started out as a silly pun on our first EP. If you Google “Awfully Apeelin,” the original artwork, I just made on MS Paint. Originally, we were just going to release it for our friends and family, but it took off on Spotify. We were like, “Alright, let’s take this a bit more seriously.” 

We rebranded. The first album came out, and we were like, “Let’s keep the fruit thing going.” I had this image of an orange plugged into an amp and I felt like “Concentrate” really fit the name because the songs were kind of like concentrated pop rock songs. There wasn’t much fluff around them. 

Then we started noticing companies like Google and other augmented reality companies were using our album artwork in their marketing. We were like, “Oh, if brands are really liking this and they think this is the music of the future or the look of the future, then we should stick with it.” But since then, the fruit has evolved a little. A large part of our fan base now is the LGBT community, a fruity community, and I kind of love how it’s morphed into that. We’re gonna continue harping on that. 


DI: How did the band come to be? 

Langman:  Our original founding member, Ross, started doing covers with me. One day, he had a charity event and one of his acts dropped out, so he asked me to fill in. At the time, I was doing a gap year. And I was like, “I have these ideas that I have right now on ukulele.” I just performed them there. 

He came up to me after and he was like, “Oh, like were those originals?” I said yes. And he was like, “Oh, I have some original ideas.” 

That’s how we started working on the original music together. And our parents were also just huge fans; they were like, “You have to release something.” That’s kind of how we decided to release music together. 


DI: How did you settle on your band name? 

Langman: Well, I was always a really happy guy growing up. And when I perform, it kind of seems like I’m having a little fit. Also, The Strokes too. I really love that name. And it’s like, “What’s the synonym for stroke? Fit.”  

We workshopped it, though. At first, it was The Smiley Fits, and that was horrible. We ended up with The Happy Fits. 


DI: You guys toured Europe recently, right? How was it?

Langman:  Yeah, in March.  

Davis: It was so cool. We got to hit a lot of cities we had never played before. We got to do Manchester, we did Edinburgh, we played Leeds. We played London, and then we got to go to Germany. We did Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and then we did the Netherlands. 

It was so cool to see that part of the world, we never really got to explore it before. We went through the Eurotunnel, we went on the autobahn. We had a lot of really fascinating experiences. It was awesome out there and the fans were great. 


DI: How are you all feeling about your upcoming U.S. tour? 

Langman:  Yes, we’re doing a fall tour, six weeks. It’s gonna be around a lot of smaller cities that we don’t usually hit. It’s going to be our first time playing in Maine, first time in Rhode Island, first time playing in like Ventura and San Antonio. 


DI: Are you guys working on any new music right now? 

Davis: After this tour, we’re back in the studio doing our thing. We’re really excited. We’re so pumped to be back in the groove of things. It’s been a great experience playing at this festival and it’s inspiring in many ways. A lot of these shows, we always get inspired in different ways. I think there’s a lot we could take away from this whole week’s experience. We’re going to be working album four when we’re home. 


DI: Is there anything else anyone wants to mention? 

Langman:  Thanks for having us! 

Orbe: It’s been great. Everyone from Chicago has been great. 

Davis: Yeah, Chicago’s been great. We got to go to the Willis Tower and do an architect boat tour. We really got to see the city and it was really beautiful. We’re so happy and so grateful to be here, I think we all have a newfound love for this city. 


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About the Contributors
Kiran Bond
Hi! My name is Kiran Bond and I'm a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in informatics. I started writing for The Daily Illini in the features section back in early 2022, before coming to buzz. I'm very passionate about music and journalism, so buzz editor is an awesome position for me! In my free time, I'm usually doing something musical! I'm in the Women's Glee Club choir and I play piano and guitar. I'm also probably listening to Fall Out Boy or another pop-punk or post-hardcore band. For any inquiries, feel free to reach out to me at !
Maaike Niekerk
Maaike Niekerk, Arts & Entertainment Editor
My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
Jacob Slabosz
Jacob Slabosz, Editor-in-Chief
Hey, I’m Jacob! I am currently a sophomore in computer engineering with a minor in German. I started at The Daily Illini in Fall 2022 as a news reporter and staff photographer, and by Spring 2023, I had worked my way to photo editor. Between March 2023 and March 2024, I was the Managing Editor for Visuals, and I have since taken over as Editor-in-Chief. When I’m not taking pictures for The DI or for fun, I enjoy cooking, water sports and tending to my numerous houseplants. I’m excited to use my background in coding to further automate out workspace processes and to see the content that our team produces!
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