Student Spotlight: TDX Group The Dandelions Hope To Expand Repertoire And Fan Base
Following their first official performance this summer, fans of the group anticipate a series of energetic shows this year.
The Dandelions will perform in Chi Heorot on September 18, their first performance of the fall session. Source: courtesy of Didi Tyree
The Dandelions will perform in Chi Heorot on September 18, their first performance of the fall session.
Source: courtesy of Didi Tyree
Connected by their brotherhood and an appreciation of classic rock, Theta Delta Chi’s resident band The Dandelions celebrate the catharsis of musicality with their performances. Named after a friend’s infamous Dandelion Wine, the band features Keeks George ’22 on guitar and vocals, guitarist Peter Chabot ’22, Cam Guage ’22 on saxophone and vocals, Nate Koidahl ’22 on drums and percussion, Connor Morris ’22 on piano and vocals and bassist TJ Bryan ’23.
The roots of the Dandelions go back to the fall of 2019, when the band members started meeting for impromptu jam sessions. Meeting twice a week to train and perform throughout the summer, the Dandelions have worked to find their sound, performing covers of The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Grateful Dead. More recently, The Dandelions have also started writing their own music.
Each member of the group has a distinct musical background. Morris and Guage are classically trained, while Koidahl has experience with drums in a rock and roll style. George and Chabot are both self-taught, inspired by The Grateful Dead and other classic rock bands. Members find playing with The Dandelions a new creative experience.
âWhen I played music growing up, I played classical saxophone and a lot of scripted music,â Guage said. “For the first time here, I’m offering different ways to play songs and I’m looking to be inspired by what other people around me want to play, rather than just reading sheet music.”
The group’s first official performance was at Whaleback Mountain on June 1.
âEverything worked so well,â said Chabot. ” It was the first time [since the pandemic started] that we were in a safe place for COVID where people could dance and have fun without any repercussions. ”
While The Dandelions had performed in small settings before, in Whaleback they had the opportunity to perform live in front of a crowd.
âYou don’t really realize how much fun you are having until you bring the others in and see them horny and dancing,â Guage said. âIt’s a whole new level of confirmation that what we’re doing is working. “
With COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, The Dandelions eagerly awaits a series of performances in front of a live audience. However, the members said they also enjoy the freedom to play recreationally for a few or even for themselves.
âIt’s actually really fun to play for us too, no matter how many people come in,â said George. “I remember the last time we played people started to leave and we were deciding whether or not to play more songs or just leave. [too] and we ended up playing for another hour.
The Dandelions aim to honor iconic rock classics like “Caravan” by Van Morrison and “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones. According to the band members, they hope to expand their set list with other crowd-pleasing people, varying the genres as they broaden their previous focus on Grateful Dead covers.
Fans of The Dandelions are eagerly awaiting the upcoming performances.
âI couldn’t be more excited to hear the returning members bring the juice in what I hope will be one of many performances this year,â said Sam Hesler ’22. âPeter Chabot even promised me a guitar solo which, if all goes well, could end up in a crowd surge.
The Dandelions, who plan to perform often over the next few terms, have begun the process of creating a brand for themselves based on the image of the yellow dandelion: fans of the group can be identified on campus by their bright yellow shirts.
âOne of my favorite Grateful Dead lyrics is ‘the sky was yellow and the sun was blue,’â said George. “So it looks good with the yellow t-shirt.”
Selling dandelion-yellow merchandise, playing soft sounds at various social events on campus, and frequently promoting their music on social media, The Dandelions want to forge a unique identity as a laid-back humorous band.
To help focus on musical creation and enhance the image of the band, TDX member Charlie Little ’22 took on the role of band manager.
“We try as much as possible to do [the band] not having to deal with social issues [media], the media or other pressures that could get in the way of music, âLittle said.
Aiming to transform The Dandelions into a permanent facility on campus, the band members hope that incoming classes of their fraternity will pick up the instruments and replace the five graduating members.
âLast year we got two dandelion degrees and this year we’ll get five,â Guage said. “We hope to find people to put on instruments this year – I would like to keep him alive.”
The other members agree that the continued success of the group will depend not only on expanding their fan base, but also passing the baton on to the next generation.
âHopefully we can pass it on to the subclasses after we graduate,â said George.
Although they have become more structured in recent years, The Dandelions seek to maintain their relaxed style, hoping to create a carefree environment for their performances, surrounded by cornhole and spikeball. The group considered recording performances, but previous attempts were unsuccessful.
âThis time of playing music is not going to be changed whether it’s recorded or not,â Guage said. âWhile it’s cool to have it to share with other people, at the end of the day it’s just not as important as it is right now. “