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Six hours of song at Ivies Main Quad Day

May 6, 2022

Cora Dow
STRANGERS NO MORE: Mistaken for Strangers was the first band to take the stage at the Ivies Main Quad Day, in which six bands performed. The performances were not limited to solely student bands, but a professor-led band, Racer X, also serenaded students with classics like Toto’s “Africa.”

While this year’s Ivies celebration differedfrom those of past years in many ways, live music remained an integral part of the festivities. This past Saturday, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) organized six hours of band performances held on the Museum steps.

The concerts began at noon with Mother Earth and the Sapiens and ran until 6 p.m., finally closing with Bowdoin student band Uncommon Good.

Hundreds of students flowed in and out of the quad throughout the day, laying in the grass, sampling food trucks and dancing, serenaded all the while by the six bands on the Quad.

The participation was not limited to student bands. At 3:30 p.m., Racer X, an all-faculty band, took the stage. The group has played a number of gigs on and off campus since it formed in 2003, including during past Ivies weekends, when they historically performed on Thursday.

“For a while there, in the summers, we would play the Casco Bay cruise lines,” Professor of Music Vineet Shende said. “In our heyday, when we were playing regularly on campus, students who would then later get married would often call us up to play their weddings. So we’ve traveled to Vermont, New Hampshire [and] down to Massachusetts to play weddings.”

Associate Professor of English Aaron Kitch and Shende are both members of Racer X. They hope that the event on the Main Quad will continue to be part of Ivies and praised the bands they played alongside.

“I loved the energy of the bands,” Kitch said. “I think it should be a new tradition to have the outdoor event and to feature student performances.”

Racer X played an hour-long set, including “Toto” by Africa and “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, while their students and peers enthusiastically danced along on the quad.

In the past, the College-funded Spring Concert fell during Ivies weekend, but this year administration opted to hold the concert earlier in April.

“I think during Ivies weekend there’s less attendance at the concerts because there’s so much going on anyway, so why are we paying money [to hire an artist]?” Nailah Khoory ’22, who helped plan the concerts, said. “I thought the IDK concert was very well-attended, so I thought that worked.”

Khoory explained that on Ivies weekend, students tend to want to be outside, so planners had that trend in mind when planning the Saturday concert.

“I hope that because it went so well this year that it continues … and that it’s able to be rebuilt as a tradition,” Khoory said.


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