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Bowdoin student bands headline Nomad

February 2, 2024

Alex Spear
ALL BANDS ON DECK: Night Hawk's Colter Adams '24 leans into the crowd. The band's performance at Nomad with Far From Juno was the first to feature Bowdoin students at the venue.

Watch out, Bolos—Nomad has entered the Brunswick nightlife scene. In the first concert featuring Bowdoin students at the Fort Andross establishment, Night Hawk and Far From Juno performed covers and original music in Nomad’s theater space. The show drew a strong crowd, composed mainly of students, to eat pizza and watch the bands perform.

“[The show] was electric.… There is just a certain kind of energy that’s hard to replace when students do art for students, rather than it being a facilitated event,” Night Hawk guitarist and singer Colter Adams ’24 said. “It really hasn’t felt like that anywhere else on campus in the same way. It really felt like a snapshot of a quintessential college music experience.”

As the space filled with concertgoers moving and grooving to original music, patrons a few steps outside ordered pizza and grabbed seats in the fairy-light-filled restaurant. Audience member Iris Reyes ’26 thought Nomad’s venue and attitude was welcoming for students.

“I was very impressed with how Nomad set up everything for the performance. The sound was great,” Reyes said.

Far From Juno guitarist Jacob Goodman ’26 complimented the Nomad venue and staff.

“This might be the first Bowdoin show here, but it’s a great space. The staff is wonderful, the sound is good and people showed up,” Goodman said. “The venue is a great space, [Brunswick is] a great town. We were nervous about it before the show, if we would actually get the energy we wanted. But we did what we needed to, and I think it went pretty well.”

Adams coordinated with Senior Class President Melissa Su ’24 for Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) to pay for tickets for the first thirty Bowdoin students at the concert.

“I got a lot of positive feedback—people weren’t expecting the place to be so cool. Even though Nomad is a bit further down Maine Street, a lot of people seemed to be happy and excited and maybe even wanted more events at Nomad,” Su said. “There are obviously senior nights at Bolos, but those are closed off to [under-21] people.

While Adams is grateful for BSG supporting the event on short notice, he said he wishes the College had financially supported the event more so students did not have to pay for their tickets.

“Honestly, this kind of thing is just slept on at Bowdoin. There isn’t a lot of money or attention that goes into original music or student-led art outside of the academic apparatus, which I think is a shame because there are so many great artists and talented musicians in the community,” Adams said. “There were plenty of people who had to pay, who I don’t think necessarily should have had to, given how much money Bowdoin has to support an event like that.”

With recently-hired Events Coordinator Keith Carlon taking charge, Nomad has expanded its outreach to students and contributed more to Brunswick nightlife. Carlon initially reached out to Night Hawk frontman Peyton Semjen ’24 to play the event, and Semjen then asked Far From Juno to open the concert.

“[The event] was better than what we expected, especially with the weather [Friday],” Carlon said. “We use our website, social media and generally word of mouth to promote these events. I think the nice thing is that people are associating this place more with live music and events, so that just tells its own story.”

Adams said he appreciates the financial support that Nomad gave to the student bands playing—Bowdoin and off-campus venues, such as Bolos, do not usually pay student bands, according to Adams. He hopes that Nomad becomes a regular spot for student bands to perform original music and ultimately add to the creative scene in Brunswick.

“Nomad actually cares about its artists, which is something that is difficult to say about a lot of other institutions in this area as a whole,” Adams said. “Bolos pays its bands inconsistently and doesn’t do a good enough job enforcing tickets at the door…. Having a place that’s actually willing to take a risk on the arts paid off immensely, and I hope that more organizations in the Brunswick community and at Bowdoin see that and take note.”

After playing her first concert at Nomad, Far From Juno and Night Hawk drummer Courtney Burnett ’26 had nothing but praise for the venue.

“It was my first time even being here. I didn’t know this place existed until we got here,” Burnett said. “This is for real the spot. The venue is crazy—there is good pizza, good food, good drinks. It’s the new Bolos, but better.”

Looking forward, Su said that BSG hopes to collaborate more with local businesses for off-campus events.

“It’s been really fun to collaborate with Brunswick businesses…. I’ve been collaborating a lot with Bolos, and there is a new bar down Maine Street called Social Goose,” Su said. “Now Nomad is more on my radar because of how much people enjoyed it.”

Peyton Semjen ’24 is a member of the Bowdoin Orient.


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