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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Bermuda Search Party returns to Dartmouth for Green Key

Indie-pop band Bermuda Search Party — formerly known as The Q-Tip Bandits — came to campus for the third time to play Green Key @ Collis.

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On May 18, indie-pop band Bermuda Search Party returned to campus for the third time to play Green Key @ Collis — an annual Collis Governing Board program with live music on the Collis Center porch, activities and free food. Formerly known as The Q-Tip Bandits, the Boston-based group brought a bright and playful sound to the Collis porch.

The concert featured Claire Davis on vocals and bass, Hoyt Parquet on trombone, Leo Son on vocals and lead-guitar, Macklin Tucker on both trumpet and keyboard and a guest drummer. Bermuda Search Party previously performed at Dartmouth during Green Key 2023 and at the Collis Center’s Collis Kickoff event in fall 2023.

“The show was made by young fun people, for young fun people,” concert attendee Naniko Kakonashvili ’27 said.

The concert — which featured original songs by the band — opened on an upbeat note with “Chasing Cars.” The first song was followed by “Asking for a Friend,” a new song Davis said was set to come out on May 24. As the set continued, Davis sang the nostalgic “July” and the funky, slightly edgy “Lifeline.” The concert closed with the wonder-filled “Willow,” the band’s most listened to song on Spotify and Apple Music.

Evalynn Bogusz ’27 said she particularly liked the instrumental parts of songs such as “Chasing Cars” and “July.” She said she “loved” the “sound” of the band, especially the trumpet and trombone combination.

“I wasn’t expecting to be dancing for the whole set,” Bogusz said.

Toward the end of the concert, Bermuda Search Party led the audience in a “scream of release.” Everyone in the band and most of the audience shouted simultaneously as a form of catharsis, before the band broke into a high-energy jam.

“My favorite part of the concert was the scream,” Kakonashvili said. “It was honestly one of the most relieving, fun experiences throughout Green Key.”

After the concert, the band collectively agreed that the show went well.

“I thought tonight was fantastic,” Tucker said. “I’m glad we finally got to play outside. [It was a] really great vibe.”

Davis added that the “energy is always incredible” at Dartmouth and that it was “fun to see familiar faces.”

Son said his favorite songs from the concert were “Said and Done” and “Olivia” because he remembered playing them at Collis Kickoff last fall. The group said they always “have fun” playing at Dartmouth.

“It was fantastic,” Son said. “I feel like Dartmouth has a very special energy to it. I forget that it’s an Ivy League school every time we pull up because you guys are just so ready to party.”

Son added that he feels a “cool balance of energies” whenever he comes to campus.

“I’m just like, ‘That dude is going to be a brain surgeon. That person, probably going to cure cancer,’” he said. “‘But they’re rocking out with us right now.’”

One year ago, when the band started getting label attention under the name The Q-Tip Bandits, Son said their lawyer was “very adamant” that Procter and Gamble, which owns the copyright for Q-Tips Cotton Swabs, was “most likely” going to sue them. In order to save money and avoid “headaches” down the road, the group selected their new name, Bermuda Search Party, from a list of more than 200 options, according to Son.

“Something ‘search party’ was always at the top of the list,” Son said. “‘Search party’ fits the vibe of the band — we’re out here looking for ourselves, looking for each other.”

The group’s new name captures the childlike wonder that Bermuda Search Party brings to their music, Davis said. She noted that the Bermuda Triangle is a formative childhood mystery for many people that sparks “curiosity about the unknown.”

“It’s a place where things notoriously get lost, so why not go there looking for things?” Son added.

Both Bogusz and Kakonashvili said the band was very “open” to greeting and spending time with students. According to Kakonashvili, Son came and sat with her and other fans after the show, and they had a “nice conversation.” 

“It’s neat how invested they are in making personal connections,” Bogusz said. “They were really open and friendly. We got to talk with all the members of the band, and that was a lot of fun. They were all very personable.”

When asked whether they would like to come back to Dartmouth soon, Son, Davis and Tucker responded with an adamant “yes.”