Dangerboy: Band of Professors Performs at Barge

Three-man band Dangerboy, with lead singer Professor of Mathematics Aaron Robertson on guitar, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Frank Frey on bass and Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology Scott Kraly on drums, have fond memories of the old days.

But while they may have begun as an alternative rock and punk band in the early 2000s, they are definitely not behind on the times. From their intro song, a punk-influenced cover of “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, to their rock-based cover of “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus, the band hit all the latest popular songs without the peppiness.

The band mixed in some older hits – Sublime’s “Santeria” (1996), Violent Femmes’s “Blister in the Sun” (1983) – and, to keep to a longstanding tradition, they played “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis in honor of the men’s hockey team win. They were also happy to take requests; even if they don’t know the song, they promise to learn it for their next performance.

It’s no surprise the group has gotten along so well for so long. After all, they have very similar interests: at Colgate, Robertson, Frey and Kraly are all professors in the natural sciences and mathematics distribution.

And that doesn’t cover their shared enjoyment of performance or the friendly group dynamic that extends to the audience.

            “I’m old enough to be their father,” Kraly said of his place in the band.

            “Grandfather!” Robertson said, interjecting.

            “I’d like to play more classic rock,” Kraly went on to say.

But the whole band agrees that what they’d like most of all is something very different.

            “We were going to learn a Taylor Swift song, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.’ That didn’t work out, though we played it better than her,” Kraly said.

            “My voice didn’t go that high!” Robertson said.

            “We used to have students sing with us. We’re still open to that,” Frey said hopefully.

            They’ve successfully covered Miley Cyrus (“Party in the U.S.A.”) without a girl in the band, but in what they called their heyday – around 2004 to 2009 – they had lots of student participation.

They have enough energy, musical talent and amps to fill Donovan’s Pub with their own angst-filled version of “All the Lonely People” by The Beatles, to applause from a loyal crowd. Yet Dangerboy still misses when they would collaborate with on-campus a cappella groups for long nights with five bands and a variety of musical genres. As much enthusiasm as they put into Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” they play it for the crowd, not themselves, and they’d love to share the spotlight.