Jeremey Vreeken – Staff Writer
Loud music, bright lights and piles of people on couches and chairs filled 55th Avenue on Saturday, March 21, as Dordt’s newest musical sensation, Willis, played their debut concert.
The band, consisting of Dordt juniors Dylan Hoekstra and Michael Van Dixhoorn and community members David Van Dixhoorn and Matt Vande Kieft, played about an hour and a half’s worth of cover versions of popular rock and pop songs.
According to Hoekstra, the band’s name was the result of a last minute decision.
“I brought up the name ‘Willis’ and Matt, David and Michael loved it,” said Hoekstra. “I told them it was a joke, but they thought it was a good name, so it just stuck, I guess.”
Leading the band on vocals, Hoekstra sang through songs originally performed by several popular groups ranging from Muse to The Killers to Blink 182. Michael Van Dixhoorn played lead guitar. David, Michael’s younger brother, played drums, and Matt Vande Kieft rounded out the group on bass guitar.
The group was well-received by an enthusiastic crowd of friends and fellow students. Despite the lengthy set, the venue stayed full throughout the entire show. Hoekstra expressed gratitude to the audience for sticking with them through their first live performance. Several students thought the show went well.
“It was fun to see friends perform,” said freshman Ross Van Gaalen, who has known the members of Willis most of his life. “I enjoyed watching the show and jamming out.”
Hoekstra commented that the future of Willis is unknown, but looks hopeful.
“There might be more shows in the future,” said Hoekstra, “but who knows, it’s a surprise.”
Where future set lists are concerned, Hoekstra mentioned that he hoped to cover some more well-known songs, as well as diversify the types of bands whose songs they play. A majority of the songs Willis performed were originally performed by the English rock group Muse, a band that members of Willis identified as one of their biggest musical influences.
Hoekstra mentioned that he would be open to expanding the group by adding other members to the band.
“We wouldn’t mind maybe a keyboardist or maybe another guitarist,” said Hoekstra.
The band felt positive about their performance and was excited that so many people decided to attend the show.
“I think it went pretty good,” said Hoekstra. “It was our first time playing together, so obviously it was not perfect, but yeah, it all went pretty well.”