Adventure Dog to open for SpringFest


Patrick Langlois

Winner of UVM Program Board’s Battle of the Bands, Adventure Dog performed March 24 at Nectars on Main Street. The band will open for Playboy Carti at this year’s SpringFest April 28.

Eleanor Webster, Staff Writer

Wires snaked around the feet of the band as they walked into their rehearsal space, a chaotic basement littered with craft beer cans, amps and drum kits.

Amps were pulled up to sit on as senior Andrew Tonra, guitarist and vocalist of Adventure Dog, began to speak.

Adventure Dog won UVM Program Board’s Battle of the Bands, held at Nectar’s March 24. The band competed to be the opener for SpringFest, UVM’s annual spring concert.

The band scored highest in the three categories: crowd reaction, stage presence and musicianship, said sophomore Taylor Magda, UPB concert committee chair.

“Adventure Dog checked off all the boxes,” she said.

The  band will open for SpringFest’s headliner, Playboi Carti.  

“A lot of our shows have a set list written down but sometimes we’ll sort of jump around, but for SpringFest we’ll come as prepared as ever,” senior keyboardist Adam Schini said.

The all-senior five-piece band  consists of tenor saxophonist Derek Dykstra, keyboardist and trumpet player Schini, guitarist and lead vocalist Tonra, drummer Will Maschick and bass player Cody Grimm.

Tonra said that he and Schini have been playing guitar and living together since their first year at UVM. They began writing songs together. The group expanded further with Dykstra, Grimm and Maschick.

The band started off small, playing some basement shows,  and eventually playing some downtown venues, Tonra said.

The band was named after “Little Joe Tazio; Adventure Dog” Tonra’s girlfriend’s caramel-colored mutt.

“We’ve really been centered around rock and funk, a little bit of soul music,” Tonra said. “There’s this little thing I like to say. We are ‘rock and roll with a funky soul.’”

When everything goes right the band sounds like a groovy ‘70s rock band,  he said.

“In one of our first Facebook reactions, we were described as ‘If Steely Dan and Green Day had a baby,’” Dykstra said.

The band is also booked for Tumble Down Festival this summer at Burlington Waterfront Park. The two-day festival will take place July 27 and 28. Adventure Dog is scheduled to play at 4 p.m. July 27.

“We’re very excited,” Tonra said. “Getting booked for something like that gives me so much inspiration to be as good as I can be. It’s a really good opportunity for us.”

Adventure Dog has an EP in production. It will be available this summer on Spotify and Apple Music.

SpringFest will take place at 2 p.m. April 28. UVM students can purchase tickets in advance online at for $10.