Brandon Dasso and The Great Citizens


Dorian Chase, News Co-Editor and Production

The guitar. It is his “passion”, his “hobby”, his “everything.” It’s how he expresses himself by practicing and listening to music, as well as helping others express how they feel through this musical medium. Brandon Dasso is an 18-year-old SHS senior.  You may know Brandon as the kid who rocked the national anthem, Hendrix-style, at the most recent pep assembly on October 20th. “It was a rush,” he said about playing in front of the school. He also said that all of his energy went into playing the song, and because of that, he was drained after.  His favorite part of playing with the choir was when the notes matched up exactly. Even though he made a mistake or two, he learned a long time ago that, “powering through the mistakes you make makes you a better musician.”

His band, The Great Citizens, played at The Rock on November 4th, one of Tucson’s primary musical venues. The Great Citizens is comprised of his brother, Shane Dasso, on rhythm guitar, Sahuaro senior Gabriel Manriquez on the bass, and freshman Dylan Gerhart on the drums. Before the concert, Brandon said he was “insanely excited to be on the stage that so many icons have stood on.” Many of the bands that have played at The Rock inspired Brandon as a musician, even writing a number of songs based on how they made him feel. This was their first concert at a real venue, and Brandon was dying of anticipation. The lights, the stage, the crowd.  Prior to the show, Brandon has said, “Even if the crowd is only thirty people, I’ll play like it’s three hundred.” And play, he did.

Of playing at The Rock, Brandon said, “All my nerves went away right when we started; it was really awesome.” The Rock asked for his contact information so they could get in touch when they need a band to play. Brandon is hoping he and The Great Citizens can open for Sleeping With Sirens in December. This was Brandon’s biggest turnout for a concert yet, with around fifty people in the crowd. Three bands now want to work with Brandon, and he hopes that this is the beginning for a long and popular career as a band. Despite Gabe’s string breaking as soon as the show started, the band played through it, and the concert was filled with energy and was played masterfully. He believes that this concert strengthened the band’s bond with one another, showing them what it’s like to play on a real stage in front of a crowd of people. Brandon will be playing again at The Rock as a stand-in for a guitarist in another band on the 25th of this month. For more information about Brandon’s next concert, click here. Here is a link for a video of Brandon playing the Star Spangled Banner, and here is one for the first three songs from his concert at The Rock, as well as a link to his YouTube channel.