OH MY GOSH, what a day True North had Thursday at the first day of the Country Stampede! The band departed Valley Falls around 10 AM, dropped by Garrett’s in Holton to re-arrange vehicles/ seating, then headed to Manhattan. We had the band, Special K and a few extra crewmembers to assist with the day! It was a great drive caravanning with two vehicles and equipment truck courtesy of Briggs Auto Group. It would have been more entertaining for all if the band had a bus so everyone would be together for the trip…definitely next year!
It was not terribly busy when we first arrived at the Stampede; there was loads of activity within the grounds and around the Main Stage. Amazing how well VIP parking passes work; the band had no trouble driving our vehicles right back behind the Main Stage. The stage managers, Ken & Chris, were absolutely fantastic to work with! Each was informative, answered questions, had a big crew of staff to help load the gear onto stage and made it relatively easy to get set up for the first Main Stage performance, by True North, at the Stampede. After we got our “stage legs,” everyone was busy setting up equipment, tuning instruments, taking photos of the stage, Jumbo-Tron and generally soaking up as much of the experience as possible.
I was in high coordination mode making connections with the Production and Merchandise Staff. Each group was fantastic. Although every Manager had numerous commitments and the walky-talky was blaring requests, each took the time to speak with me, introduce me to everyone who I needed to know, get the band fed and otherwise, well taken care of with dressing rooms and extra-cold water! Lori, Production Office Manager, was AWESOME in helping me out and getting me connected with all parties I needed to speak with. Lori even met the band and stage crew later in the day as we were grabbing a quick bite after sound-check.
I also connected with 94.5 Country’s Amber Rome and Keith Montgomery and WIBW’s Melissa Brunner to ensure True North had live interview times on Radio and TV for the band and myself. Gentlemen from the Topeka Capitol Journal & Manhattan Mercury interviewed Gary and I about True North and what it was like to perform at the Country Stampede. The band has several additional radio and TV spots set up for Saturday post Main Stage performance.
If you missed True North at the Stampede, could not attend or had to work, you can catch all the press about True North at the following links below. We will have more footage to share post Saturday’s performance.
We had a blast in the studios recording “Almost Tried” and “Promised Land.” You can see photos at Flicr and several hilarious shots of Gary as News Anchor, Special K Reporting & Garrett & Brian attempting to do the weather.
If you watch the interview, will see I am holding the winner’s Trophy from 94.5..looks like a CMA Award, sweet!
The band had a variety of media individuals inquire if True North was “nervous” or had jitters about being on the Main Stage. True North has played equitable venues at the NE State Fair & Des Moines Arts Festival, but not as big of a PA/ Stage set up as the Stampede. The band is musically very “tight” and well rehearsed, I think it was more the energy and simply being there which was amazing for the guys versus nerves. Collectively, the band was thankful for a “test-run” Main Stage, we had a few small sound issues and technical glitches, which is to be expected in any new situation. Now, we have a game plan for Saturday, kicking set-list and above all, we plan to have as much fun as possible being celebrity Rock Stars at the Stampede!
True North will be in the Artist Merchandise Tent, Stage Right (facing stage) directly after Saturday’s, 1-2 PM performance on the Main Stage. We will be signing autographs, CD’s and selling Tees! Come see the band after the show and celebrate with True North and our fans. You might see us hanging out with Briggs Auto later Saturday afternoon too.