A lit­tle bit Coun­try… …A lit­tle bit Rock and Roll

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Terri Hux­ley

The Bad­lands Amp was busy all week­end as fa­mous coun­try mu­sic artist John Michael Mont­gomery, left, played to a nearly full house on Fri­day, Au­gust 25, with Char­lie Ma­jor as open­ing act. On Satur­day night, Hey Romeo, cen­tre, fea­tur­ing Drumheller’s Rob Shapiro opened for rock leg­end Randy Bach­man, right.

Mu­sic fans from far and wide flocked to the Cana­dian Bad­lands Pas­sion Play site on Au­gust 25 and 26 as Char­lie Ma­jor opened for coun­try leg­end John Michael Mont­gomery on Fri­day night and on Satur­day, Juno award win­ning band Hey Romeo opened for Randy Bach­man, for­mer mem­ber of The Guess Who.

“As far as ev­ery sin­gle fac­tor other than the fi­nances, we knocked it out of the park,” said Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Vance Neu­dorf. “Peo­ple had so much fun, they en­joyed the con­certs and peo­ple came from all over the place.”

The venue def­i­nitely has its perks as the sound is in­com­pa­ra­ble to larger cen­tres.

“It’s be­cause the acous­tics are phe­nom­e­nal,” ex­plained Neu­dorf. “You can whisper on that stage and be heard at the back so the sound of the mu­sic go­ing out and then the sound of the au­di­ence re­flect­ing back to the singers, they love it. It’s so in­ti­mate, and won­der­ful and smaller than go­ing to a big con­cert in the Sad­dle­dome.”

The Pas­sion Play also takes pride in its val­ues and unique venue. John Michael Mont­gomery even com­mented on it.

“He said ‘This is pure magic, this is a mag­i­cal spot’ and it is,” said Neu­dorf.

The Pas­sion Play also fo­cuses on com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and ac­cept­ing help from vol­un­teers.

“We don’t even have to pay th­ese peo­ple they just say they want to come and I want to be part of this.”

A large mis­con­cep­tion about the Pas- sion Play is that the area is sim­ply used for that at­trac­tion. Bring­ing in th­ese con­certs was one way of en­gag­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity and uti­liz­ing the space. Neu­dorf hopes that with this, the com­mu­nity will come to re­al­ize its po­ten­tial.

“I don’t think peo­ple un­der­stand that the Pas­sion Play orig­i­nated as an arts or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Neu­dorf pointed out. “We are con­sid­er­ably broader than that for sure.” Both con­certs held over 1,000 peo­ple which helped the prop­erty break even.

“A week­end of con­certs like that is a fairly ex­pen­sive propo­si­tion,” said Neu­dorf. “The big stages and the rest of it – that’s ex­pen­sive stuff.”

Many more con­certs are lined up be­fore win­ter set­tles in.

“We’ve got some other things up our sleeves that we can’t an­nounce yet but I think they are go­ing to be stel­lar. In fact, I think they are world class, one of them is com­ing to us from Europe.”

mailphoto by Terri Hux­ley

Healthy crowds of mu­sic fans, both lo­cal and from out of town came out to en­joy great con­certs at the Bad­lands Amp. On Fri­day, John Michael Mont­gomery per­formed with Char­lie Ma­jor as its open­ing act. Then on Satur­day night, Hey Romeo and Randy Bach­man took to the stage.

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