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