The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

John Michael Montgomery Caps off NEMT Fair


August 8, 2018

Kirk Willie / For the Courier

Organizers and volunteers pose for a photo with John Michael Montgomery before the concert. Back row, left to right: Gregg Hunter, Rob Brunelle, Rocky Thompson, Tyler Malnaa, Brenner Flaten, and Dillon Koski. Front row, left to right: Haylie Shipp, Erin Aune, John Michael Montgomery, Lisa Koski, Josh Sillerud, Brittni Cromwell and LeeAnn Walls.

John Michael Montgomery promised concert-goers his hits and the chance to show off their singing abilities. And Kentucky-born star delivered on both. The man knows his audience, crooning his "1900s" ballads, and drawing appreciative cheers from the crowd when paying homage to military members with his hit, Letters From Home.

Montgomery gave the crowd what they wanted, working his way through his number one hits. From I Love the Way You Love Me to I Swear to the more upbeat Be My Baby Tonight, the crowd joined in.

Capping off the playlist was Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident). True to his word, Montgomery offered the crowd their chance to sing along and fans happily obliged him, belting out the chorus over and over.

An often overlooked benefit to seeing a performer later in their career is being able to appreciate how an artist has grown over time. Age and experience lent depth to Montgomery's performance. The star himself spoke of how one of his better known songs, Rope the Moon, came to mean so much more to him after becoming a father. And during his encore, Montgomery showed off some guitar skills fans may not have been expecting, riffing some classic rock tunes.

Fans from back in the day to young concertgoers appreciated having a quality concert to bring a brilliant end to a fun-filled fair which already has people looking forward to next year's event. Jessica Nickels said,"It was exciting to see one of my longtime favorites in my hometown. He played all his older hits which was awesome! Overall, I was happy to see so much support for this year's concert so hopefully next year will be even better!"

Dylon Murch, 9, was lucky enough to meet the star backstage prior to the show where the star autographed her T-shirt. "He was amazing! He sang a lot of great songs. His songs were very good to dance to. He's very nice. He's an amazing singer and has a great band." Josh Sillerud volunteered at the concert and was also impressed, "I think the concert was a great success. October Road and John Michael Montgomery played great shows."

Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Executive Director Lisa Koski was pleased with the turnout and support for the show. With over 17,000 in ticket sales and still counting, the Chamber did turn a bit of profit to be put towards next year's event. She said, "We want to spend more next year, to keep improving the entertainment. But it costs money. Bigger entertainment means more cost of tickets."

Noting that, "It's not cheap to get good artists here," Koski laid out the expenses for this year's show: $30,000 for Montgomery with another $3,000 to the agency. Lights, sound and stage cost $8,500 and October Road was paid $4,000. An additional $10,000 was spent on advertising, helped along with a $5,000 grant from Missouri River Country and TBID chipping in $3,000. Koski remarked that volunteers who spend all day at the fairgrounds to help make the event happen, are invaluable, "If we had to pay for the 50-some volunteers, it would be hard to make a profit."

With the Chamber, Milk River Motorsports, the Glasgow Rodeo Committee and KLTZ/Mix-93 supplying the original seed money and majority of the manpower, Koski points out that they are finally seeing money to invest back for future shows. Haylie Shipp added that, "Since resurrecting the concert in 2016, we've been able to double our attendance. Ticket sales have covered costs and growth will continue as long as that support remains."

Sillerud seconds this sentiment, "I honestly love to volunteer at events like these. We have such an awesome team at the Chamber, and adding Milk River Motorsports, NE Montana Fair Board, Rodeo Board, and a ton of individuals that help us out with our other events made the night go very smooth. Without the volunteers, these events would not happen. Long day, a ton of work by many was more than worth the reward in the end!'

Attendees and organizers were not the only ones offering appreciation. Sheriff Vern Buerkle was also pleased with this year's fair, noting there were only minimal problems this year, "We appreciate the people of Valley County. It was a good crowd in numerous ways."


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