By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

Not Hard to Say: Fair Finale a Hit

32 Below and Sawyer Brown Rule the Stage


August 7, 2019

Gwendolyne Honrud / The Courier

Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard (c) enjoys applause from the crowd after he stole the mic for a breakout performance as Sawyer Brown closed out the Northeast Montana Fair 2019 on Saturday, Aug. 3.

On a clear night closing out the Northeast Montana Fair Aug. 3, the stars were center stage in front of the grandstands.

Warming up the crowd was 32 Below, from Fargo, N.D. The band, who has shared a stage with country music legends like Little Big Town, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Charlie Daniels, played a variety of tunes from covering well-known hits to their own original music like Sea of Beer Cans.

The energetic opening act lured the crowd closer to the stage, giving away band swag and priming the arena for the headliners. Tyler Steinle, of 32 Below, said, "Middle of Nowhere, but a destination for a hot and sweaty, wild time. We had quite the adventure on the hottest day of the summer, at least for us. Thank you for showing up and shaking your butts!"

Concert-goers Lindsey Peterson and Tisa Seiler were big fans of the opening act and the main show. "32 Below was a great crowd pleaser," Seiler said. "I hope to see them again."

"Super high energy from the moment the gates opened till the last song of the night," Peterson said. Seiler echoed that sentiment, "The energy was high in the whole crowd."

Sawyer Brown came ready to play for a crowd gathered in the dusty rodeo ring and and seated comfortably under the shade of the grandstand. Leading off with the uptempo The Boys and Me, lead singer Mark Miller showed off some decidedly non-country dance steps. Seiler appreciated the performance, "The Sawyer Brown band was full of edgy moves and his voice sounded great."

Over the nearly hour-and-a-half set, the band played favorites and hits from their 38-year career. Miller "traveled back in time" to 1983 to recount the band's first big break, an appearance on Star Search, and launched into a performance of the band's first song, from their self-titled first album, Leona. Peterson enthused, "After all the years together, they still have it!"

As the sun went down, the band kept traveling down memory lane on The Dirt Road. Concert goers raised their beers (and White Claws), sang along, and country-ed out. Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard, stole the mic and the spotlight, wowing the crowd with his performance out from behind the keyboards.

The group did not stick to their own music, but also treated audience members to a number of covers, including an Alabama number they were asked to perform at that band's introduction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Saving the best for last, Sawyer Brown broke into The Race is On as the penultimate performance under the stage lights. To end the night, and the fair, the band blasted their anthem song, Some Girls Do, proving that while some girls may not like boys like them, many girls, and several guys, in Northeast Montana do.

For audience members who were not ready to end the evening or the week, 32 Below set up in the beer gardens for a post-show show. According to Peterson, "32 Below played every genre of music, including their own."

Music fans who missed the show and Seiler, will be pleased to hear the group loved the energy Glasgow brought and that they would love to come back again. The band told the Courier, "The fair staff were super helpful, kind, and know how to throw a party! We'll hopefully see you next year."

"We had a great turnout, roughly 1,600 tickets sold!" raved Josh Sillerud, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture president. "I was very happy with the outcome of the event, and can't wait to go back to the drawing board for next year's Fair Concert!"


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