REO Speedwagon – Shellabration 2011

If standing in the front row and meeting REO Speedwagon last summer was an incredible experience, then words will not be able describe my experience at this year’s Shellabration event in Fort Dodge, IA. However, with the help of some pictures, I will try to arrange words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into a way of expressing the amazing experience of building the stage and working security for the concert.

It all started on Friday at 8AM as many volunteers, including four friends and myself, took an empty Oleson Park Bandshell and created a large covered stage, decked out with your typical concert lighting and sound system. Saturday morning we helped load in REO Speedwagon’s equipment. From drums and risers, to guitars, amps, and Neal Doughty’s Hammond organ, we helped set up all of this equipment.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Oleson Park Bandshell: Friday Morning

Friday morning at 9:30

Oleson Park Bandshell: Saturday afternoon

Saturday afternoon at 3

Nearly 14 hours on Friday and several more on Saturday went into creating this event on-site, not including the many months of work that went on behind the scenes to organize personnel, advertisers, etc.

Rain was in the forecast for the night, but luckily for us, Mother Nature was an REO Speedwagon fan on this night as it turned out to be a beautiful night for a rock concert. The gates opened at 5:30 Saturday evening, and the local band Saucy Jack kicked off the show at 6 and HipKnosis took the stage around 7:30, and REO finally a little after 9:20.

REO in Fort Dodge

REO Speedwagon performing their 1981 #1 single, "Keep On Lovin' you"

REO Speedwagon played for about an hour and a half. Their set-list began with six songs from their chart topping 1981 album, Hi Infidelity, as they are celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the bands rise to stardom. “Don’t Let Him Go” was their opener, followed by their first #1 hit single “Keep On Lovin’ You,” “In Your Letter,” “Someone Tonight,” “Tough Guys,” and “Take it on the Run.” After wrapping up the Hi Infidelity nostalgia, they busted out other big hits including “Keep Pushin,” “Golden Country,” and their second #1 smash hit “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” 1970s rock songs “Son of a Poor Man” and “Like You Do” came next in the setlist, followed by “Time for Me to Fly,” “Back on the Road Again,” and my personal favorite “Roll With the Changes.” The band left the stage after rolling with the changes, only to come back for an encore including “Ridin’ the Storm Out” and their closer “157 Riverside Avenue.”

Anyone at the concert could have told you how the concert itself was, but not many experienced all I did before the concert and after. It was extremely neat to see exactly how much work goes into preparing for a concert this size, and we were rewarded after the show. Along with the four friends I brought, we all had the chance to meet the band backstage after the show for pictures and autographs. I had the chance to meet the band last August at the Iowa State Fair, but it was cool to see my friends have the same opportunity this time.

Words can only go so far in describing exactly what I had the chance to do, so here are several pictures from the two day extravaganza.

Our crew: Brant, Michael, Stevie, Aaron, and me

Starting to unload REO's equipment

Neal Doughty's Hammond Organ and keyboards

Kevin Cronin's guitars

Bruce Hall's bass picks

REO's tour bus, or THE REO Speedwagon

Kevin Cronin enjoying some HipKnosis

Kevin Cronin and Dave Amato

Imagine standing on stage with your all-time favorite band. Well, for half the concert, I was pretty dang close.

REO's bassist, Bruce Hall

Here I am standing with Kevin Cronin, REO's lead singer

If you want to see all of my pictures from Shellabration 2011, check them out on Facebook.

A lot of work went into getting this event off the ground (literally), but in the end, it was completely worth it. Before, during, and after the concert all had something special about them, and this will be a weekend I’ll remember forever.

Shellabration 2011 was a huge success as almost 6000 people made it to the concert, practically tying it with their previous record set back in 2005 when the Beach Boys were headlining. 30 years after striking gold with Hi Infidelity, REO Speedwagon is still rocking, and are still extremely good at it. I’ve heard nothing but good things from the concert, but that’s very common for an REO show.

My 2011 REO Speedwagon experience is in the books and I’ve now seen them three times, met them twice, and worked with them once. At the rate they’re still going, I may very well get to add to those totals over the next few years.

This REO Speedwagon concert as a whole was amazing, and hopefully my words and pictures truly show how amazing of an experience this really was. Until next time, keep pushin’.

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My First Vlog

Now that spring break is over for me and I find myself sitting in my dorm room, I realized I’ve neglected my blog as of late. Just so I feel better about myself, I’m posting this blog now.

Over break, we finally got high speed internet at my house, and I felt that was a good reason to post a video blog from my basement bedroom about my basement bedroom. I posted it on Facebook last week, but now I’m posting it on here for the sake of posting something.

Without seeing my room, you probably know I’m a huge REO Speedwagon and NASCAR fan. After seeing this video, you will still know that I’m a huge fan of REO and NASCAR, it’s that simple. Anyway, here’s my first (of many, hopefully) vlog. Enjoy!

Wasn’t that just a wonderful way to spend 4 and a half minutes? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. It really wasn’t.

Summer 2010

Now that high school is in the rear view, I’ve got college to look forward to. However, there is that slight break in between. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always called that summer. Crazy, I know!

Anyway, I decided I’d take the opportunity to let you all in on some of my plans for my last summer before heading of to college. Three words can sum up my summer plans: Work. Music. Work.

Holding two part-time jobs and a volunteer/part-time/internship dealio on the side, you can see where the “work” part(s) come in. Putting in 30-40 hours or more combined at all three can sure add up to a lot of work time. But I figure, I might as well work all I can now, that way I can relax at the end of summer before moving.

My work schedule is not what you came here to read though, I’m guessing. What the heck is Nick Brincks doing this summer that could be considered somewhat exciting? Well I’m glad you asked and you have come to the right place.

Next week I will be venturing up to Sioux City to take part in a Junior Visit Day at the college I will be attending, Morningside. I will be on their “freshman panel” and we will talk about our college search and what made us make the decisions we did. I’ll be staying up there for a couple days so I can explore the city and have an idea of what I’m doing and what to do once I’m living up there.

Next Friday and one Saturday in July I will be singing at weddings. Ca-ching.

A friend of mine and I plan on hosting a few dances for people our age at least a couple times this summer. We’ve got music, equipment, and the desire, so why not make a little money doing so, right?

On July 30, I will be a part of Par-Tee 13, which is a huge golf outing put on by our radio station that I work at. While I won’t be golfing (which doesn’t bother me ONE BIT! I’m not a golfer. At all. Now mini golf, that’s another story), I will be broadcasting live from the patio of the Country Club, socializing with listeners, acting as hospitality, and my personal favorite – driving golf carts. I was one of the first there last year and one of the last to leave (by choice!) and I am stoked for it again this year. Hopefully the weather is as gorgeous this year.

And now for my favorite thing about this summer. Music.

On July 3rd, I’ll will be seeing Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad live in concert about an hour from my hometown. Along with several family members, I’ll be listening to some of the 70s and 80s classics “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “Sentimental Street,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” and Night Ranger’s most recognizable song “Sister Christian” (Be sure to follow Night Ranger’s drummer and lead vocalist Kelly Keagy on twitter). Some of GFR’s hits include “Locomotion” and “We’re An American Band.” While this show will be a great one, it doesn’t personally compare to the one just over a month and a half after this one.

When I found out that REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar were going to be at the Iowa State Fair on August 17th, I was pretty excited (to put it lightly). Tickets went on sale at 1oAM on April 24 and I had bought my row 10 tickets by 10:01. Check out my REO page for more info on them. Pat Benatar is one of the most successful female artists of all time with her numerous hits including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “We Belong,” “Love Is A Battlefield,” and “Heartbreaker.”

I had the opportunity to see REO last summer (that’s where the pictures above were taken) and that was easily the highlight of it. Luckily, I will have that same opportunity this summer! Wherever my summer plans take me, my twitter page will take you along if you’d like, so be sure to follow me! Also, I will be blogging about these concerts and post photos and videos so be sure to check back here. Or just follow me on twitter and I’ll tell you 🙂

Now if you’ll excuse me, two out of my three summer words are calling my name. Working tonight at A&W, tomorrow at Pizza Hut AND A&W, and then A&W on Saturday morning, you can see why music will certainly be the highlight of my summer. But working leads to money, which leads to fun and adventure, which I plan to have!