After playing at the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, SD for three consecutive nights, Wayland departed for Iowa. They had opened for Scott Weiland, Vince Neil and JACKYL (Wayland is managed by JACKYL’s Jesse James Dupree). After that exciting week at Sturgis, Wayland then headed straight to Iowa to play two Zylstra Harley-Davidson-sponsored shows.
The first show was on Saturday, August 10, at the Zylstra Harley-Davidson dealership in Ames, for the dealer’s “Too Broke for Sturgis” event. The event included free food and beer, live music, sumo wrestling and the chance to win all access passes to Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary Celebration, featuring performances by Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and Kid Rock. Wayland hit the flatbed stage about 12:30 and rocked out with the crowd for a 1 ½ hour set, sweat dripping from each member as the sun shone on them. However, they were good sports about it, and didn’t let their energy wane.
Sunday, Wayland headed over to play a gig at The Sports Story Bar & Grill, located in Boone, a small community in Iowa. It’s a new venue, with Wayland playing one of the first shows there. Zylstra Harley-Davidson was also a sponsor of this event. Wayland again played a 1 ½ hour set, but this time the stage, sound and light accommodations were on a much grander scale. The venue had erected a large stage on top of their parking garage, its set-up worthy of being used in any high-profile, professionally run concert event. Wayland hit the stage about 8:30 PM, with the threat of rain looming. As they played, the surrounding sky seemed to be playing its own rock show, as bits of lightning flashed across the sky off in the distance.
At both shows, Wayland played all of the songs from their EP: Welcome To My Head, On My Knees, Nobody’s Perfect and Fire Down Below. In addition, they played several of their songs from their first self-titled album including She Lights It Up and Shopping For a Savior. And of course they threw in their newest single Reno (available on iTunes). However, at the Ames show they chose to leave the piano off the stage due to space issues, so they cut any songs using the piano from their set list.
The Boone show had a uniquely cohesive audience, where everyone seemed to equally enjoy every song. Wayland finished their set one song early at about 10 PM due to the impending storm, and they hopped quickly off the stage. Literally the minute they stepped off the stage a monsoon-worthy downpour occurred. The unity of the crowd was even more evident as fans rushed on the stage to help them get their gear safely to a drier spot. Fans, band members, the promoters and venue employees huddled together beneath the covered parking garage, furiously working to dry off the band’s equipment.
Wayland made an impression on this crowd. Now many of them are surely a “Wayland Warrior,” as the band’s signature shirts proclaim.
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