Where has 2015 gone? When I wrote this same article last year, I didn’t think that we’d surpass the expectations of 2014. So much has happened, we came we saw and we conquered. Let’s take a look back at the year that was 2015…
We have new faces among us. Earlier in 2015, we added Jacy and Taylor. Jacy is on our support staff and is a vital role to our little organization. Taylor came on as a new weekly co-host, and Trev, who was an original member, now is with us on a weekly basis. Big things are in store for 2016 with our new crew and cast members! We have the best crew and the thing that makes it great is every member puts in the work for the love of our local community and the music scene. What we do is 100% voluntary, and that what makes Lock N’ Load special.
In 2015, we started a grass-roots campaign, and successfully won our first (and hopefully more to come) Siouxland’s Choice Award for the “Best Locally Generated Website” from The Weekender. We had stiff competition but beat out all the other local news outlets. This award was such an honor for us at Lock N’ Load as we were able to top other local websites with only 2 years of experience. We were also honored to be asked to broadcast the 2015 Siouxland’s Choice Awards Show from the Chesterfield in March of 2015. This was just the tip of the iceberg for 2015.
Live streaming local music events became a large part of what we did in 2015. Working with The Chesterfield and Woods Unsigned, we streamed many events live on the web. Our first event was the Woods Unsigned “Six Rounds of Rock” show. With this event, we learned a lot about effectively capturing and streaming a great show using audio straight from the house system. We met some great bands like Ghostcat, John Roxborough, the B-Sides, Nimbus, Solstice on Fire and Fable the Figure along the way as well.
In April, we were fortunate enough to be a part of the 10th Annual Battle of the Bands. At this show, we saw the best of the best perform for the title of the best band in Siouxland and for a chance to play on the Second Stage at Saturday in the Park. Ghostcat won the title in 2015. It was not easy, as they had some great competition from Thick Mistress, Devour Once Dead, Premium Draft, Rural Aurora, Hammered, No. 7 Band, Dyslalia, Black Death Jet Set and The B-Sides.
In June, we held our first event ever! We hosted the first annual Cans for Bands. We chose the Mid-Town Community Center as the beneficiary for the donations that we received. At this great benefit show we saw a number of different acts, and every genre possible. We owe a huge thank you to Boss’s Pizza and Chicken, who donated food for both lunch and dinner during this all day event. Also a huge thank you to all of the performers we had on that day. Devour Once Dead, Ghostcat, The Villian Works, Black Death Jet Set, Jessie James, Rev, Big Bad Cash Band, Dyslalia, Equestrian Stormfront, John Roxborough, Valveeta, Travis Payne (One Of These Days Alice), Eboli and Jake Mersch with Cody Garwood. We raised over $600 and over 200 cans of food were donated for the center, their food pantry and their after school programs.
Later on in June, the great folks from Saturday in The Park’s Second Stage Committee reached out and asked us to be a part of the 25-year tradition. We brought you the live broadcast from SITP: Second Stage, on the 4th of July. We streamed the all-day event, running with a crew of four, outdoors in the hot summer heat. Then later the After Party that was held at The Chesterfield. It was great exposure for us, not only on a local level, but on a national level as well. We talked with, and saw some amazing acts that day. We were able to get a few minutes to sit down and talk to Manny Phesto (a rapper from Minnesota), We Be Lions (Omaha, Nebraska), Sophistafunk (New York) and local favorite Rev. We also saw legendary ska band Fishbone. Other acts included King Washington, Duenday and of course, Ghostcat and the final performance of The Truck Stop Mama’s.
In August, we had back-to-back nights of great acts. We brought you the Lock N’ Load Stage at Summer Solfest 2015. Hard rockers Arson City, from Omaha, brought their fictional world of crime and corruption to a near capacity crowd at The Chesterfield, where we all became citizens of Arson City. That night we also saw Dyslalia, Sol Fredo (Sioux Falls, SD), and local metal favorites, Left Astray, Fear The Broken, and Psychosober. The next night Sleep Signals from Minneapolis and Arms for Elephants from Mankato, Minnesota brought their Influences of Motion Tour. Solstice on Fire, Left Astray and In Danger of Falling put on one hell of a show also performing that night. The very next weekend we were a part of Wood’s Unsigned Band Roulette 2. This is a great event that pairs musicians that may have never played together, and they come together to compete against other bands. Closing out that night were the incredible and hard hitting City of The Weak from Minneapolis.
In October, we had the privilege to team up and help out our friends at Drumfest Sux, doing the recording and photography for Drumfest 2015. We got to meet and interview Youtube drumming sensation and the guest of honor Meytal Cohen. As well as got to see some of the best drummers in Siouxland go head-to-head in a number of different competitions.
In December, Sleep Signals came back to town and played our “Rock The Halls” event and co-headlined with Screaming For Silence. Regional support from Surveying the Dammed and Obesity added a nice touch to this powerful show. This was one great show, our friends at Fear the Broken and Devour Once Dead were able to definitely Rock the Halls at The Chesterfield.
With how busy we were, we ask ourselves, how did we ever pull off our regular Saturday night shows? Well, we managed to and have completed over 40 episodes during 2015. We had some great musicians and bands with us in our studio, some of them making multiple appearances. That list consists of:
Ghostcat, The B-Sides, The Gateway Drug, 35th and Taylor (Formerly November 35th), One of These Days Alice, Beauty Killed The Beast, The Buddha Cheese Band, No. 7 Band, Rev, Bridget Kruse, John Roxborough, Dyslalia, Gypsylover, Pets with Human Names, Emily Johnson Band, Black Death Jet Set, Villain Works, Roller Shop, Bloodcow, Kelly Quinn Band, Eboli, Jon Jubilee, Fear The Broken, Valveeta, Jessie James, Left Astray, City of The Weak, One Pimp Avengers, Angola, Big Bad Cash Band, Trust, Solstice on Fire, Alex Tudehope and Enny Owl.
Also, we have had numerous special guest co-hosts this last year; Rev, Benji Knight (104.1 The Wolf), Chris Braunschweig (The Weekender), Eric Bishop (Z-98’s Morning Adjustment), Mick Gamet (Owner of The Chesterfield), and Ron Emory (Sioux City Conservatory of Music).
So how do we top 2015? We are taking a pledge to make 2016, The Year of Local Music, at Local Venues. This year we plan on to host an event once a quarter. We will definitely host our annual Cans for Bands Fundraiser sometime in the summer months. In April, we have teamed up with our friends at The Chesterfield to host the 11th Annual Battle of the Bands. July will bring us back to Grandview Park to be a part of Saturday in the Park’s Second Stage, and hosting the ever popular After Party from The Chesterfield. One of our biggest goals is to write, create, film and release music videos for Siouxland bands. We will be keeping up with our weekly shows, but will be cutting them down to twice a month so we can pursue these other ventures. We will still continue to provide tyou with the best of local and regional underground music. Our ultimate goal for 2016, is to put the Siouxland Music scene on the map, and to be able to travel with some of the groups we have featured. Who knows, we may do something big, and I mean BIG!!!!
We ultimately could not do any of this without the support of our great music community. You have accepted us, and what we do, with open arms. That means a great deal. We would like to thank Mick and The Chesterfield, who has graciously opened up his doors as something like a second home to us. Also to our local media friends at The Weekender, 104.1 The Wolf and Z-98 for your support, we look forward to working with you all over the next year! Lastly to you, our fans, thank you for the love and support you have shown. As Jenny said in the movie Forrest Gump, “Run Forrest, Run” and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing in 2016!
With Much Love,
Darin and Crew