Filled with Grammy award winners, festival headliners, classic rockers, and all around world class acts, we couldn’t have asked for a better second season at KettleHouse Amphitheater. Aside from who was on stage, it was each of the crowds that made each show a special one.
We could go in depth about the many aspects that made all of the shows great, but frankly we’re running low on time (we’re busy planning next year’s events)… so here’s 8 highlights that encompass the 2018 KettleHouse Amphitheater season.
1) The Show Must Go On: We started the season off with a very rainy (and chilly) Bon Iver concert, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying the show. The sold out crowd held strong throughout the performance, and luckily escaped the night without lightning or anything that would’ve led to postponement.
2) Good Vibrations: In three months, we saw our first 3 reggae shows with talent packed lineups:
• June 7th – Slightly Stoopid, Stick Figure, and Pepper ( Reggae legend Don Carlos joined Stoopid on stage and a couple got engaged at this show!)
• June 22nd – Dirty Heads, Iration, The Movement, and Pacific Dub (Dirty Heads later stated in a Facebook live chat that this was close to their favorite show of the tour, second only to the great Red Rocks)
• August 19th – Rebelution, Stephen Marley, Common Kings, Zion I, and DJ Mackle (they took an awesome group photo on the patio)
3) Again, The Show MUST Go On: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats was the Amp’s first show announced in 2018 and it was the first to sell out. Everyone was looking forward to it… but it almost didn’t happen. Their tour bus broke down in North Dakota and they thought they would have to cancel the show because they couldn’t make it. Long story short: they ditched the bus, hopped on a couple jets and indeed, the show went on! Many claimed it was the best show of the season.
4) Classic: Blondie, Sheryl Crow, Pixies, Flaming Lips, and Alice Cooper — they’ve all been around for more than a couple decades and they have some of the most recognizable songs out there. Also, Alice Cooper’s shocking stage theatrics were simply fantastic. There’s just something about Alice Cooper holding up his own guillotine-sliced head that is very entertaining.
5) Blackfoot River Fund: With your generous support throughout the 2018 season, we were able to donate over $106,000 to help preserve and protect the majestic Blackfoot River. Learn more about our partnership with Montana Trout Unlimited here.
6) The Triple Log: We’ve now seen several of our favorite musicians graduate from the Top Hat to The Wilma onto the big stage at the Amphitheater. These include Jason Isbell, Greensky Bluegrass, Galactic, Pepper, and of course our beloved Lil Smokies! Speaking of Smokies…
7) Hometown Heroes: From playing free shows outside Worden’s Market to $5 covers at the Top Hat to multiple NYE concerts at The Wilma… it was pretty special to see Missoula’s folk titans The Lil Smokies perform at KettleHouse Amphitheater as they opened for Trampled By Turtles. Many people were there specifically to see the Smokies, and understandably so. They played a tremendous, heartfelt set, and the crowd was more than satisfied.
8) SOLD OUT: We started with a packed house and ended with a packed house. Bon Iver was our first show of the season on May 31st, and it was sold out. Our last show was with Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly on September 23rd — also sold out. Between the first and last events, we also hosted sold out concerts with Sheryl Crow, Nathaniel Rateliff, and the Pixies. That’s a lot of people in little ol’ Bonner, MT… which leads us to say…
THANK YOU! The love for live music in this beautiful great state of Montana is absolutely amazing. You continuously come out in strong numbers to every show with smiles on your faces. We appreciate the heck out of all of you.
We had so much fun this year and just can’t get over it… until next year. Announcements coming soon 😉