Call it blues, call it funk, call it rock, but there is no doubt, Dragondeer puts all its energy into performing. Lead vocalist Eric Halborg and Cole Rudy, who plays pedal steel, put the band together more than a decade ago along with drummer Carl Sorenson.
Bassist Hunter Roberts is the newest member, but these are four guys who thrive on each other's energy.
"We're working on stage, but we're also very open dudes which sometimes men aren't necessarily that way," explained Halborg. "We really are passionate personally with each other, and I think that gels the band."
Rudy echoed the sentiment.
"I'm really proud to be with a group of guys like this. Honest and open. Bands aren't always like that."
The new "dude" said he was drawn to Dragondeer.
"What I felt right away (was) how light things can be because in the music industry, things can get heavy. Playing with some who are jerks or take themselves too seriously makes it that much harder."
All that personal positivity infuses Dragondeer's music and that brought an invitation to play at the Independence Eve concert and fireworks show in Civic Center Park. The musicians say they are excited to be part of the park coming back to life, although an expected crowd of 100,000 is a bit breathtaking. It will be their biggest audience ever.
"It's going to be big. It's exciting. It's surreal," said Halborg, who is excited about reaching a new audience. "This is going to be a wide swatch of people so that's great to be able to play to different people."
Dragondeer hopes the crowd will respond to its message of positivity.
"When you have a big crowd and people are feeling it and dancing, you feel that energy and recycle it back to them," Halborg said.
This is not the first time performing in the park for some members of Dragondeer.
"It's cool that the park is opening up. Our drummer did a big drum circle," explained Halborg. "It was really nice to be in the park and play music. I went down and banged on the drums for a bit. It's going to be nice to do it on a grand scale."
This is band grateful for all the support it has received and the chance to play Independence Eve.
Cole had a message for the Civic Center Conservancy, "Thanks for supporting local music and art. It always means so much to us. It's hard being in music, and you have almost no idea where it's going to go from one year to the next. Things can seem not-so-stable a lot, so anytime anyone gives genuine support like this, we're super grateful. So thank you."
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