Local favorites Jester and Ever Rise set to rock Bonanza Extravaganza
Two of the Tri-State area's most popular bands will be rocking out together at one of the Tri-State area’s largest fundraisers.
Jester and Ever Rise are scheduled to perform at the 14th annual Bonanza Extravaganza on Saturday, May 11, from 9:15 to 11 p.m. at Hagerstown Speedway. The two-day event, which is powered by the Hagerstown Professional Firefighters Local 1605 Foundation, features round-the-clock prize raffles beginning on Friday, May 10, at 5 p.m.
Bonanza Extravaganza, which has raised more than $2 million for local fire departments, charities and non-profits since its inception, has been sold out for six weeks according to event chairman Rick Conrad.
For the $110 price of admission, festival-goers have the chance to win more than $850,000 in prizes, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Chevrolet cars and trucks and a grand prize of $100,000 which is scheduled to be drawn on Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets will still be available at the gate for $25, which will include free food and access to grounds, but will not be eligible for Saturday’s prize list.
Conrad said that 16 hours of live music is planned over two days highlighted by Double Vision, a Foreigner tribute band, which will perform on Friday and Saturday.
As for the local bands, the members couldn’t be more excited to perform as part of the fundraiser.
“What we are doing is the after party,” said Scott Blake, guitar player for Jester. “We’re doing a 40-minute set, then Ever Rise will come on and do a 40-minute set. We might have a surprise where we play together and kick out about two to three songs.”
Added Kyle Stuhler of Ever Rise, “It should be fun. I’ve spent a lot of time with those guys in the past, everybody’s pretty familiar with each other, so it should be easy to pull that off. I’m looking forward to it.”
Stuhler and Blake are linked from their involvement in local band Crush Theory before joining their respective groups.
“I’ve played the Extravaganza twice with Crush Theory, and this will be the second time with Ever Rise,” Stuhler said. “From a musician’s perspective it’s probably one of the biggest crowds locally that you have the chance to play in front of. Not everybody that’s there is concerned about the music, there’s a lot of gaming and stuff going on, but it’s a fundraiser. It gets you the opportunity to get yourself in front of people that have never seen you before.”
The members of Jester and Ever Rise know each other through musical circles, but are great friends outside of music.
“I know a couple of those guys personally and they’re top-notch musicians,” Blake said. “Really nice guys and very approachable. Kyle is an amazing singer, and I’ll just sit and watch Jimmy (Rickerd) and Bob (Pare), the guitar players, with my jaw hitting the floor half the time. You can tell they’re a hard-working band because they’re as tight of a band as you’ll see anywhere.”
“They’ve always had a pretty good mix of the type of songs that they do,” Stuhler said. “They’re really good guys. I’ve known them for a couple of years. For me, Butch (Barnhart, Jester’s lead singer) is one of the best frontmen around.”
This isn’t the first time Jester has given back by playing at a fundraiser.
According to Blake, the band recently performed at the annual Rock Me Don’t Shake Me — Musicians Against Child Abuse benefit concert.
“That was a big success this year. It’s stuff like that ... really big shows with multiple bands. We might not know each other really well, but it’s like a family reunion,” Blake said.
Stuhler believes that the combination of Jester and Ever Rise will lead for an exhilarating show.
“It’s a short set, we’re not doing three hours like we would on a normal night,” Stuhler said. “It tends to go pretty quickly. It’s a rush for sure.”