Some bands are simply born into success. They grow up in L.A., a few blocks away from a well-renowned record label. Their families are of higher standing and can provide them with top-of-the-line instrumentation, while a friend of the band has established connections with local venues and representation to get their careers kick-started. Within a year of “forming” their band, they’re on the city’s biggest stages. Yes, there are certain bands out there that have been given a paved road to success.
Blind Pilot is not one of those bands.
The six-piece outfit, bred in the indie-folk Mecca that is Portland, Oregon, will be at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, opening for Dave Matthews Band this Sunday (06.03.12). With the low-key indie-pop enthused tracks reminiscent of their headlining counterpart of this weekend, the guys of Blind Pilot are one of the more surprisingly energetic bands to hit the circuit with their sultry sing-along tunes.
Even though band founders Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski first met in college at the University of Oregon, the idea of Blind Pilot didn’t become official until the 2008 release of their self-released disc, ‘3 Rounds and a Sound.’ Featuring standout tunes like “The Story I Heard” and “Go On, Say It” (an iTunes single of the week in July 2008, yielding approximately 2 million downloads), the album introduced the music world to a band that is as diverse on recording as they are on the stage.
The music on ‘3 Rounds’ accurately represents the time and atmosphere of the band’s upbringing on a summer abroad trip to Newquay, England. After dabbling in various musical endeavors, including going forward as a twosome, both men relocated close to Nebeker’s hometown of Gearhart, Oregon. It was here that the notes were written, the songs were recorded, and Blind Pilot as we know it was created.
[hana-code-insert name=’adsense banner’ /]
With the music practiced and readied for people to hear, the guys embarked on truly one of the more ambitiously unique tours, which they adequately self-proclaimed a tour by bicycle. They had no map, no plans, no tour dates. They carried their instruments on custom bicycle trailers they fashioned themselves. The ride began in Vancouver, and although the first tour was atrociously cut short after their bikes were stolen in San Francisco, the guys rode, stopped, played, rode again, stopped, and played again, for as many or as few people who were willing to listen. Their reward was an appreciative string of followers who liked what they saw and heard from the members of Blind Pilot, on and off the stage.
In 2009, to more closely reflect the sound of their album in their live show, Blind Pilot added four more touring members: Luke Ydstie (upright bass, backing vocals), Kati Claborn (banjo, dulcimer, backing vocals), Ian Krist (vibraphones), and Dave Jorgensen (keyboards, trumpet).
On September 13, 2011, their anticipated follow up, ‘We Are The Tide’ was released, encompassing the band’s musical ingenuity, deliciously deviant sound from the norm, while also introducing a new musical maturity that will elevate them to a new level.
Between their success on iTunes, scoring slots on major festivals including Lollapalooza, Sasquatch!, and Outside Lands, as well as opening for the likes of the Decemberists and now, Dave Matthews Band, Blind Pilot is making a monumental name for themselves. With their sites set on a continuous stretch of dates, opening slots intertwined with headlining gigs, including hopes of a bicycle tour in Europe, the members of BP are about to be introduced to droves of music fans looking for the harmonious and musically diverse arrangements that are the very definition of the Blind Pilot sound.
Blind Pilot wasn’t given every opportunity and luxury to succeed in the music industry, which makes it even more impressive that they have a story of success…and they’re still writing.
From start to finish, Sunday evening should be a wonderful night of music at Blossom.
Blind Pilot opens for Dave Matthews Band on Sunday, June 3 at 7pm at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are priced at $95.90 and $59.35 [PURCHASE]