Popular folk band’s tunes kick off local arena’s summer events lineup
By Mira Brody and Jack Reaney
BIG SKY – The scene of 4,150 people waving their hands in unison to “26,” an energetic song about young love performed by Caamp, may just mark Big Sky’s very own American folk revival—the show fittingly even ended with a marriage proposal in the crowd.
On July 11 fans from across the region welcomed the band to the Big Sky Events Arena in Town Center for a show graced—as many are in this location—by a vibrant orange Lone Mountain sunset. By 2 p.m., folk fans were lined up outside of the arena’s entrance, eager to claim the best vantage point of the evening, three hours before the gates opened. It was Caamp’s first time in Big Sky.
“Fantastic. Fantastic,” mused a group of four young men when approached by EBS before hollering for an encore.
Caamp is comprised of frontmen Taylor Meier, Evan Westfall, Matt Vinson and Joseph Kavalec and have released four albums; their latest, Lavender Days, came out in June 2022. Punctuated by energetic banjo riffs, their songs are possibly most recognizable by Meier’s gravelly vocals as he belts out ballads about life, love and escaping to the mountains.
Local openers The Last Revel and Abby Webster warmed the crowd. The event was produced by Lone Mountain Land Company and Outlaw Partners, publisher of Explore Big Sky.
In addition to gathering folk fans, the night marked the beginning of the arena’s busy summer season. Set in a sagebrush field blanketed by a layer of pine woodchips, and a horseshoe of silver bleachers, the space has been home to Big Sky PBR for over a decade; the event’s sold-out 12th year will take place July 20, 21 and 22 preceded by a week of events known as Big Sky’s Biggest Week, including the Big Sky Community Rodeo, Community Street Dance, Community Day and Mutton Bustin’, Dick Allgood Community BINGO night and PBR Golf Tournament. Following PBR, Wildlands Festival will fill the space, bringing headliners Foo Fighters and Lord Huron to the music-focused river benefit.
At the conclusion of the show, EBS approached a group hanging near the stage. When asked to identify the biggest Caamp fan, they pointed to Georgaline—a Bozeman student from Rocky Boy, Montana. The concert in Big Sky was her fourth time seeing Caamp.
“I think this was probably one of the most beautiful venues I’ve seen,” Georgaline said. “Just because of the mountains, the sunset, really good sound.”
As she spoke, a cheering crowd gathered in the arena center as Caleb Dixon dropped to one knee.
Dixon, a visitor from Nashville, proposed to his girlfriend Bailey Holcomb. She said yes, followed by a joyous embrace and cheers from more than 100 concert-going strangers.
“We love Montana, we’re out here all the time,” Holcomb told EBS a few minutes later. “Caamp was our first date in Tennessee.”
“Full circle,” Dixon said, adding that he will remember this concert forever.