By Bella Butler EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Amid the quiet, early September streets of Big Sky, bright lights and the sound of rock n’ roll escaped the windows of the Tips Up bar and music venue on Town Center Avenue. Inside, the glimmer from Thunderpussy vocalist Molly Sides’ sequined unitard danced with the shine of the disco ball dangling above the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.
Thunderpussy, an unapologetic, soulful and exhilarating all-female rock band, was on stage in Big Sky for the first time since the Peak to Sky music
festival in 2019 for night one of Outlaw Partners, publisher of EBS, and Tips Up’s Rock n’ Roll Labor Day Weekend.
The sold-out crowd was as electric as the band, the front row packed tight with people wearing Thunderpussy shirts and whipping their hair in
The retro-style joint was mostly filled with familiar faces. September usually marks the bridge between one tourist season and another; a time for the hard-working community to take a breath and unwind. And this Labor Day weekend, unwind they did.
Following Thunderpussy’s Saturday night performance, the Jamie McLean Band brought fans to their feet on Sunday for a night of dancing and, at McLean’s insistent request, partying.
Both Thunderpussy and McLean have nurtured a burgeoning fanbase in
“I was just listening to them before I came here!” one fan, Karen Davids, shouted at the Sunday show before pulling someone off a bar stool to dance.
“When I looked out in the crowd, I saw a lot of familiar faces and friends and fans,” McLean said. “It feels like a family. [Big Sky] feels like a home away from home for us now.”
McLean, a veteran PBR performer, played to the crowd, changing some of the lyrics to his song “Virginia” to say “Montana.”
Thunderpussy put on an equally personal show, with guitarist Whitney Petty crowd surfing toward the end of the night and Sides venturing off the stage and onto the dance floor.
“Everyone was laughing and smiling,” Sides said. “The show, the energy that night was unreal. We were really so honored to share space with everyone in Big Sky again. Everyone knows how to throw down, but it’s like pure joy underneath those stars.”
McLean added that he was pleasantly surprised by the venue—both the sound quality and the décor.
“We were so fired up about the Labor Day Weekend of rock and roll at Tips Up,” said Tips Up owner Casey Durham. “Thunderpussy brought their usual amazing energy and stage presence, and Jamie McLean did not disappoint. His band is incredibly tight.”
Outlaw Partners VP of Events Ennion Williams said while the first weekend in September is normally quiet in Big Sky, the success of this collaborative event brings excitement for future Labor Day weekends
“We’re excited to see our new venue have this caliber of musicians coming to Big Sky and hope to set a precedent for the future,” Williams said.