Gloriana lets loose at Liberty High School
May 19, 2009
By Jim Feehan
Up-and-coming country band performs free concert
Liberty High School students were looking forward to lunch May 15 and it wasn’t for the chicken nuggets on the menu.
Gloriana, an up-and-coming country band touring with Taylor Swift, performed during lunch in the commons and later signed autographs.
“We love getting out to play for the kids that might not be able to get tickets to the Taylor Swift tour,” said band member Tom Gossin. “We figure we’ll bring the show to them or a little piece of it anyway. So, it’s really cool to brighten their school day.”
The Taylor Swift concert at Key Arena was sold out that night. Tickets ranged from $20 to $49.50. In 2006, Swift released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles and sold four million copies.
Gloriana began touring with Swift earlier this year. The band has already performed at 10 high schools as part of its 50-city tour. The band performed in Spokane the night of May 14. Following that performance, the members hopped in their 45-foot touring bus and pulled into Liberty’s parking lot shortly after 5 a.m. The band chooses to tour by bus as opposed to flying and lodging at hotels, said band member Rachel Reinert.
“Honestly, it’s not really that strange to us,” she said. “The bus has this nice rumbling sound that rocks you to sleep. I don’t even think it registered with me that we were sleeping in the parking lot of a high school.”
It takes crewmembers typically about 90 minutes to set up at high schools, said Stephanie Reed, the band’s touring manager.
“The band really sees this as an opportunity to reach out to its target market,” she said.
Posters, T-shirts and CDs of the band were also distributed during lunch. In addition, a drawing was held for a free concert ticket for the Key Arena performance. A film crew was videotaping the event for a music video.
Michele Kliemann, of Newcastle, a senior at Liberty, arrived early to get a front row seat.
“I like their music and I think it’s great they’re here at Liberty,” she said.
Sophomore Megan Bales, of Issaquah, had tickets to the Key Arena concert and got to see Gloriana twice in one day.
“I think the band is great and I enjoy seeing them on Country Music Television network,” she said.
Earlier in the week, Dana Greenberg, dean of students, received a phone call from the band’s promoter. The promoter had contacted a local radio station and asked for recommendations based on demographics of what high schools might enjoy having some country music on campus. The radio station listed Liberty, Hazen and Ballard high schools, Greenberg said.
“We’re pleased to have them,” she said. “It’s great exposure for Liberty and the kids are excited.”
Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.