Blenders to Celebrate 25th Anniversary with Series of Shows at Pantages Theater, 12/12-14
After major label recording contracts, international hits, 15 albums/EPs and 16 years now of their ever-popular Holiday Soul Tour, The Blenders are celebrating their 25 years together doing what they do best -- presenting their annual Christmas concert (with a killer backing band) at Hennepin Theatre Trust's Pantages Theater (710 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403), December 12-14.
Tickets are $43.50 & $38.50 and include the $4 facility fee. They go on sale September 5, 2014, and are available IN PERSON @ The State Theatre Box Office (no service fees), or any Ticketmaster outlet BY PHONE: 800.982.2787 or online by visiting HennepinTheatreTrust.org GROUPS SAVE! Call 612.373.5665.
Join The Blenders for an inimitable mixture of classic holiday and soul fare, plus original Christmas songs that sound like classics, all framed by their trademarked four-part harmony, plus a good chunk of multi-media and inspired comedic segments. Bell State Bank & Trust, based in Fargo and one of the premier banks in the upper Midwest, is the Title Sponsor for this year's 25th Anniversary season and annual Holiday Soul Tour.
The world has changed a lot since 1989 when two childhood Fargo friends from age 4 and two brothers from a farm outside of Fargo officially became The Blenders. That year, desktop computers were still in their infancy, the Berlin Wall was about to come down and Seinfeld had just hit TV (See list below*).
And yet, Tim Kasper, Ryan Lance and Darren and Allan Rust still remain close friends today at a landmark date when many other such groups have already stopped speaking with each other, or disbanded. Best of all, the self-described "vocal band's" rich, award-winning sound hasn't changed at all, either, it's only improved over two-one-half decades! And the Blenders' influence continues to stretch far and wide, especially on the a cappella scene. They have forged a sound that's earned them a huge fan base, critical acclaim and accolades from recording artists such as pop diva Erykah Badu to the legendary Les Paul, plus three Emmy Awards.
"We've managed to stay close friends for all these years despite being in a business known for wrecking friendships and careers," says Kasper. "If anything, we're tighter than ever and that's reflected in our creativity and performance year after year and our fans can feel it."
In many ways, The Blenders have come full circle, Early in their career, they toured with Jay Leno. And earlier this year, when Jay's Tonight Show run came to end, they were back out on the road with him again . And back in the day, they make a sneak appearance on the popular Arsenio Hall show, then Arsenio briefly came back again in 2014.
To celebrate the anniversary, the group has put together a nostalgic six-song EP package with special photos. The new commemorative EP will reach forward and back in time:
"We were looking for songs to do that were suitable for our 25th Anniversary and brought out the right emotion for this mile marker, and frankly, it was very hard," notes the group's producer and arranger Darren Rust, who also produces the HOT new country cappella group, Home Free. "There's the mind-blowing mash-up of The Who's 'Baba O'Reilly" with the traditional Christmas song, "Do You Hear What I Hear," which was such a hit with audiences at last year's show!"
" 'Wake Up, Wake Up' by Matt Lertz is another song we did last year live, which has a total fuzzy warm Christmas vibe. Then there are four other fitting songs -- including 'Remember You,' a new original written by a friend of mine in Nashville, Jeremy Johnson and co-writer Luke Brown that was featured in American Idol in 2007 when Jordin Sparks won. We plan to perform it while showing video and pictures from Blenders' days gone by. It should be an emotional moment in the show."
The EP also features cool, Blender-arranged covers from Poco ("Crazy Love"), Styx ("'The Best of Times"), and the Little River Band ("Happy Anniversary"). "The lyrics of that song are essentially sarcastic in nature, but we'll play off the sarcasm and rib each other about the pains of being together all these years," Rust smiles, "and all the time we spent with each other on the road. I think the new EP is an ideal showcase of who we are at the 25 year mark that we hope everyone will enjoy."