By Tim Leeds
It was a little cold inside the Bigger Better Barn New Year's Eve, but the Headpins and Voodoo Cadillac heated things up once they started to play.
"It was great," Headpins drummer Bernie Aubin said after the show. "We're gonna come back to Montana and do a tour. Montana is great."
"It was a really great time playing for people who really enjoy the music," Headpins vocalist Darby Mills said.
The gates opened at 8 p.m. for a pre-show New Year's Eve party, with Shamrock's Bar and Casino serving beer, wine coolers and schnapps "Tooters" in a "beer garden" on the south half of the barn, and the North Star Gymnastics club serving concessions by the main floor of the concert. The stage was set by the north wall of the barn, with Marty Severson's production company out of Great Falls providing the lights, sound and video.
Voodoo Cadillac, a Great Falls band, started playing at 10 p.m., followed by the Headpins at 11 p.m. Nearly 600 people were in the barn for the show, to listen to the concert and to keep Shamrock's and North Star Gymnastics pretty busy with serving them.
The temperature was cold in the barn, but the shows went smoothly, except for some minor confusion hooking into Dick Clark's New Year's Eve show at midnight. Mills recovered, doing her own countdown to "Happy New Year" with a balloon drop, complete with tickets for prizes donated by local merchants in some of the balloons.
The concert finished the 21st year for the Headpins, who formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1979 and produced their first album in 1982 on Solid Gold Records.
"It's been there and back a few times," Mills said.
Aubin said they are starting a tour in Canada with Helix and Harlequin the first part of February.
"And we might dip into Montana," he said.
He said they are also working on material for a new album. He hopes to start working in the studio on the album in March, and possibly have it ready for release next fall, Aubin said. Mills wasn't sure when it would be ready, but said Aubin's schedule could work.
"Anything's possible," she said. "There's a lot of stuff to work out. It's a big, scary world out there."
She said there are good times and bad times performing in the music industry.
"Some days it's the top of the world, and some days it's a pile of crap," the 47-year-old Mills said. "... A person gets it in their blood and it's just something you do. I've been doing this since I was 16; lots of highs, lots of lows, lots of good times, lots of bad times."
She said one of the difficult parts of touring now is leaving her 2- and 7-year-old children behind.
"And they don't like it," she said.
Mills said to stay in the business performers have to decide what their focus is on.
"Some people are in it for the music and some people are in it for the money," she said. "You just have to figure out what you're in it for."
Ken and June Erickson, who helped organize the Havre concert, said they wanted to thank everyone who helped sponsor and set up the concert. June said there were a lot of people who helped set up the barn for the show, Frontier Landscaping and Garbage Inc. donated machinery, and Pardi Gras, Creative Leisure, Holden's Hot Wheels, and Shamrock's sold tickets for the show. Tickets were also sold in other parts of the state, including Great Falls, Billings and Kalispell.
The concert was sponsored by the TownHouse Inns of Havre, Coors Lite and Miller Lite and Q106 radio out of Great Falls.