Pam Tillis takes stage at Northern
April 17, 2014
Pam Tillis, perhaps best known for her hits "Maybe it was Memphis" and "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)," walked onstage to perform an acoustic set at Montana State University-Northern Wednesday night.
With two back-up singers who played the fiddle and piano, Tillis played older hits and new songs, closing the night with a song made popular by her father, Mel Tillis.
She also played an upbeat, countrified version of the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and Patsy Cline's "Walking After Midnight."
The Armory Gymnasium was fairly filled with hundreds of people from the Havre region who came to see the regular Grand Ole Opry singer.
The show was kicked off with a stand-up comedy set from Seattle-based Kermet Apio.
Apio entertained the audience with his 30-minute set about everyday life situations studied from different perspectives and his own experiences. He ended the set with a playful jab a Missoula mountain bike-mounted police officers that elicited much laughter from the audience.
As he left the stage, Tillis' longtime touring companion, Mary Sue England, sat at the piano and Aria Stiles, a Beaumont University student new to the Tillis entourage, readied her fiddle and Tillis came on stage to perform for Havre.
Pam Tillis said after the show she thought the show was a success.
"The vibe was good in the room and the audience was really warm," Tillis said. "It makes my job really fun."
Tillis finished the Montana leg of her tour with Havre after playing in Missoula and Billings. She said she has been on this particular tour for 10 days and is going to play in Nashville Friday, but she has been going strong for many years.
"I've been on tour for 25 years, and the longest I've ever had off was four months," Tillis said.
She said she has never been to Havre before and did not get a chance to see much of it.
"We've done several shows this week, so in order to do my best, I had to take a nap," Tillis said, laughing.
Acting Police Chief Gabe Matosich said the event was a fundraiser for the Havre Police Protective Association.
"The funds, we give back to the youth of the community," Matosich said.
He said the money raised by Wednesday's event will go to a scholarship and to help local high school and grade school-level sports.
"I want to thank the community for the program," Matosich said.
The Havre Police Department has been organizing the show for more than 24 years and has brought big names to Havre, including the Mamas and the Papas, Juice Newton, Bobby Bare and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Last year, the Bellamy Brothers came to play for Havreites and Hi-Liners.