The Missing Link Band will close out this year’s Music on the Mountain concert series on Saturday, September 21. The group has been performing at Glenwood Caverns since before Music on the Mountain officially existed! This band has not only helped the park become a prime live music venue, they’ve also been there to witness first hand how much the park has changed over the years.
“The Caverns has grown in every aspect. As far as music goes, every year that we’ve played, it’s been more professional. The first year, there was no stage, we just played on the sidewalk! The next year, there were lights, the year after that, more changes….it’s just become a more professional situation every year. Crowds are getting bigger, and there’s more diversity,” says Nick Kuhlmann, the band’s drummer and sound engineer.
“It just gets more special every year. It’s definitely the coolest place to play, it’s my personal favorite place to play in the valley.”
The Missing Link Band started with Kuhlmann on drums, Paul Barker on bass, and Erik McPherson on guitar and lead vocals. They later added female vocalists, Holly Guerin and Kimberly Saddler. The band prides itself on offering a variety of music that appeals to all types of people. “We want to appeal to ages eight to 88. We want to give people the best from all genres: country, rock, R&B. Having female vocalists gives us the ability to be diverse, we can cover songs that feature both male and female vocalists,” says Kuhlmann.
“Missing Link is a good way to describe how we fit into the music scene in the valley. There are country bands, classic rock bands, southern rock bands…but we play all those genres; we’re the ones you call when you want a mix of everything.”
People in the valley have responded well to the band over the years. “At our shows, we see quite a few of the same people every time. People seem to appreciate it. Also, besides being good musicians, we have one of the best sound systems out there!” says Kuhlmann.
The Missing Link Band has traditionally performed the last show of the series. “There are two reasons we like to play the last show,” says Kuhlmann. “First of all, the weather. It’s usually a really nice up there this time of year, and being able to see Mt. Sopris and the whole mountain range in the fall is the best. I’ve looked at the weather and it looks like we will be in the middle of a high pressure system; no rain expected for the whole week.”
“Secondly, it’s my birthday! There’s nothing I’d rather do on my birthday play up there in front of a great crowd.”
Some of the band’s favorites to play are “Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter, and “1963 (Oh What a Night)” by The Four Seasons. “I personally like the female vocalist songs; Carole King, songs that are a little more melodic. As a drummer, one of my favorites is “Walk Like an Egyptian” by Cyndi Lauper. It’s just fun to play,” Nick says. “We just try to give the crowd as much dance music as we can, and add in some eclectic music too.”
The Missing Links’ 2012 performance not only set record attendance numbers at the park, it also featured a very memorable experience for the band and anyone who was in attendance that day. A flash mob had organized to put on a dance during the song “Beautiful Day” by U2, and dancers from troupes across the region surprised the crowd by assembling, seemingly out of nowhere, to perform a choreographed dance and then disperse afterwards. Read more about the flash mob here.
“It was one of the coolest things that has ever happed for us as a band,” says Kuhlmann. “No one was expecting it. A lot of people took away good feelings from that experience.”
Kuhlmann credits the employees for making the park what it is. ““There are really great people that work up there,” he says. Kuhlmann looks forward to the show in part because one of the park managers, Bob Stepniewski, gets out his percussion instrument and joins the band onstage!
As the concert series winds down, Kuhlmann would like to remind people to continue to support local music. “I would want everyone to know that there are a lot of good bands in this area. Just because you hear ‘local band,’ it’s not ‘Jim Bob and his brother Jim Bob playing somewhere.’ These are professional musicians. For example, in our band, our members have played professionally and toured in different parts of the country. I got my start in Chicago and LA. There are really good musicians out here; the best quality that you would get under any circumstances.”
This Saturday is a perfect opportunity to support local musicians and have a great time doing it. Celebrate the last show of the year and wish Nick Kuhlmann a happy birthday! Bring at least one can of food for a free tram ride to the top. There will be drink specials, food, and open rides and attractions. For more information, visit Music on the Mountain.