Hairball unleashes bombastic fury in Kansas City

BVC readies for Hairball

OTTUMWA — The community has seen some highs and lows throughout 2017 and into 2018 but good news comes in the form of returning crowd favorite, Hairball.

The gods-of-rock tribute is an ever-evolving event and has been around for 18 years. Bassist, and part of the core three frontmen, Happy, had much to say.

“It may start out as KISS with the characters decked out and building intensity,” said Happy. “But give it three minutes and it’ll turn into anything. Journey. Alice Cooper. Twisted Sister.”

Happy considers himself a ringmaster of sorts. But, he said, the group is like a wolfpack; they all bring different qualities to the show to make it as great as they can.

As much as he likes his bandmates he also gives credit where credit is due. Happy said the whole point of the tribute is to give thanks to the ones who made the music.

“These guys are the Mount Rushmore of our rock history,” Happy said. “It’s nothing but the best smorgasbord of all the artists.”

The band and crew are just as excited to come to Ottumwa as every other stop they make. Happy said every year is bigger than the year before and he hopes it continues to grow and evolve. The town and Bridge View Center are ready for rock and roll.

“Hairball is a Midwest phenomenon and a show that continues to sell tickets year over year, and this still holds true right here in Ottumwa,” said Scott Halgren, Bridge View Center executive director. “We are thrilled to have them back at Bridge View Center this Saturday, January 13.”

Ottumwa should expect bigger, better and bolder than any other year before.

“I can say that we bought some more effects and pyrotechnics. The show will be bigger,” said Happy. “We have been evolving and adding elements. But there is also the human element where anything can happen depending on the audience.”

He hopes even one night can make a difference to someone. Happy said it is about the magic of music they share together. The rockstars and the rocking audience under one roof.

“It’s just time to close the laptop and time to force yourself to get out in public and live life,” Happy said. “Let’s do it! Share the show and the music and the times. It’s time to get off the couch and do some rock and roll workouts.”


On September 8, 2017, Hairball will play the Henderson Pavilion. The band promises that this will not be yet another “tribute band” show, but rather an “experience.” This will be my first time seeing the band in action, and this rock and roll fan is eager for what the festivities will offer.

The band will be playing the Henderson Pavilion, a superb outdoor venue which has played host to many fine shows and events over the years, covering a wide variety of genres. Promising a “bombastic tribute to arena rock,” complete with a diverse setlist, costume changes, and even pyrotechnic effects, the Pavilion is the ideal place to play home to this one-of-a-kind rock and roll show, which has been growing in popularity with rock and roll fans, young and old alike, for nearly two decades.

Prior to the forthcoming event, I visited the band’s website to do some research, view some audio and video clips, and read up on what the experience is all about. One of the things that stood out the most to this rock and roller is that this is billed as an experience “for all ages.” As someone who typically attends and reviews shows in venues that are strictly for the 21+ crowd, it is great to see a band bringing this experience to Sin City, so that younger fans will be able to hear it for themselves. Similarly, it is always fantastic to see parents that share with their kids the music they grew up with and enjoyed, so that it stays alive for a new generation; this is something that is horribly lost in Las Vegas, in that so much of the music scene revolves around only catering to the “original fans.” As such, I hope to see many of those so-called original fans there, introducing these songs and stage shows to their young ones.

Bands that the experience pays tribute to include Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey, Poison, and Aerosmith, so the group’s repertoire of classic hits is quite extensive. And this is not simply a group that “plays the songs” and is content with it; the band’s audio/video content on their website shows them recreating the look and feel of the respective artists’ live stage shows.

Hairball hits up the Henderson Pavilion on September 8. It will be my first time attending one of the band’s shows, and first show at the Pavilion in several years. Any fan of classic rock and roll stage shows should be there.