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Family Fun at the Eagles

first_img Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. It was a regular night at a bar in Kalispell about a year ago, with plenty of folks gathered over dinner and drinks as they enjoyed the weekly open mic jam session.But for the five Raelund children, it was an eye-opening experience. As a family band, The Raelunds are a group composed of the five siblings, all of whom were under the legal drinking age when they waited their turn for open mic that night.None of the kids had been to a bar before, and though the crowd was supportive, being around inebriated people until their late-night slot on the performance was uncomfortable for them.“It was the first bar scene for all of us,” Cassidy Raelund, now 18, said last week.“It was a lot of waiting and trying to get your slot,” her brother Antonius Raelund, now 20, added.“It was definitely culture shock,” Cassidy finished.The Raelunds are an easy-going bunch, each with long dark hair and a smile that comes with eye contact to tell you they’re listening. And when they expressed discomfort at some of the situations they were in as they tried to break into the Flathead’s music scene, their mom, Candy Raelund, decided to do something about it.Thus, the monthly concert series at the Eagles in Kalispell was born. Held on Sundays, the series is made up of local bands and other acts performing from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Eagles ballroom, where families can gather to watch bands that they can’t bring their kids to see in bars, and musicians under the age of 21 can perform more comfortably.“What we’re trying to achieve here is a more of a family-type musical,” Candy Raelund said. “It’s made for families. I’m trying to get a fun place to go — no religion, no criteria other than good arts.”“We looked around and there is a sad lack of events that are children friendly,” Antonius said.The goal is to invite children to perform in between the scheduled acts, she said. The next family concert will be held on April 9 and include Nicole Cannavaro, Caleb Knox and Jael Johnson, Here To Make Friends, Jamie Wyman, Robert Seymour, Brian Kienitz aka Dr. BK, Ashley Crevier, Old Sap, The Ashes, and Giddy Up and Bow.The Raelunds are relative newcomers to the local music scene, only performing as a band for the last year. The group is as follows: Antonius on vocals and most other instruments; Bailey, 21, on lead vocals; Colton, 16, on bass guitar and vocals; Cassidy on guitar and vocals; and Crickett, 14, on the drums.The kids themselves are pretty shy, which was a bit of a roadblock when they first started performing, they admitted. But they cut their teeth on shows at the library and open mics, and on a cross-country tour that their mom took them on last July, during which they played shows in every coffee shop they could, including a show in New York City’s Central Park.They’ve written one song so far, “Dreaming Out Loud,” though Antonius is working on a few more as he prepares to apply to Juilliard.The first of the concert series went well, Candy said, with people of all ages boogying on the dance floor. Anyone can perform — an act doesn’t have to be music, she said, and can be anything from juggling to artistic roller-skating.And if anyone would like to order a drink, the Eagles bar is just next to the ballroom, though not directly connected. Otherwise, Raelund said admission is typically $5, though they use discretion to make sure all families have access. All of the money collected from admissions is given directly to the performers.While the Raelunds appreciate the opportunity to perform, they’re also excited for others. Kids are especially encouraged to get on stage, they said, because everyone has to start somewhere.“This is about kids,” Candy said.last_img read more