Five times I-80 attacked bands
Wyoming winters can be an unforgiving, especially along the windy highways. Interstate 80 is notorious for its snow, ice and wind. It is tough to convince bands to play in the state's smaller towns as it is, and the weather doesn’t make it any easier to get them to Wyoming.
Here are five times when the Wyoming interstate turned against touring musicians.
Pennsylvania metal band Motionless In White got lucky in 2015 after they totaled their van. I know, that doesn't sound lucky, but all things considered they came out smelling like roses. No one was seriously injured; they had a second van with them; and they could continue touring.
The death Metal band Fallujah were taking it easy when they wiped out—They were only going 30 mph when they hit a patch of black ice and lost control. They totaled their van and trailer and cancelled the rest of their 2012 winter tour.
Indie musician Allison Weiss got her noggin stitched up in Laramie after her van was totaled on I-80 during a November 2014 tour. Most of her band had some small injuries, which wasn't too bad considering her van rolled twice.
This excerpt from her Facebook post recounts part of her day:
“I’m sitting here now, it’s 7:07 am in Laramie WY. My Fest wristband is replaced with a new bracelet, one that says Allison Amling Weiss and my birthday and the name of the local hospital. I have a staple in my head where the doctor patched up a gash I got when I hit the side window. Pete, Liam, and Will are shaken up but okay. Kailynn suffered a small back injury but nothing serious. We are so lucky. We are SO lucky.”
The San Francisco Duo Two Gallants collectively suffered from broken bones, cuts and a dislocated shoulder. The band flipped its van on an icy I-80, crushing in the van's roof and knocking the members around. The crash prevented band member Adam Halworth Stephens from doing music for a while. Luckily, Wyoming hospitality shined through for the band during the dark time.
“Everyone was extremely kind to us at the Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins, WY. Of the 8,000 people in that town two of them turned out to be friends of friends of friends who caught wind of our accident and went far beyond what could be expected of practical strangers in helping us out. They brought us food, drinks, entertainment, let Matt sleep at their house two nights, and after finally being released from the hospital, drove us the two hours to the closest airport.”
Many Cheyenne people remember hearing of the terrible fate that hit Bayside back in 2005 Halloween morning. The tragic accident, just outside of the city, took the life of Bayside drummer John “Beatz” Holohan. The band was on tour with fellow bands Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein and Aiden.
The wreck also sent Bayside Bassist Nick Ghanbarian to the hospital. This excerpt is from his released statement at the time:
"I'm laying here in the hospital, awaiting my surgery tomorrow. To clear up any questions, I broke my back ( L4 vertebrae ). I'm very lucky to not be paralyzed. I was thrown through the window of our rolling van, after hitting a patch of ice. I have a full torso cast on, keeping my back straight."
Many people in the punk rock community mourned after hearing the terrible news.