Local band opens for music idols at Ballpark Village

A local and newly formed band recently had the opportunity to open up for one of their music idols at Ballpark Village in St. Louis.

Northport, a local rock band made up of Mikah and Christopher Wilson, Charlie Hogland and Logan Ward, played their debut show on Aug. 22 as openers for national rock act the Gin Blossoms.

Brothers Mikah and Christopher have been playing music together for years, but when this opportunity came across, they wanted to expand on Northport as a group.

The opportunity came about when Mikah called the Gin Blossoms’ manager in May because he wanted to send the guitar player a letter.

“I wanted to let them know we had a new music video out, and the manager checked out the video and said he really liked it,” Mikah said. “He said he’d try to get us a show, but we didn’t know when it was going to be. It was just me and Christopher then.”

Christopher Wilson, Mikah Wilson, Charlie Hogland and Logan Ward perform as Northport on Aug. 22, opening for national act the Gin Blossoms at Ballpark Village in St. Louis. (Aaron Sellers photo)

The manager ended up calling them in mid-July to let the brothers know the opening slot for the Gin Blossoms was theirs.

“We knew we had to find a band pretty fast, since the show was only a month away,” Mikah said. “If it wasn’t for this show, we probably wouldn’t have gotten together as a band so quickly.”

Prior to the show, the brothers had been working on getting their studio together and working on recordings.

The brothers have been playing together as Northport since 2009 and were looking to take the next step as musicians.

“We’d always been talking about getting the live show together,” Christopher said. “This has been a lot of years in the making, but this version of it is very fresh still.”

Their sound is influenced by such rock greats as The Beatles, The Strokes and Oasis, along with the Gin Blossoms.

In the past couple of years, Christopher said he became obsessed with the 1960s and “dropped modern music entirely.”

“Mikah and I have identical iTunes libraries,” Christopher said with a laugh. “It’s a good partnership.”

Mikah agreed.

“Everything I’ve ever been influenced by, Christopher has shown to me,” he said. “He’s my filter. Music goes through him first.”

The entire month leading up to the Ballpark Village show was hectic.

“We didn’t really stop ever (working),” Mikah said. “We were still writing, too, along with teaching two new members and learning new things ourselves.”

Despite being a bit hurried and rushed, the brothers said the show was a lot of fun.

 “We met all the guys in the band and hung out with them,” Mikah said. “It was a pretty awesome debut show.”

They got good feedback from the members of the Gin Blossoms, which was one of their favorite parts of the experience.

“The Gin Blossoms’ main songwriter said our voices and harmonies were really great,” Mikah said. “It was really cool to hear compliments from the guy who inspired some of our songs.”

After starting off so strong, the band members plan to continue writing, recording and playing more live shows.

“Right now, we’re working on a collection of demos to send to labels,” Mikah said. “We want to start playing a bunch of shows and get as busy as we can.”

They’re looking forward to playing anywhere in the Midwest they can and see where it takes them.

To listen to Northport’s music, visit www.youtube.com/northportofficial

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