FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Saturday (Jan. 16) night, Backroad Anthem took the stage for the first time without their lead singer, Craig Strickland.
“It is going to be a tough time. But, we know he would want us up there doing that,” said Josh Bryant, member of Backroad Anthem/.
Members of Backroad Anthem said the show was going to be good for the band, even though it meant some would have to fill Strickland’s shoes.
“Those are big shoes to fill,” said Toby Freeman, singer for Backroad Anthem.
The sold-out show had fans lined up outside George’s Majestic Lounge, just for an up-close view.
“I think it is very awesome that they are still wanting to play music for Craig,” said Courtney Haskins, a fan.
Some of the first fans at the venue were those who knew Craig, and Backroad Anthem, before they were getting big.
“I got to come and watch them for their very first concert, for their first CD release party,” said Katie Borman, a fan.
Fans said Craig, and the rest of the band, were always easy to relate with.
“They are just all really awesome guys,” Borman said. “So, for them to go on stage without Craig, and just sing and carry on the band like Craig would have wanted, is really awesome.”
“it is going to be a little emotional. But, I am looking forward to it. It needs to be done,” saiud Katy Mounce, a fan.
Those in the band said they would do their best to make the concert the best tribute possible for Craig.
“We are never going to replace him. We are never going to be able to,” Freeman said. “We are just going to move forward and honor him. I am going to try and do my best to be as good as he was.”
A second tribute show for Strickland was also sold out for Sunday (Jan. 17) night.