SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When Dave Moody steps on the stage he is Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS.
“You want to look, act, feel and sound just like that character. You bring yourself into that mindset,” Moody said.
Moody is a member of Hairball, a tribute band for 1980s rock music. Moody will take the stage as various vocalists and musicians from Twisted Sister, AC/DC, Alice Cooper and Quiet Riot and other bands.
“You gotta have all these personalities inside of you,” Moody said.
As Simmons, his facial expressions, the way he sticks out his tongue and throws his head back and forth and walks in his seven-inch boots like a monster must be that of Simmons. The audience and the band demands that, Moody said.
“I’ve been in this band for three years and I can tell you right now, nobody cares more about their product than Hairball,” Moody said. “From the minute I stepped into Gene Simmons’ boots I knew what these people were about. They mean everything that they do.”
Hairball returns to its Sunday slot at the Sioux Empire Fair on Aug. 6
“They always have a great show. That’s why we have them every year,” said Scott Wick the fair’s executive director.
Wick’s been with the fair for 12 years and Hairball has performed 11 times. “I’ve heard at least 15 to 20 times from people who say ‘If I didn’t know this was Hairball, I’d think it was the (actual) band.'”
Moody said band members are accomplished musicians and have had musical success before Hairball.
Moody has played with Billy Ray Cyrus and other performers. He described the lighting, pyrotechnics and overall stage and sound crew as world class.
Each concert, “It is an exact replication of what you remember and more importantly what we remember, growing up,” Moody said.
“They take their job seriously,” Wick said. That includes the musical performance as well as the lights, pyrotechnics, costumes and more.
The outdoor grandstand concerts are typically two hours.
Attendance is heavily dependent on the weather, Wick said, but Hairball usually draws 3,500 to 4,500 people for each concert.
Add up the hours and Hairball has played nearly an entire day in Sioux Falls over the past 11 years and it amounts to nearly a full 24 hours of music.
The setlist includes the hits from multiple bands including KISS as well as Twisted Sister, Queen, Quiet Riot and more. Moody said the portfolio includes up to 30 characters from the 1980s rock era.
If the band has played in a city within the last year, it will change the setlist but the hits and fan favorites will always be on the list, he said.
Wick said this Sunday’s audience will likely include people who have seen the band multiple times.
“To be honest, if there is a concert in seven to 10 days within 60 miles, I’d say half of those (here) will also go to that one too,” Wick said.
Hairball is scheduled to play in Sturgis for three days after Sioux Falls.
Melissa Kucirek of promotions with Hairball estimated the band has played in South Dakota on two to three separate date packages a year over the past 18 years. The band was formed 23 years ago.
Wick said the band’s popularity crosses multiple generations.
“It is generational at this point,” Moody said. They see fans of the age of grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren.
“It’s so wonderful to look and see everyone sharing this music and this era and these characters,” Moody said.
Hairball members have fun while performing but they also work hard. The bands Hairball is covering are very good at what they do, he said.
In the case of emulating Simmons, Mood literally has big boots to fill.
“I challenge anybody get up there in 7-inch heels, with you know, dragon heads on them and full scales going up leg with heavy armor and big thick codpiece belt, and a neck choker, and a wig and full face paint and get up there and maneuver like those guys did back in the day,” Moody said with a laugh.
But Moody wouldn’t trade in the boots for another gig.
(“To see a) full stand of 2,000 to 10,000 to 20,000, it’s not lost on me how grateful and thankful we are,” Moody said.
He’s looking forward to bringing the music to Sioux Falls on Sunday.