Eye on KELOLAND: Goodroad returns to the stage


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every aspect of life, including the local music scene.

Venues fell silent as event after event was canceled. Now, more than a year later with life beginning to get back to normal, musicians are finally returning to the stage.

Goodroad has been entertaining audiences for more than a decade.

Lead singer Allen Goodroad found his voice nearly 20 years ago at a talent show while attending USD.

“Never sang in a microphone before, get right in and (muffled sound). It was atrocious and had a blast, it was thrilling and terrifying,” Goodroad lead singer Allen Goodroad said.

Goodroad released his first album in 2006. The group’s current lineup came together in 2010.

“We started as six single guys running around and now we’ve had four marriages, seven kids, three or four doctoral degrees,” Goodroad said.

“It’s tougher to get out of the house. You have a late night, you wake up at 6:30, 7:00 in the morning with your kids elbow dropping you on the head, so it’s a little more difficult for those late nights, but it is a blast,” Goodroad drummer Kyle Maurer said.

Goodroad typically plays 20-25 shows a year, at least until COVID-19 hit.

“We had a whole spring, summer, and fall booked with weddings and outdoor shows and everything, and that all just stopped and went away,” Goodroad bass guitarist Jordan Ochocki said.

The pandemic didn’t really hit home until the group’s St. Patrick’s Day performance in March, 2020 was canceled.

“So that was kind of a real gut punch and then of course to see the rest of the calendar just drop off, every single week it was another email, nope we’re going to postpone, we’re canceling, whatever the deal is, that was crazy,” Goodroad said.

As the cancellations started to pour in, guitarist Micah Wetzel started to feel the pinch financially. Goodroad gigs, solo acoustic shows, and teaching guitar lessons, all gone. The pandemic also cost Wetzel the opportunity to push himself as an artist.

“A lot of times I use the shows to kind of test myself on that and when you don’t have those coming up it’s kind of a motivational killer, it’s hard to be able to want to focus on those types of things that you want to test out with all the guys and you don’t have that opportunity,” Wetzel said.

Goodroad wasn’t performing, but the pandemic did allow the band time to create five new songs.

“We’re incredibly proud of them, we’re super excited, of course terrified to see if anyone likes it,” Goodroad said. “It was amazing to get back together after all that time and be able to create and feel like we’re coming out of a two year break with something to show for it,” Goodroad added.

Following a long, unscheduled break, Goodroad finally returned to the stage earlier this spring.

“Putting the guitar on, getting on stage, that stuff comes naturally, that was like putting an old pair of jeans on, but it was the middle of the first song and it kind of hits you, I’ll never forget just standing there and looking around and being like holy cow, we’re actually doing this again. You thought you lost it, you didn’t really know how much you missed it, and then I never wanted it to stop,” Goodroad said.

“It had that extra excitement of like, we would be able to get done with songs and look around and say ah yes, this is what we’ve all been missing,” Ochocki said.

“First one back was a really late one. I was dragging because I just wasn’t used to that, I guess, so I’m trying to fight through the energy of what’s going on so I just remember being like man, this is hard,” Wetzel said.

Now, with a few concerts under its belt, Goodroad is set to perform Friday night at Levitt at the Falls.

“We don’t usually rehearse and we’ll have a couple rehearsals getting ready for this one,” Goodroad said.

“People need to take advantage of that venue because there’s not a lot of towns our size that have something like that. It’ll be a blast, we’re really looking forward to that,” Maurer said.

Levitt is not the end of the line for Goodroad. The local band hopes to entertain fans for many years to come.

“If we weren’t having fun doing it, we wouldn’t be doing it. We’re not out to be making a bunch of money, we’re not out to become the next big thing and tour the country. We’re just lucky that we’re able to get out and play and have people enjoy it,” Ochocki said.

“I want to represent Sioux Falls. We want to represent Sioux Falls. We want somebody to come into this city and be like what’s the best you’ve got, and it’s no question that it’s these guys,” Goodroad said.

Goodroad will release its fourth album in the coming months and is part of the lineup for Wagon Wheel, featuring Darius Rucker, on July 11th at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds.

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