Big People at Bottineau

Check out this amazing, never-before-seen footage of Big People kicking ass at the Rockin’ the Hills festival at the Wild Rose Amphitheater in Bottineau, North Dakota! The band took the stage on Saturday, July 1, at 2:15 pm.

Ben’s health was declining and he was losing weight rapidly, but his attitude was strong and he was still jamming like a true rocker! In fact, the whole band was playing with energy and passion.

This footage was generously given to me by the band’s tour manager, Joe Dlearo, and is shared here with permission. There is more to come as we approach the 22nd anniversary of this incredible bit of Big People history, so please stay tuned.


UPDATE JUNE 26, 2022: This footage is truly awe-inspiring! Ben is doing what he loved to do, and he’s thrown his whole heart into it. And his bandmates are pure gold, rockin’ right along with him!

SO much talent on this stage! Laurie commented on YouTube: “All I know is I want a hype man like Derek by my side when I’m fighting the good fight! These guys loved and looked up to Benjamin just like we do, only they got to know him and hold him up when he needed them most.” Beautifully said!

13 thoughts on “Big People at Bottineau

  1. Bittersweet, but these men are a joy to watch. I am truly embarrassed with today’s talentless (far too many) “bands, singers”, etc. who are just a disgusting display of crudeness, profanity, sexuality, etc. Real talent was contained in Big People, and I can tell they became bigger (and better) people for knowing and working with each other. A BIG thank you to these gentlemen for their grace, humility, and humanity. RIP Benjamin.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Thank you Donna, and thanks to Joe Dlearo, this is totally marvellous and totally heartbreaking.
    The loyalty and support of the Big People men, all legends, and everyone else else at that time, was
    beyond wonderful, and of course, our exquisite Ben, as ever, was brilliant, and what about that smile!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Holy Moly, this is incredible. Thank you so much for sharing, Donna. That was still our Benjamin, same voice, same beautiful smile at the end. The quality of this video is amazing. These 5 truly were having a blast. Speaks volumes about their love for other since they disbanded after losing Benjamin. I’m not going to lie, this made me very emotional. ❤ Makes me so sad that Pat Travers left when he did and never reached out to Benjamin before he died. I'm so grateful that the others were there for him, along with Julie, when he needed them the most. R,I.P. Sweet, Beautiful Benjamin.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Wow! Thanks, Joe Dlearo for giving Donna permission to share this! The sound quality of this vid is amazing. And hearing Ben’s voice — still strong, full, and emotive — at this stage of his illness is truly a gift. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Oh my goodness Donna that was truly amazing! The strange thing is it didn’t make me sad, I’ll tell you why, Ben truly had a great voice right until the end, infact it shows just how good a performer he really was. Infact that’s one of my favourite performances re sound etc of Big People as he was truly giving his all and really having a good time, that’s what he wanted to do keep performing until he couldn’t anymore, he achieved that, with bells on as we can see here. I can’t wait to see more. For those up us who never got to see Ben in concert that performance is priceless as if shows he was true to himself till the end, and he looks like he’s having a ball out there. So lovely to see! By the way Donna is the Night Thoughts podcast still going? I’ve sent a beautiful pencil drawing photo of Ben my 13 yr old daughter drew me for my birthday, she has captured Ben beautifully I think, she’s very talented and it’s very special to me the picture, feel free to share.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I also find that whole performance to be very inspiring. My love for the other band members grew exponentially, too, as I watched them rocking out wholeheartedly, right along with Ben. They were just as invested in Ben’s last wishes and in having a good time as he was.

      Dave and I were hoping to resume recording this summer, but it’s proving to be tougher than we thought. Hopefully we can carve out some time. How lovely that your daughter gave you such a meaningful gift — I’m excited to see it! I’ll check with Dave since he monitors the email account. Thank you for sharing it with us!

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Hi Donna, finally I have solved issue trying to get back to you – anyway, the “anonymous ” message is/was from me, I didn’t mean to be anonymous, obviously just inept with the technology. Anyway, again thanks so much, this is precious.

    Liked by 1 person

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