A&E

Country music group headlines at SVSU

American country music group Baillie and the Boys perform on the Malcolm Field Theatre stage. Vanguard Photographer | Audrey Bergey

The Malcolm Field Theater was filled with the sounds of guitars and vocal harmonies on Wednesday evening. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #105 presented a concert starring country group Baillie and the Boys.

Opening the show was Beaverton native Amanda Kari. Kari has won numerous talent contests and enjoys playing local shows.

Notably, Kari enjoys singing for nursing home residents. She detailed how COVID has affected these performances.

“I’ve really missed going to the nursing homes in the area because they were one of the first ones that really did shut down with everything,” Kari said. “I have not been back in the nursing homes yet, but I hope to be soon.”

Kari is thankful that more venues are opening for concerts so she can get back to more live performances.

“[During COVID] I sang every day on my way to work in the car,” Kari said. “It’s just great to be back on stage. It’s a lot of fun up there.”

Headliners Baillie and the Boys were also excited to get back on stage for their second performance after the first in 11 months.

The group rose to popularity in the late 1980s with their self-titled debut album featuring lead single “Oh Heart.”

Before their big break they did a bit of everything, including singing a jingle for Burger King, as guitarist and lead singer Kathie Baillie quipped before leading into a song from their lengthy discography.

Baillie’s husband Michael Bonagura plays guitar and sings in the group as well. As far as choosing a favorite song to play,

Bonagura says it all depends on the show.

“I think the cool thing about performing is that on different nights, different performances, different songs become your favorite songs during that show,” Bonagura said. “… It’s just a question of when you climb inside the music, and it becomes part of you that it becomes your favorite.”

Baillie agreed with her husband’s sentiment.

“You get backstage and think to yourself, ‘boy that was really good tonight, but it was really horrible the other night,’” Baillie said. “It’s just cosmic.”

Baillie and Bonagura’s daughter Alyssa Bonagura joined her parents in concert, finding time while promoting her song “New Wings.”

“It’s been amazing,” Alyssa said. “I’m happy that people are liking the song and hopefully it’s a song that can help people through the (craziness of the) last two years.”

Alyssa was born the year after Baillie and the Boys’ debut album was released. She explained the joys of growing up in a famous musical household.

“I grew up in a great environment around great people like Reba McEntire and Vince Gill and Kenny Rogers,” she said. “To me that was like normal life because they made it normal, and they kept me grounded. I think it’s something you can’t be taught, you kind of have to grow up living that way and experience it.”

Alyssa said she is thankful for every opportunity to share the stage with her parents.

“It’s so special and I think that there’s nothing really that comes close to sharing family harmonies,” she said. “I’m just grateful I get to do it. Life is precious and it’s a really special thing to sing with them.”

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