The largest crowd the Ohio Weather Band has played for is about 1,500 when it shared the stage with the Pretty Reckless and Collective Soul for shows at the Canton Palace Theatre. On March 19, that number is going to jump to up to 20,000 people when the Akron roots rock band opens for Bon Jovi on the This House is Not For Sale Tour. The Ohio Weather Band won a contest that Bon Jovi held seeking a local band to open at each stop on its tour. The Ohio Weather Band’s winning track? “Feathers and Tar,” a rousing rock song off their 2016 Crooked Light album. Live Nation and Bon Jovi management selected the band from a couple hundred entrants. The band is still in shock they were chosen. “It would take a second to actually think, Oh, wow. We are actually going to be doing this, playing at The Q with a legendary band,” says singer and guitarist Corey King. “It was kind of unbelievable.” King chats with us about the band’s brush with rock superstardom.
Q: Are you a fan of Bon Jovi? What’s your favorite song?
A: We grew up knowing his songs. One of our shows [the Auricle March 18] before The Q, we learned his song [“Livin’ on a Prayer”] to kick off the weekend. It’s a pretty big sounding song. A lot of the hits get stuck in your head. It was cool to learn how it was written and all of the parts to it, and kind of apply all of our flair to it. We also wanted to pick a song that we for sure knew everybody was going to know, so hopefully they’re going to be participating with us too, singing the song.
Q: What are your plans for the set?
A: We got a slot of 20 minutes. So we really had to pick songs that represent the band the most. We didn’t want to pick songs that are straight high energy, rocking the whole time, which is great. But we also have a more dynamic easy listening side to us, some songs that are influenced by different genres. We want to make sure we have a good spectrum of energy and a good dynamic element.
Q: Bon Jovi shared the Ohio Weather Band’s submission video on its Facebook, and it got 20,000 views. What’s your reaction to the exposure?
A: It shows that they are putting effort into promoting bands that aren’t as well known as Bon Jovi. They didn’t write this off as We’re just helping a local band but they actually care about local bands and are actually doing something to get their names out there, which is rare for a band of their caliber.