BONNERS FERRY — There is a town, close to the border between the United States and Canada, where a welcoming smile and a friendly hello greet both visitors and local residents. Bonners Ferry, and the whole of Boundary County, bring a wide variety of talents to this community, one of which is the art of music.
Runaway Symphony returned to Bonners Ferry after three years to bring residents together at the Pearl Theater with their soulful music and talent. On Feb. 24, attendees brought not only their hands together for the band, but once they began their signature song, “Bonners Ferry,” not only did the band fill the Pearl Theater with their harmonious voices, every attendee who knew the song joined in.
The acoustics of the former church amplified the sound of both the band and the audience’s voices as they joined in singing the lyrics, creating a unique harmony with the audible feeling of the love that, not only the song, but the spirit of the attendees feel about the area.
Runaway Symphony delivered upbeat music that brought audience members to their feet, clapping with the beat, dancing, and singing along with the lyrics. Their musical style is a kind of alternative, indie, folk mixture, which brings their harmonies and impacting lyrics both vibrancy and relatability.
Daniel Botkin is the lead vocalist, and plays rhythm guitar, Chris Lowe is on lead guitar, keys, and vocals, AJ Stevens is on bass and vocals, and Jason Oliveira is on drums and vocals. Together, they make Runaway Symphony a successful band on the rise, with a significant fan base not only in Boundary County, but across the country and online as well.
Botkin was homeschooled in Bonners Ferry, and played football and ran track for Bonners Ferry High School, before moving on to the University of Idaho. Being a part of this community left its mark on Botkin, and he wrote a ballad about Bonners Ferry, which paints a picture in words about the beauty of the area.
“We all played at open mic downtown,” said Oliveira. “My brother Chris and I started by doing a solo thing, then we all started playing Dave Matthews songs. Then it morphed into what we are now.”
Distance has been an issue for the progression of the band, with members moving, but utilizing the internet and some applications, they were able to finish another album. The band members may have been busy with their day jobs, then they would see someone changing files on the application, which got them excited as to the new ideas being shared.
“We needed to finish an album, so we needed to find a way to connect and finish it,” said Oliveira.
“It’s great to be home,” exclaimed Botkin. “It is really humbling to come home and have people pay money to come see the performance, so we feel very grateful.”
Amidst being celebrities, the band members remain friendly and humble. They held conversations, joked, and even signed T-shirts for the attendees.
“Thanks for supporting us,” said Oliveira, who spoke for the band. “Our favorite part about doing shows is meeting the people.”
For more information, visit http://www.runawaysymphony.com