The Colts Are Getting Into the Local Music Scene

Football is a game of emotion.

Music evokes emotion.

“A song can help elicit such emotion – more so than just the video element,” says Dan Plumlee, Director of Digital Platforms for the Indianapolis Colts. “So you tie those two together and they can get you crying, they can make you laugh, they can make you mad.”

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They can also give you goose bumps.

The Colts regularly reach out to local bands to perform at training camp, the kickoff concert, on game day, and at other events throughout the season. And now, in an effort to put together more creative and innovative videos, they’re expanding that opportunity.

“We came together and we thought well, what if we try to help support local bands and at the same time, benefit us and give the fans a more engaging piece of content,” Plumlee says. “And about a month later, we rolled it out.”

Will Barada sings and plays guitar for The Easthills, a new classic rock band out of Rushville, Indiana. He says they were floored when they saw the clip with their song, “Mothers & Fools,” go out over the Colts social media channels.

“That was as thrilling a 30-seconds when I saw that the first time as I’ve had in a while,” he says. “We were all blown away by it. The Colts are a big deal. So, that was a huge thing.”

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Photo: Kurt Anno courtesy of The Easthills

Barada and Hank Campbell, the founding members of The Easthills, go all the way back to high school, where they met playing football and singing in the choir at Rushville High School.

“We were just buddies growing up who like music. We were lucky enough to have an inspiring choir teacher,” says Barada. “Hank and I both played football through high school and Mr. Doyle really directed our choir more like a coach and he was a great athlete in his own right. We were lucky to have a guy that we could relate to in that way and that also loved music as much or more than we did.”

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Photo: Kurt Anno courtesy of The Easthills

Brothers Brad and Banner Morgan and drummer Wade Parish are all from the Rushville area. They’ve been playing together as The Easthills for about four years now and during that time, they’ve played on the Bob & Tom Show, opened up for Blues Traveler at the Colts Kickoff Concert, and opened up for REO Speedwagon and Tesla.

Over the years, they’ve watched the Colts help transform Indianapolis from a sleepy Midwestern town to a thriving city. And now, they hope to see the music scene grow along with it.

Photo: Kurt Anno courtesy of The Easthills
Photo: Kurt Anno courtesy of The Easthills

“I think the Colts are responsible for bringing some of the great things to Indy and to take it a step further and make this kind of investment in the cultural scene is great,” says Barada. “The venues in Indianapolis, they’re getting more of them and the ones that are there are investing in their theaters, their clubs, it is moving in the right direction. The Colts can be a huge part of it.”

Plumlee sees it as a partnership and collaboration. Along with use on the Colts’ social media channels, he says the videos could be incorporated into their shows and even game day at Lucas Oil Stadium. And who knows, maybe it will inspire someone to write a song specifically about the Colts.

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Photo: The Easthills

“Not only are we elevating them, but they’re also elevating us and they’re an extra voice that’s sharing the Colts message and I think it just shows the fan that they’re a part of the team – like they’re with us in this and we’re helping them and they’re helping us.”

For The Easthills, it’s a fitting tribute that brings them full circle.

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Photo: The Easthills

“I would compare the rush we got playing football to the rush we get on stage,” Barada says. “It’s an aggressive energy and when you pair that with world class athletes doing incredible things, I think that’s what was so exciting – was that we did feel like our music elevated what was already an incredible visual. Maybe we brought an audio element that lifted it a little bit more.”

And left a lasting impression on fans.

To submit a song or a piece of music to the Colts, go to:  http://www.colts.com/fanzone/contests-and-promotions/music.html.