Maximum Ames successfully celebrates 10th anniversary


Madi Bierl

Fred Love performing at Ames City Auditorium Fri., Sept. 16.

On top of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting the festival together, Fred Love, co-producer, performed Friday night at the Ames City Auditorium. He was joined by drummer Cal Rebuhn and bassist Pat Blair, known as the Bakersfield Brawl.

“One of Maximum Ames’ hallmarks has always been diversity in music, so you can experience new things, try new bands out, and we think that this lineup this year absolutely upholds that tradition,” Love said.

Self-described as a cowpunk band, they performed a mix of original songs and covers, with an emphasis on instrumental runs. They ended their set with their own twist of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

Later that night, No Good Deeds, who plays a mix of country and rock and roll, performed at Alluvial Brewing Company. Dan DeGeest led the band on electric guitar and was joined by bassist Willie Pett and drummer Brandon Long.

“This song is about divorce … not really, it’s a ballad,” DeGeest said between songs.

Before wrapping up their set, Pett revealed that he had been wearing a fake mustache the whole time and gave it to one of the kids dancing in front of the stage to wear. Their last song of the night was a cover of “Royals” by Lorde.

Miss Christine was another band that performed at Maximum Ames. Christine Moad, 30, performed at Max Ames every year since 2019.

They performed as a four-piece ensemble with Moad on vocals, Dustin Duwa on guitar, Rishi Wagle on keys and Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Laurie Haag on drums. This was the first time they had all performed together.

“It’s always so much fun,” Moad said. “There’s such a great built-in supportive music community in Ames. I’m so grateful to have found that. Being able to play at Max Ames every year for the past four years has been such an awesome experience, and it’s a ton of fun.”

Many of the songs they performed are unreleased tracks from their new album “Bittersweet,” which will not be released digitally until 2023. All the songs are around two minutes long, and Moad described them as “short and sweet.” Physical copies of the album were there for purchase at their merch table.

They performed a song called “Truth In Song,” and Moad shared onstage that it is their favorite song they have ever written. They also performed a cover of “Colors” by Black Pumas in honor of pride.

“It all starts within, and we have to love ourselves,” Moad said.

Another song they performed was titled “Self Sabotage,” which they shared was recorded in Bryon Dudley’s — a long-time supporter and co-producer of Maximum Ames — a basement recording studio in Ames.

“It’s a chance to move the cultural needle in Ames and expose people to music they may not have otherwise been exposed to,” Dudley said.

Dudley was good friends with the founders of the festival and was involved from the beginning. He said his love for music and the community has kept him going.

“This is the last one for my wife, and we’ve decided to step back, and hopefully someone else will take it over,” Dudley said. “It feels extra special that way, 10 seems like a good one to go out on.”