Crowd packs DG’s Tap House to honor Charlie Vestal


A packed crowd showed up to honor musician Charlie Vestal at DG’s Tap House. 

Jacob Beals

Going up the DG’s Tap House steps felt a little more somber than usual on Sunday night, but, once at the top, an almost packed crowd could be seen filling the room for Charlie Vestal’s memorial. In fact, as the night went on, it became hard to move through the crowd because so many were there to pay respect to the Ames artist. 

Love could be seen around the room; People were hugging one and other, putting their arms around each other, and comforting others while remembering Vestal’s life and music.

Local musician Rachel Dudley called the gathering of all those who knew Vestal beautiful, and she said she was not surprised at the turn out. Many people expressed their love on stage for Vestal’s music, and who he was as a person in general. The gathering really represented how many lives he touched.

“It’s beautiful, and heartwarming and not surprising,” Dudley said about the crowd.  

Mark Farnsworth, Vestal’s brother, began the night by welcoming everyone and reading some history about his sibling. Soon after the introduction, he and some of Vestal’s family and friends covered songs that were favorites of the man they were remembering.

Local Artists like Nate Logsdon, Lyndsay Nissen, Josh Mutant, Bryon and Rachel Dudley, Greg Bruna, Sean Huston and Wally Neal all came onstage throughout the night to sing songs that were written by, or reminded them of, Vestal. Each performer had wonderful things to say about Vestal, and they all sang and played with great passion and emotion. 

A couple of beautiful poems were read by Vestal’s cousin Melodie Polansky, and his friend Jim Coppoc. Coppoc said that he and Vestal spent time together sharing poetry and art with one another. He mentioned after his reading that he is going to miss how open Vestal was about his art while sharing it at jams, poetry slams and shows.

Some even had the chance to take the DG’s stage and share memories they had with Vestal. A few of these memories were about day-to-day activities in Vestal’s life, such as shopping, working and performing.

Andy Boyd was one of those who shared a little bit of the past. He had been in band called Frosted Charlie with Vestal. It formed while the two of them were in eighth grade. Boyd showed a lot of compassion for his friend, and he later said that the lyrics Vestal wrote have inspired him.

“He just jumps into stuff,” Boyd said. “The lyrics he writes are like nothing I’ve ever heard before.”

Local singer Josh Mutant also had the opportunity to play with Vestal in a band. Mutant performed a punk rock song by The Ramones, a band in which he said that he and Vestal bonded over. After his performance, he talked about what it meant to see so many people show up and honor Vestal.

“It means so much to see so many people here who loved Charlie, and how much he meant to his community,” Mutant said.

Farnsworth echoed those same thoughts throughout the night as he was always generous to the crowd every time he went up and spoke. He also reflected on the turnout, and he described the outpour of love from everyone as overwhelming and wonderful.

“I cannot express enough appreciation for what I’ve seen here tonight,” Farnsworth said.

Many others also took the stage, sharing songs, poems, memories and words of comfort throughout rest of the night. It was amazing to see how Vestal had not only impacted those in Ames, but also others who lived outside of town. The night truly showed what he did for this community, as a musician and as a person.