Fuel gracious about low turnout

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Sept. 12, 2013

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(Times photo – Donovan Quintero)

It's not every day the Navajo Nation presents a chart-topping rock band for its fairgoers, but Fuel was the act to see during the 67th annual Navajo Nation Fair.

The only problem was, Who saw them?

One would think a rock band that has sold over 3.5 million albums in the U.S. and has had five top singles would have packed the seats of the Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena last Thursday night, but they were lucky to draw in at most 50 people.

Some concertgoers blamed the lack of advertising.

"It was kind of disappointing in the way that I wish there were more people," said long-time Fuel fan Andrea Yazzie from Chinle. "Maybe if there was better advertisement, but as far as the concert went and the band being here, I was happy to see them."

"I was really surprised they were coming," she added.

Steven Collins from Window Rock, on the other hand, was happy to see that there weren't many people because everyone got to be close to the stage. He added though, that it was bad for the Pennsylvania-based band because they came all the way out here.

"You don't see a band like that come out here every day," Collins added.

The only concerts that were advertised on the 67th annual Navajo Nation Fair website were Marty Stuart and the Texas Jam Band. Fuel was only mentioned on the fair's event schedule.

A small crowd wasn't enough to stop Fuel from hitting the stage strong on with their opening song "Last Time," quickly followed with their song "Empty Space."

Fuel rocked the stage and managed to be gracious about the low turnout.

After the second song front man Brett Scallions said, "We got some people out here don't we?" pointing to the cheering fans against the fence. "All the Navajos stand proud!"

"I thought it was cool to see a big band come out and support the rez," said Bird Collins of Window Rock, who attended the show with friends.

"Do you guys feel like you're being entertained?" Scallions asked as the fans cheered in reply.

"We aim to please," he added before they filled the night with fan favorites like "Shimmer" and "Innocent."

"They played all the good songs," said Steven Collins, adding that there was no way he thought Fuel would have visited the Navajo Nation, and it was very surprising for him to get to see them in his hometown.

Before bringing the show to an end Scallions said to the crowd, "Thank you so much to the Navajo Nation for inviting us out to play. It's been a beautiful day and you have such a beautiful area here. You should be proud of it."

Fuel closed out their set with their well-known song "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" from their album "Something Like Human" released in 2000.

Contact Shondiin Silversmith at 928-871-1138 or ssilversmith@navajotimes.com.