BIG SKY, Mont. — Pearl Jam bassist and Big Sandy native Jeff Ament helped open a skate park in Stevensville Saturday, and across the state, his band mate Mike McCready attracted thousands of people for the first ever Peak to Sky music festival in Big Sky.
McCready brought his musician buddies like Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duff McKagan from Guns N' Roses and Brandi Carlile along with some other surprise guests. Local Bozeman group Paige and the People’s band got everything started at 5:30. Grammy-winner Carlile played for more than an hour and a half before the others took the stage. The final star-studded show Saturday played only covers from other famous artists like Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie and Prince. At one point in the night, Smith and Hawkins had a drum battle that lasted four minutes.
Big Sky-based Outlaw Partners put on the two-day festival with McCready, who has a home nearby. The group of musicians only had a few days to rehearse together before Saturday night's show.
"I called a bunch of my friends and they were available, luckily, and it worked out," McCready said just before the show. "I love it here. It's a beautiful country, I love to ski here. I have a lot of Montana roots. Both of my grandmas were born in Montana. One was in Roundup, my grandma Doris, and one in Butte. My grandma Ina, who's 101. I love Montana and being in the outdoors."
McCready says he hopes this is just the beginning for this festival in Montana.