BAXTER - Rain didn't stop fans or Boston - for that matter - from hitting the stage Saturday night during Lakes Jam at Brainerd International Raceway, located north of Baxter on Highway 371.
After a mostly clear and sunny day, rain started to come down on the BIR grounds before Boston was scheduled to take the stage. However, the weather didn't stop Boston fans, who either had an umbrella, a rain poncho or jacket or they just simply got wet. Fans chanted "Boston, Boston" in the rain until the American rock band from Boston, Mass., got on stage and performed. Boston, who sold more than 31 million albums since the band started in the 70s, performed many of their hits such as "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind," "Smokin'" and "Amanda" as fans sang along and cheered. Boston also played their latest album titled, "Life, Love and Hope."
The rain stayed steady for the first half of Boston's show and then it let up. Fans who had their umbrellas up in the front of the stage, put them down to allow other fans a better view of the stage.
Most of the people interviewed at Lakes Jam Saturday said they were most excited to see Boston play.
"I love Boston," said Lori Schweitzberger of Baxter, who stood backstage in the meet and greet line to get a photograph with the band. "I remember listening to them when I was a freshman in college. I didn't know all the songs tonight, but it was a fun night.
"Meeting Boston was my highlight at Lakes Jam. My girlfriend is going to be envious."
Cindy Clow of Merrifield, along with John and Jenny Justin of Sartell, Kevin and Tammy Wood of Merrifield and Jon Althoff of Rush City were excited to see Boston.
"I saw Boston in 2005 at Moondance Jam and they sound exactly like their albums," Clow said.
This was the first Lakes Jam the group of friends have attended, except for Althoff, who came last year.
"It's a nice mini vacation for me and the people are nice," said Althoff. "I had fun last year, it was great."
Clow said she decided to come this year because the line-up was good.
Laurie Swan of St. Cloud, not only was a first-timer at Lakes Jam, but it was her first outdoor music festival she has ever attended.
"I've never been to anything like this before," Swan said. "My girlfriend (Sandy Brutger of Avon) talked me into going. We've been friends since fourth grade and I came because of the bands. I love Boston and Loverboy."
Brutger said the last time she attended an outdoor music festival was in 1976 in Iowa.
"Lakes Jam is great, it's awesome," said Brutger. "We'll be back."
Kevin and Julie Koempel of Lakeville purchased a Saturday pass to see Boston and to check out the other classic rock bands, such as Loverboy, Don Felder and Head East.
Between Loverboy's performance and Boston's Saturday, Lakes Jam honored the military with music and a slide presentation, along with service men and women on stage with the American Flag, which ended with fireworks.
Randy Klinger of Brainerd was excited to see Don Felder, former lead guitarist of The Eagles.
"The last time I saw the Eagles it was 1978," said Klinger. "I actually got to pick them up from the airport and they are great guys, all are down to earth and humble.
"They still got it."
Marly Simmons of Baxter came to Lakes Jam for the first time with his parents, Bill and Julie Simmons of Detroit Lakes. Marly Simmons is a teacher and track coach at Staples-Motley High School and he said the Staples principal Mike Schmidt has been part of Lakes Jam since it began. Simmons said the track team helped clean-up the grounds after the event.
Bill Simmons said the last time he saw Boston was in 1978-79 so he was excited to come to Lakes Jam.
Jerry Braam, owner/founder of Lakes Jam, said Saturday Lakes Jam has been running smoothly. He said people have been safe and there have been "hardly any issues."
"We run a good clean event," Braam said. "People are having a good time and there is so much parking, it's great. And camping has been incredible.
"Lakes Jam takes months and months of planning. ... We have big crowds and we will keep growing. I'm already looking at several bands for next year."
Lakes Jam crew did a survey with the fans on whether they liked rock or country more and a majority of them said they liked having both music genres, Braam said.
Rob and Lorri Reuer of Baxter, who were taking a short break in the parking lot Saturday, were one couple who enjoy both music genres.
"We love Lakes Jam because it's close and it has both," they said. "We like classic rock best, but the new country is good. The classic rock brings back a lot of memories. We grew up with all the bands."
Rob Reuer said he likes that Lakes Jam moved the stage to a different location on the BIR grounds.
"Each year it keeps getting better," he said.
Monica Nieman of Brainerd attended Lakes Jam for the first time and said she was impressed. She said she also liked the country and rock aspect of the festival.
"A lot of people here are not from Brainerd," she said. "They are from all over."
For more photos from Saturday go to goo.gl/hgtBFo