Blessid Union of Souls rocks ENMU

By Tony Parra

The Blessid Union of Souls started out Saturday night’s festivities by singing the national anthem before the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds football game against Central Arkansas at Greyhound Stadium and they capped off the night with a concert at Greyhound Arena.
Blessid Union of Souls made a tour stop in Portales on Saturday and immediately went to Mount Pleasant, Mich. for another concert on Sunday at Central Michigan University.
Eliot Sloan, the lead vocalist, said the band arrived into Portales on Friday.
“Everyone I saw was friendly,” Tony Clark, who plays bass guitar, said. “It’s a really friendly community.”
The group ate dinner after they sang the national anthem then had a break before their concert at 9:30 p.m. The group comes from Cincinnati and Portales represented a different setting that they have been used to.
“It’s wide open,” Jeff Ponce, guitar player, said. “A lot of good beef.”
Blessid Union of Souls began their summer concert tour in its hometown of Cincinnati with a concert on Aug. 6 and another one the following day. Most of its concerts in September will be throughout the midwest. The concert in Portales on Saturday night is the farthest west the group will be traveling on its summer tour.
Sloan said it’s been busy with the tour and recording in the studio and said he met the other band members in Amarillo, Texas before traveling down to Portales.
“We’re used to doing a tour and recording at the same,” Sloan said. “We take time out just to record.”
The Blessid Union of Souls concert on Saturday night was the first concert of the fall semester for ENMU students.
“It’s a cool town,” Sloan said about Portales. “We’re hoping for a lot of people. There’s going to be a lot of energy and it should be a good show. We like playing out on the road. We’re able to see different people and stay fresh.”
The band has been playing music for nine years and in 2002 it added members Bryan Billhimer on guitar and Shaun Schaefer on drums. The band had its breakthrough hit “I Believe” in 1995 and its latest album, “The Singles”, came out on Feb. 27.
The next concert scheduled for ENMU is local hip-hop group Unbreakable, slated for Sept. 22 in the Campus Union Ballroom on the ENMU campus.