Noted Billings band reunites
Pride weekend show
Of The Gazette Staff
by BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff
Jane members Holly Shawver, Kristen Coyner and
Danielle Egnew, from left, practice for an appearance
at the Montana Pride Celebration.
It has been eight years in the making, but the
members of the all-girl rock group Pope Jane
are in the same town, and they intend to rock
"The outpouring from the Billings community
was humbling," vocalist Danielle Egnew
said of the public reaction to the reunion.
rockers, who enjoyed local celebrity in the
1990s, will headline a show at the Montana Pride
Jane's performance at the Loft on Saturday night
will be the first appearance by the band's original
members since 2001.
show, like Pride weekend, will be for the gay
and straight communities of Billings.
an everyone show," Egnew said.
Holly Shawver has been raising four children
in Billings with her husband during the band's
hiatus. For her, the concert offers a trip down
excited for the reunion. It's fun to relive
my youth a little bit," Shawver said.
drummer Kristen Coyner, a chance to shake off
the rust coincided with an event she cares about.
pride event was pretty cool, because to have
a pride festival there at all is remarkable,"
Jane is just one highlight for the weekend,
Pride coordinator Robin McClure said.
weekend is an annual celebration to recognize
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Montanans
and Two Spirit communities.
explained that it is a time for people to express
themselves proudly and let the community know
that LGBT people are "no different"
than anyone else.
turned into an arena for people to meet people
and have fun," she said.
also a special weekend for those who feel alone
and fear discrimination.
can be out for one day a year. We like to be
able to offer that escape," McClure said.
Pride Ceremony kicks off Friday with a drag
show performed at the Loft by the Imperial Supreme
Court of the State of Montana.
Carney, co-executive director for the ISCSM,
said the show promises entertainment, and the
proceeds will go to charities around the state.
really looking forward to it," he said.
"It'll be all sorts of fun."
lineup includes 15 performers and will be emceed
by Miss Jade. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.,
has a $10 cover charge and is open only to people
21 and older.
alcohol-free, no-charge bowling night for those
under 21 will run concurrently at Sunset Bowl.
will begin with a parade at 10 a.m. on North
26th Street. McClure said the parade is a traditional
part of a gay pride weekend and a way for a
community to support its members.
a way for people to show they are proud,"
also said the visible support from nongays and
religious groups at the 2007 parade was encouraging.
support of the spiritual community last year
was astounding," she said.
the parade, the festivities move to North Park,
where there will be a variety of vendors and
food options from noon to 6 p.m. The Festival
in the Park will offer tattoo artists, massage
therapists, bingo, gay games, a beer garden
and musical entertainment from Judy Fjell, Kym
Berry Music and the Missoula Gay Men's chorus.
so much for people to do," McClure said.
said the gay games are traditional festival
games with a twist. The three-legged race will
take place on an obstacle course, and contestants
in the egg race will have to complete a puzzle
while running with their egg.
Park will host the kickball tournament as well.
Vanessa Browning, a local teacher and a member
of the Batters Not Included team, said the party
in the park is all about community.
a very inclusive, very accepting weekend,"
Browning said. "It's nice to connect with
people we don't see very often."
concert at the Loft begins with singer Josh
Zuckerman at 7:30 p.m., followed by comic Jenny
Sherwin at 8:30 p.m. As the headliners, Pope
Jane will go on at 9 p.m. with a promised two-hour
show. Coordinators will fence off the Loft parking
lot to accommodate the large number of attendants.
it is a 21-and-older show, younger participants
and their families can play on the giant, inflatable
Twister board or play games with members of
Students Helping Others Understand Teen AIDS.
wraps up the weekend with an interdenominational
faith service in North Park at 9 a.m., followed
by a farewell breakfast at 10 a.m.
said the organizers are expecting a larger crowd
than last year and have stepped up security
measures in light of the recent white-supremacist
graffiti. She encouraged all members of the
community to attend and interact.
not just for gay people, and we'd prefer not
to have it that way," McClure said.
the proceeds from the weekend will go to charity
through the Montana Pride Network.
HERE to learn more about Pope Jane and listen
to their music.
Published on Thursday, June 19, 2008.