By Kelly Burch
---- — Tomorrow afternoon the crowd at Gillete Stadium will have two hometown teams to cheer on. The Patriots, of course, and also Prospect Hill, a Lawrence-based band that will be performing for the crowd before the game.
“We’re excited,” said Mark “Barmo” Roberge, Prospect Hill’s drummer. “We always take this as great opportunity.”
The rock band, which is made up of five friends from Lawrence, has spent the past few years pounding the pavement to make their dream a success. In 2012 they released “Impact” and the album did just what its name implied, raising the band’s profile in the rock community. This year, they opened for many bands, including Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Halestorm and Coheed and Cambria, and recently released a single called “Stepping out of line,” which they will be performing tonight. Now, the band members are looking to go on tour with even bigger shows like Papa Roach or Godsmack.
“There’s a lot of stuff on the table,” Roberge said.
However, tomorrow’s show is nailed down. The band has opened for the Patriots three times, Roberge said. Each time, a member of the Kraft organization reaches out to them.
“The fact that they ask us back every year is good thing,” Roberge said, noting that the band’s unique sound and great live show are what often gets them asked back.
“We are hard rock but with our own sound and style,” he said. “And we are very different live. We’re a high passion, lay-it-all-on-the-line kind of band.”
Roberge says that while many bands today expect instant success, Prospect Hill has been willing to put in the hard work to get their name out there slowly.
“You go to a Prospect Hill show, you are getting a show. It’s passionate. That’s how we built a following,” he said. “It’s hard work to get people to go to the show. If you don’t do well, they are not coming back. You have to hook them and do great job.”
One group that the band has impressed is the United Service Organizations. Prospect Hill has been working with the USO for a few years and is an official USO band. In January, they will be traveling to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile defense Army Base on the Marshall Islands to preform for the soldiers stationed there. They will also be teaching a poetry class at a local school.
“We were played for the council on the island and they loved us,” Roberge said.
When they’re back from that trip the boys in Prospect Hill are hoping to work on their next album. They will be raising money for the album through Kickstarter, the crowd-sourcing website. However, they will continue to focus on performing live.
“The biggest thing is our live show,” Roberge said.