Mother Reign, one of Richmond County’s most popular local bands, hit the stage at ThunderFest at 5 p.m. Friday.
Crowds began to gather ‘round as the cover band started belting out tunes, tearing into guitar riffs and pounding on the drums.
“We’re huge fans of the band,” said Diane Masterson and Eric Whitfield, of Rockingham.
“This is the first time I’ve been to ThunderFest, and I came to see Mother Reign,” said Masterson. “I’m so excited!”
The band has been drawing crowds since forming in 1995. All the members are Richmond County natives, and regularly pack the house when they play at local venues like Hudson Brothers in Rockingham.
“We were performing back before NASCAR left Rockingham,” said Mother Reign member Scott Lovin. “We’re excited to be playing at ThunderFest, because it’s a celebration of NASCAR’s return. I hope there are plenty more NASCAR races to come at the speedway.”
Other band members include: Jerry Goodwin, Mike Butler, Kevin Butler, and Eric McRae.
“We came to ThunderFest to see Mother Reign,” said Kristin Morrison, of Rockingham, and Reagan Ross, of Hamlet. “We’re race fans too, and will be at The Rock on Sunday.”
“I’ll be there to see Todd Dillon,” said Ross.
As the band launched into its 24-song set, the crowd continued to grow. Kids eating funnel cakes dotted the curbs, relaxing while moms and dads enjoyed the tunes.
Keven McKenzie, of Hamlet, and Scott Carroway and Eddie Brown, of Rockingham stood at the back of the crowd, chatting between sets.
“We’re here for the band, but also for the NASCAR celebrations,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie and Brown confirmed they would be at the race on Sunday, but Carroway will be working.
“I’m a little jealous that they’ll be there and I won’t,” said Carroway.
“I’m excited about this weekend because we used to go to NASCAR races at the speedway, and now we’ll finally be going again,” said Brown. “I’m pulling for Todd Dillon.”
The band continued to belt out tunes until about 7 p.m., when the autograph session with the drivers of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicked off.
Jim Quick and the Coastline Band took the stage at 8 p.m.
Both bands were sponsored by Pee Dee Electric.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com