When Tempe pop-punk band Sundressed received a message about performing on a Southwest Airlines flight, singer Trevor Hedges wasn't sure what to make of it.
"We were fairly worried it wasn't real, mostly because it was just such a bizarre thing, and we didn't expect to be the type of band they would reach out to for it," Hedges admits.
In fact, it was very real.
An agency found them while searching Spotify for bands in the area to be part of Destination: Red Rocks, a contest that sends one of six artists to open for The Fray during a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver on June 26. Each artist had to perform for unsuspecting passengers on a recent Southwest flight.
On April 25, Hedges and guitarist Forrest Waldorf went from Phoenix to El Paso, Texas, where they then boarded a flight to Dallas. They were instructed to sit at the front of the plane and waited until beverage service was over to get up and play.
"I was worried about the passengers not knowing ahead of time and being irritated," Hedges says. "I was also afraid of what it would be like trying to sing at that kind of altitude."
However, once the performance began, passengers were all ears, whipping out their phones to capture the event. They performed acoustic renditions of two songs from their latest album — the title track, "A Little Less Put Together" and "A Frankford Night."
"They encouraged us to walk up and down and chat with the passengers after," Hedges says. "We walked down the aisle and played another song ["Good As You"]. We had a lot of people asking for info on how to find the band online."
Now those passengers and everyone else can watch footage of their performance on their Destination: Red Rocks page, where fans are encouraged to vote for their favorites to send them to Denver, along with a cash prize. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. CDT on Thursday, June 8, after which the winning artist will be selected by an impartial panel of judges.
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If they win, Sundressed hope to put that cash toward buying a new van. Their current one has been riddled with issues, recently forcing them to cancel a show in Seattle while on tour with Daisyhead and Fossil Youth.
Regardless of what happens, Hedges knows that their experience performing at 35,000 feet will be one they'll never forget.
"We love playing in situations that are out of our element, and I can't think of anything more out of our element."