The Guinness folks don’t keep tabs on this category, but here’s a record that could be set soon: Shortest commute for a performer at Tulsa’s BOK Center.
Wilderado is among bands that will open for The 1975 at The Edge’s Black Friday show at BOK Center. Max Rainer, Wilderado’s frontman, lives in the Owen Park area of Tulsa. He said he can see the BOK Center from his back porch.
During an interview about the BOK Center gig, Rainer said, “I’m starting to think about walking there just to say I did.”
The 1975 will be joined by Catfish and the Bottlemen, Blue October, K Flay and Wilderado at the Friday, Nov. 29, concert. Rainer said the band is “super pumped” about the opportunity to take part in such a massive show.
“It’s kind of crazy,” he said. “The thing we keep laughing about is we have always just kind of had our eyes set on getting to play Cain’s (Ballroom). But, before Cain’s and the Brady, we are playing the BOK with somebody, so it feels kind of upside down. But other than that, we are very excited.”
Even though Wilderado is skipping ahead a couple of steps, and that’s OK, playing Cain’s Ballroom is still on the bucket list, according to Rainer.
“That has always kind of been one of our big goals just because we grew up thinking that place was so awesome and I have seen so many great bands there,” he said. “It has been fun now to kind of become friends with more and more bands and going to see them play there.”
Rainer, who attended Metro Christian High School, isn’t the only Wilderado member with 918 roots. Justin Kila is from Mannford. Other members are Colton Dearing and Tyler Wimpee.
Wilderado was once based in Los Angeles, but the band’s relocation to Tulsa got them back home.
Asked about the move, Rainer said, “Really, it was what both of our families needed. There wasn’t a whole lot of thinking past that. We wanted to look after that, and then the band kind of falls below. So we wanted to take care of our families and get them around where they grew up and back around their families. That was kind of the largest impetus.
“But it has just been so great touring from Tulsa, being in the middle of the country and not having to drive thousands of miles to our first gig, whatever trip we are on. Little stuff like that has been really awesome. And we just kind of wanted to be known from where we are and not from Los Angeles. It felt weird telling everybody we are from Los Angeles when we just aren’t.”
Rainer said he didn’t play music or “anything like that” before college. But while pursuing a communications degree at Baylor, he started writing songs and, during his last semester, he met guys who would become bandmates.
“We were all going to Los Angeles and we kind of just became each other’s friends group out there,” Rainer said. “We started sharing songs and decided to record a bunch of them and that’s just kind of the end of the story. The next thing we know we are on the road and it never stopped.”
Wilderado has released a series of EPs since 2016. The newest release is the single “Surefire.” Has there been a big moment or reminder along the way that the band is on the right path?
“The whole thing has been that moment, to tell you the truth,” Rainer said. “We are always telling people that this isn’t something we are forcing to happen. It’s something that we are good at and opportunities have presented themselves to us and we just continue to go along as that sort of thing has happened.”
Rainer said the thing he most wants people to know about Wilderado is the guys in the band love writing songs and are not trying to take things too seriously. They understand it’s a special thing to get to do what they are doing — and they want to do it for as long as possible.
“But I think if you are talking specifically about the sound of the band, we are just a rock and roll band with big melodies and harmonies and drums and guitars,” he said.
Rainer said he has only seen one BOK Center show. He visited there for a Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit concert in June. The second band Rainer will see there will be his own.
Rainer guessed that he lives a mile or less from BOK Center. He drives by it every weekday while taking a kid to school. But he absolutely must walk to the venue when Wilderado performs there. Agree?
“I think I have to, too,” he said. “We’ll kind of play it by ear and see how cold it is.”