Three hours after Mike Harmeier of Mike and the Moonpies made the surprise announcement that the band was changing their name to Silverada, the newly-named, but 17-year-old band took the stage at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater in Key West, Florida as part of 2024’s Mile 0 Fest. It will go down in history as Silverada’s first official show.
For more information on the name change from Mike and the Moonpies to Silverada, CLICK HERE.
As the band came out, a Silverada launch party ensued. Hundreds of Silverada T-shirts were thrown out in the crowd. Wade Bowen showed up with a T-Shirt canon, shooting shirts to the back of the amphitheater crowd, later helped by Mike Harmeier’s son. Two “Silverada” banners were unveiled on both sides of the stage, and Silverada beach balls and light up sticks were handed out throughout the crowd.
A show by the band formerly known as Mike and the Moonpies is usually a wild affair. The Silverada launch party took it to a whole other level. Silverada put on the best show in the band’s history, though that wasn’t exactly a tall order. But it also happened to be the best show in Mike and the Moonpies history too.
It’s fair to say that the reception for the new name has been frosty by the best assessment, and mostly negative wby the most accurate one, at least in the online world. But once the music started, none of this mattered. It was the greatest live band in country music playing a stellar show, no matter what they happen to be called. The only real names that mattered were Mike Harmeier, Catlin Rutherford, Omar Oyoque, Zachary Moulton, and Taylor Englert.
The name was different, but the songs were all the same hits from the band, along with a couple of new ones. Even if reception for the new name has been lukewarm, you could tell the respective members of Silverada see this as a new era, approaching the music with a renewed vigor, perhaps even happy to face the challenge of proving this name change was a smart move, and cherishing the opportunity for a fresh start.
Even if Silverada played the best show of their lives for the 5,000 or so folks assembled to see them down in Key West, it wouldn’t assuage the naysayers to their name change online. The shitposters will continue to shitpost, because that’s what they do. And the people who were never fans of Mike and the Moonpies in the first place still won’t be. They’ll simply use the name change as another opportunity to reef them in the nuts, along with all of their supporters.
But none of this matters in the end. On Friday, January 26th, 2024, the prevailing conversation in independent country music and Americana was the Mike and the Moonpies name change to Silverada. They achieved total immersion of conversation. Good or bad, people were paying attention, including some who may have never heard of the band before.
People like the familiar and that’s why there is some push back to the new name. Some established fans may hate the new name, but they’re not going anywhere. The music is too good, and ultimately, the music is what it’s all about. But when Silverada’s new self-titled album comes out on June 28th, all of this will be an afterthought. Their headliner show at the Ryman Auditorium on July 5th is already almost sold out.
The name change was never for the people who knew about Mike and the Moonpies. It’s about those that didn’t, and never would if the name change never happened. Who knows if it will work. But if you’re a trut fan, you hope it does. If nothing else, you’ve got to give them points for being bold.
Mike and the Moonpies is officially gone, and Silverada is here.
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All photos by Kyle “Trigger” Coroneos. For more photos from Mile 0 Fest 2024, follow Saving Country Music on Instagram.