Craft Local Rocks On: Aurora Fallen's High-Energy Performance

July 8, 2024

Article by Brooke Wagner

Photo courtesy of Aurora Fallen

As fireworks painted the night sky in red, white, and blue hues, a different sort of rhythm echoed in the days that followed the 4th of July in Billings. Amidst the festivities of the days leading up to the holiday, one band decided they wanted to keep the party going for just a little bit longer. Aurora Fallen played a show at Craft Local on Friday, July 5th, accompanied by opening act Spiked Mind. Hailing from Billings, Montana, alternative blues rock band Aurora Fallen first emerged in 2021 as the brainchild of vocalist Owen Yoshioka. Despite the sudden departure of the other founding members, Owen stuck around, rebuilding the lineup with the addition of guitarist Kohl Wenninghof, drummer Phill Bauer, and bassist Felipe Pimentel. Their sound is a mix of old and new school blues pioneers, with notes of greats like B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf and a distinctly soulful nod to alternative rock. 

Aurora Fallen is not only alternative in its sound but in its approach to reaching listeners as well. You may not find them on any “Top 10 Billboard Hits” list (just yet, anyway), but the group has found a loyal gathering of listeners on Spotify, TikTok, and intimate music venues in Billings and beyond. Their music pushes boundaries and combines meaningful lyrics that resonate with casual listeners and connoisseurs alike. The fearsome foursome has built a reputation for authenticity, bolstered by a physical passion and energy that shines through both in the studio and on stage. The group plans to keep the momentum going with a plan to release new music every six weeks and combine professionally filmed music videos and performance recordings to bring their vision for their music to life. They have even entered an online contest by Rolling Stone Magazine called “America’s Next Top Hitmaker.” With a top prize of $10,000, their fingers are crossed to make it through the next round of cuts happening on July 11th. The group says that this prize would make it possible to invest in the business side of their music by purchasing speakers and other quality equipment to add to their shows. Vote for them here:


Craft Local was a perfect venue for this group, who brought their high-energy sound to a crowd still riding high from the 4th of July festivities. Between songs, the band members shared anecdotes of what their music means to them, drawing listeners in close and truly making them feel like part of the show. Craft Local highlights this connection with their mission to unite the community and the arts over a glass of excellently crafted beer. As the last chords reverberated through the night, the band reveled in the success of their “Post Independence Day, Independence Day Show.” Who knows where they will find themselves next, but for a moment, their music only served to amplify an incredible celebration of freedom, unity, and the enduring spirit of our great nation. 

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