Opening for Bon Jovi

Submitted Photo Members of the Patti Fiasco group are Dee Tyler, electric guitar and vocals; Niles Mischke, bass guitar; Minot native Peter Knudson, center, drums and vocals; Ansel Foxley, electric dobro and vocals; and Alysia Kraft, lead vocals and acoustic guitar, shown in this photo by Craig Okraska. The group opens for Bon Jovi next month in Denver, Colo.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Minot native Peter Knudson and other members of The Patti Fiasco group have a special honor next month.

They will be opening for Bon Jovi’s Pepsi Center show in Denver, April 14.

Bon Jovi is the American rock band from Sayreville, N.J., formed in 1983, The band includes lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi.

“The Patti Fiasco is incredibly honored and thrilled to have the chance to rock the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado,” said Knudson, who makes his home in Fort Collins, Colo., with his wife, Johannah, and two boys, David, 11, and Rafael, 14. Other band members also live in Fort Collins and one lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

“The gig is happening because we won a contest put on by Live Nation and Bon Jovi. Hundreds entered, Live Nation narrowed it to 10 finalists and management from Bon Jovi chose us as winners,” Knudson said.

Besides Knudson, drums and vocals, The Patti Fiasco members are Dee Tyler, electric guitar and vocals; Niles Mischke, bass guitar; Ansel Foxley, electric dobro and vocals; and Alysia Kraft, lead vocals and acoustic guitar.

Concert numbers at the Pepsi Center in Denver may number around 20,000 people. A more than $180 million facility, it hosts sports events, concerts, ice and family shows, according to arena facts.

Knudson graduated from Minot High School in 1992 and studied at the University of Mary in Bismarck. He moved to Fort Collins in 1996 to pursue a music career.

His parents, Bob and Connie Knudson, live in Minot. When he was growing up Peter Knudson said his mom got him started singing in choirs in Minot. He also started playing drums. His brothers, Andrew, now of Scandia, Minn., and Casey, now Castle, Rock, Colo., had a band when they were in school. When he was 8 or 9 years old his brothers needed a fill-in drummer for the band and Peter stepped in to play at least for one time.

Later he started getting paid for his music performances.

“I’ve been getting paid to play since I was 15,” he said. His first paid gig was playing drums for the Minot High School PomPom Squad at the Class B tournament in Minot. He was to play as the pompom group marched off the floor but Knudson said he was having so much fun playing for the large crowd that he did a drum solo.

Besides being a member of The Patti Fiasco, Knudson teaches private drum lessons and also conducts drum clinics.

The Patti Fiasco, based in Fort Collins, was conceived at a Wyoming open mic in 2008.

Knudson explained how the band got its name. He said it was named after and inspired by vocalist and acoustic guitar player Alysia Kraft’s “fun-loving aunt” who had a knack for being mischievous. When Kraft also was being mischievous one of her relatives would say she did a “Patti fiasco.” The band took on the name.

The band has fans across the West and Midwest, and radios across the country play their music. It has shared stages with numerous renowned acts and taken part in a number of top events including the WYOmericana Caravan tour featuring the group in 19 shows across five states.

The group’s newest release – released last year – “Saved by Rock & Roll” often is played at radio stations across the states.

Their earlier release, “Small Town Lights,” was the recipient of numerous honors including Wyoming Public Radio’s Best Regional Album and the top 10 most-played Colorado records of 2013. The single of the same name was featured in the film “Whensday.” “Nobody’s Girl” from the band’s self-titled 2011 debut, was that year’s top-spun single in Colorado,” according to the band’s biographical information.

Budget Music & Video in Minot has CD’s of the band’s music. Knudson said he worked there when he was in high school and college.

Right now, Knudson said the group is making plans for what they will play during their 20 minutes on stage at the Pepsi Center show. They’re also getting ready to release a new video after the concert plus have other engagements.

Knudson said they are looking forward to their performance at the Pepsi Center.

“I was fortunate enough to tour Europe for four years with the Pure Fe Trio but I’ve never done an arena,” he said.

(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Editor Mike Sasser at 857-1959 or Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944. Either can be reached at 1-800-735-3229. You also can send e-mail suggestions to msasser