Mason McDeid is a huge rock ‘n’ roll fan and seeing live music is his passion. He has the ticket stubs to prove it – along with a room full of drum sticks and guitar picks he was gifted at live shows. He even has set lists signed by famous musicians. Mason has been going to rock concerts for years, but in 2016 the avid rocker took his fandom to new heights. Mason, who has cerebral palsy, saw nearly 500 bands in concert.
Mason’s father Rich went to every show with his son. While many of the shows were evenly spread throughout 2016, Mason and Rich saw about 150 bands in the span of two weeks last July while making stops at music festivals in Chicago, Detroit and Wisconsin. They’ve seen every genre of band from bluegrass to jazz, but their favorite music is hard rock and heavy metal. A few favorites include Metallica, Helmet and Iron Maiden.
“We have so many great stories,” Rich said. “We’ve been backstage, met musicians and even been on the actual stage at some shows. People have been great at the shows. They love Mason.”
Mason has been a patient at Gillette since he was an infant. He has a severe form of cerebral palsy. He is nonverbal and in a wheelchair. Though many physicians have cared for Mason, the recently turned 21-year-old is very familiar with Stephen Sundberg, MD. Sundberg has performed several orthopedic surgeries to comfort Mason as he has grown. When he heard the news about Mason’s epic journey, he was surprised, but not shocked.
“Mason is a good kid and has a great family that has been supportive of his medical journey every step of the way,” he said. “Their support and dedication to his health has gotten him to the point where he was able to embark on this epic journey.”
After we let the Star Tribune know about Mason’s musical quest, they wrote an in-depth story about his journey to see 500 bands. Read the full story and check out the photo gallery on the website for a series of pictures from a show he recently attended.
After the story ran, Mason and Rich were overwhelmed with support. They received hundreds of positive comments on social media (the story captured 17,000 page views and more than 3,000 likes on the Star Tribune Facebook page). Mason was a topic of conversation on a Minnesota hard rock radio station. He's even been invited to attend several shows as a guest-of-honor by several heavy metal bands.
"We would like to thank each and every one of our friends for the positive support. It means everything to us," Rich said. "We can't think of a better way to start 2017 than making as much noise as possible."