(WIVB) – Throughout the year, Zak Ward, Jeff Schaller, and Brad Robbins play music at venues throughout Western New York as the Zak Ward Trio and in other projects.
But on gameday at Highmark Stadium, they can be found amping up the crowd inside Gate 4 as “The Billievers.”
It doesn’t matter what the weather is — the band serves up a high energy set for tailgaters for the hour and a half before kickoff.
“We’ve got our regulars who always come to see us, and it’s always packed with hundreds of people,” Ward, the lead singer and guitarist, said. “Rain, sleet, snow, five degrees — we’re playing no matter what, because the fans are always there and they’re always excited.”
The band formed before the 2016 season. The team had been looking for a regular band to perform outside the stadium before the games, Ward said.
“I got a call — somebody asked if I wanted to be in the band for the Buffalo Bills — I don’t think I let them finish speaking,” he laughed.
He reached out to drummer and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member Jeff Schaller to join, and Schaller recommended Brad Robbins for bass.
All three men are big Buffalo Bills fans.
“I’ve been going to games since I was four, so getting to play in the band is like a dream come true,” Robbins said.
Playing a 90-minute set outdoors when the temperatures are in the single digits isn’t an easy task — but the band says the fans make it worth it.
“It’s an endurance test, but we enjoy it — we’ve got our show down,” Schaller said.
You can catch The Billievers outside of Highmark Stadium by the Bills Store on game days. You can also catch them before this Sunday’s playoff game from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Jack Rabbit, 1010 Elmwood Ave.
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Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.