Bon Jovi Picks Alumni Rockers as Opening Act

Pioneer Salesmen, the indie-rock band with hints of garage and psychedelic rock and roll energy, opened for Bon Jovi earlier this year at Enterprise Center in downtown St. Louis. The band includes singer/guitarist Sam McDonell, bassist Anthony Mauer, Andrew Kistler (C’18) on guitar (at left), and Tyler Wingert (US’15, C’19) on drums (insert below). The four musicians have been playing together for about four years. “The four of us grew up on older music and rock, blues, and metal—’60s, ’70s stuff,” says Kistler. “Our favorites and inspiration? Probably The Doors, Jim Morrison, and Led Zeppelin. To open for a giant and classic like Bon Jovi was seriously special.” Pioneer Salesmen auditioned for their 20-minute performance with a demo from a concert they played at Principia College. The song used for the contest was “The Life We Lead.” Since their epic opening, the band has garnered new interest, visibility, and listenership. The band is currently producing a full-length album. “They’re all bangers,” says Wingert.