STORIES AND MUSIC FROM SURVIVORMAN HIMSELF

Survivorman Les Stroud playing guitar in scenic area with mountains and river in the background.Jenna Crowe

Staff Writer

Known for surviving in various wilderness scenarios around the world without a camera crew, Survivorman Les Stroud returns to ISU April 6 to share with the community one of his first loves – music.

His tour, Survivorman – Les Stroud, features a video presentation combined with storytelling and original music, as well as an acoustic trio. It will take place at 8 p.m. in the Bilyeu Theatre inside Frazier Hall.Tickets to the show are $20 at the door.

“It’s the kind of entertainment that’s not only thought-provoking,” Stroud said, “I extend myself and try to under-promise and over-deliver, you know, to give them the kind of evening that’s a once-in-a-lifetime affair.”

Stroud is no stranger to the stage as he’s performed with a multitude of bands, including Journey, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jonny Lang.

Being Survivorman has opened many doors for Stroud, but it’s never changed who he is.

“A lot of what I do is about connecting people to nature,” Stroud said. “If I can get people thinking about heading out into nature, out on an adventure, outside in any way, shape or form, whether it’s through the lyrics of my songs or stories I say onstage, then I’ve done my job.”

Those attending will hear some of Stroud’s latest music and be able to participate in a Q&A segment.

According to Stroud, one of his favorite things about Q&A portions is when he gets asked about things no one else has asked before, leading him to surprise himself with the answer on stage.

During the tour, he’s also visiting Seattle, Washington, Victoria, British Columbia, Boise, Idaho and Bend, Oregon.

Stroud has always loved performing on stage because it gives him a chance to get close with his fans.

“Musically speaking, I try to focus everything around celebrating nature and that’s a change from doing standard rock and roll or blues,” Stroud said. “I’m very at home on stage; there’s something very special about being in a room of a few hundred people and doing some storytelling.”

The first time Stroud visited ISU, it was around the time his documentary, Survivorman: Bigfoot, premiered, which is how he first met ISU professor of anatomy and anthropology Jeff Meldrum.

This prompted Stroud’s return two years ago, where he spoke for over two hours to a full house of people about his documentary and experiences. Stroud was so impressed by his second experience that he decided to reach out to Meldrum when planning his tour.

“I think it’s that artistic side of him coming through,” Meldrum said, “I think, in his case, the visual side of it is in an effort to increase the audience’s ability to transpose into the experiences he’s trying to share.”

Since his last visit was based around his documentary, Meldrum is certain Survivorman: Bigfoot will be a topic of discussion during the Q&A portion.

While it’s uncertain if Stroud will make a fourth appearance on the ISU campus, he plans to continue going on tour as much as possible.

“I’ve been performing since I was a teenager,” Stroud said. “Me and music have gotten along since I was a young kid; it’s part of my soul, not just a hobby I’ve picked up.”

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