When three siblings in McMinnville, Ore. began playing music in grade school, they never imagined their band would start playing for national televised audiences just a decade later.
Yet, We Three is competing in this season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” They’re also opening Longview Parks and Recreation’s Summer Concerts at the Lake series Thursday night.
Members of the the band — consisting of bassist/vocalist Bethany Blanchard, 25; guitarist/vocalist Mannie Humlie, 21; and drummer/keyboardist Joshua Humlie, 27 — said they grew up in a musical family, as their father had played guitar for years.
“One thing I have a vivid memory of is there was constant music, constant noise,” Mannie Humlie said. “Growing up in that environment was cool because you could practice late at night, and it didn’t matter. It could be 3 in the morning, and nobody really cared.”
After forming We Three 10 years ago, the trio has toured around Oregon and Washington, performing covers and their own original songs. Humlie and Blanchard described their sound as “alternative pop-rock,” inspired equally by singer-songwriters such as John Mayer and quirkier bands like Portugal.The Man.
Blanchard said the “America’s Got Talent” team reached out to We Three on Instagram last year, and they couldn’t believe it.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” Blanchard said, laughing. “We didn’t think it worked out until we arrived in LA and they paid for our hotel and plane. We were like, ‘okay, this is really happening.’ ”
The band recently filmed its second audition, which hasn’t been shown on TV yet, according to the trio. But their first live performance on May 29, in which they paid tribute to their recently-deceased mother, brought judge Mel B to tears and earned the group a standing ovation.
Manny Humlie said the show “hasn’t really felt like a competition” and that it’s helped grow We Three’s fanbase and push the group to write more original material.
“I know it sounds funny, but I haven’t even thought about winning,” he said. “Sometimes it’ll cross my mind, but we’re really just excited to play in front of people. If it happens that America likes us that much, then awesome.”
For their Thursday night show in Longview, the group said audiences should expect a lively, high-energy mix of original songs and covers from modern groups such as Twenty One Pilots and Maroon 5. This will be We Three’s first show in Longview.
“We’ve got a really fun set that we’ve been working hard on,” Blanchard said. “If people start dancing, that’s always fun for us. We’re excited.”
The show will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Martin Dock at Lake Sacajawea. The Summer Concerts at the Lake series will continue each Thursday evening until Aug. 16.Pioneer Lions and Lower Columbia School Gardens will operate concession stands.