The fundraiser for Newtown was slated, promoted and presented in under 10 days time. It featured over 15 artists over 2 days and raised $800 for the Newtown Youth and Family Center in Newtown, CT after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that claimed 28 lives including 20 children under 7 years old.
When the event was put together, donations were being accepted by the facility, but 2 days before the event the city declared that they did not want anymore donations. This caused much confusion as to what we were to do with the event, but all the organizers decided to continue with it and give the Youth and Family Center first option at the funds raised. If they decline the donation, it would then be given to a charity locally here in Kansas City that benefits children per the general request that the City of Newtown states in their request to cease donations. Either way, since it was promoted for the Youth and Family Center, they will have first option at the funds, and if they decline we will update this article to show the final result of the funds. Our primary goal is to make sure that the work, sweat, and blood that the artists and organizers put into this event go exactly for what it was intended.
While normally at Project Backstage we do very extensive reviews of artists and their shows, for this we are taking a different approach. This event was emotional to say the least, and while all the bands were great within their own rights, nobody can play a show to full capacity with the tragedy that happened lingering in their minds and knowing that they were in a small fashion representing the victims of such a tragedy in their attempt to play their art to the fans.
For this; the reviews of the bands that volunteered their services for this great cause; we will touch slightly on each one, and without saying it in each small review, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts. These artists showed why Kansas City is one of the greatest cities and also that our local music scene is very caring, giving, and will do whatever it takes to help those in need.
This band is the definition of alternative rock, every song is so different from the last. They had some very catchy guitar riffs in the song Help me Darlin’. The song Spotlight was extremely groovy. One Day Flu was so emotional and had so many great elements to it. I even heard a reference of System of a Down meets New Found Glory.
Patrick Hart was definitely all about the entertainment value for the night. He shredded out to metal versions of The Ghost Busters, Imperial March, and even Low Rider. To add even more to the show played Rogaine (Cocaine Parody). Jesse Balmer helped out with not just any popcorn but Metalcorn, along with air guitar solos!
Sean played one hell of an acoustic set. He played Sevendust and Johnny Cash, and even Justin Timberlake. The most interesting song for the night though was the Incubus – Bee Gee Mashup. He played Drive and Staying Alive all together. I still can’t get over him playing Bother by Stone Sour. The vocals and guitar harmonized very well.
Neal Roach Band
These guys are just a very smooth bluesy rock band. The song Let it Flow was such great flow for the show in general. I really enjoyed the base line in Lazy Days. Neal’s voice was giving him a hard time. And I could tell that singing was hurting him pretty bad. We really appreciate you guys coming out and helping for the cause.
An Endless Chapter
These guys brought the heavy base line for the head banging group. They have a very Asking Alexandria style to them with songs like Sherlock Holmes and their Metal version of Jay Sean’s Down was something to hear for that night, the guitars even sang it out for them on this one.
Waiting on Forever
This pop rock group brought the energy for the night. The crowd was smiling, bouncing around, and having an all out great time listening along. They even broke it down a little bit dedicating their acoustic song to the Newtown. Honestly this band is getting better and better.
Green Music Brothers
This band is just an all out groovy band. The song Soldiers, with the chant “Right Left” is such a powerful song with every drum hit. Roll and When She Comes Around had everyone dancing. They brought their own style and showed it off very well.
For this group the phrase “Kick back and enjoy a glass of southern pain,” maybe some of us took this too literally. The rhythm kept you head banging and their medleys kept the rest of you moving along. The night ended with the songs Overcome, Up with the Sun, and Set Me Free. I felt like these songs really said it all, for the cause we were doing this charity event.
Adam Fetters performed acoustic, not to many people at the start, but a steady stream as he performed, trickled in. Adam is very talented on an acoustic guitar and has a great voice. Played originals and covered Pink Floyd,
Down by Default
Down by Defaultalso played Loud and Local Xmas and I feel like they were much better here and they are still on a bass player quest.
Mike Daniels (acoustic)
Mike Daniels observed a moment of silence for Newtown then went into the acoustic set. He was funny and told stories. Everything flowed well and was very professional.
Adam Evolving took the stage and the crowd was into their Tool/Breaking Benjamin sound. They Had some sound issues with vocals but no one minded. It was isolated to the chorus of one song. Aside from supporting the cause by playing, Adam Evolving gave a nice cash donation to the cause.
Orion Falls (acoustic)
Orion Falls covered Wasted Time by Fuel. I dig them acoustic but the crowd was taking the opportunity with the quieter sound to chit chat so I’m perched on the stage to absorb the sound of the band. Did Cold by Crossfade and it was amazing and they ended with Tenacious D’s Fuck You Gently
Sean Thibodeaux (acoustic)
Sean was on point as usual. At one point seemed to maybe have a slight tuning issue but quickly moved passed it. He played Man in the Mirror by Michel Jackson, Angels Son by Sevendust,
Hurt by NIN, a song I recognized but couldn’t place, Bother by Stone Sour and the combo mentioned in Friday’s review, Drive/Staying Alive.
Wicken had good rhythms and a few people started approaching the stage. They remind me of Helmet. The drummer John is very talented.
Sober Overdose had a southern rock/metal feel. Almost everyone that was in the place was up by the stage dancing along with the grooves. The whole band stood out but the rhythm section (drummer/bass player) was a definite highlight and people were still filtering through the door and running to the stage. Their crowd was in full effect. Singing and getting their air guitar on. I also loved watching the pit during the last song.
I unfortunately didn’t get to see these guys because I was dealing with some administrative tasks but I heard them and they sounded great.
Carrie Gentry and Chili Crews for Project Backstage