PGB Success! $1500 Raised for Japan Relief at the Playground Boston Benefit for the Victims of the Crisis in Japan at The Rosebud, 6/10
On a night where the Bruins were caught up in a dogfight with Vancouver in contention for the Stanley Cup, and countless other great shows with amazing lineups were happening all over town, The Rosebud was packed to the rafters for Playground Boston’s Japan Benefit show. A thunderous lineup of local hard rock royalty, coupled with a mind-blowing raffle featuring thousands in prizes, ensured that local music aficionados came out in droves to rock out for a very noble cause.
This entire year has been rife with natural disasters throughout the world. Since the Tohoku earthquake triggered a tsunami that ravaged the shores of Eastern Japan, there have been countless other earthquakes and floods all over the planet, not to mention a rash of deadly tornadoes that have savaged people closer to home. Every one of these disasters requires humankind to band together to provide assistance for the afflicted. But with new disasters happening seemingly every week, it can be easy to overlook the fact that even after an immediate outpouring of donations, the initial efforts are only the beginning of a long, arduous, and extremely expensive return to normal life for the victimized regions. The recent plight of the Japanese has been called the most expensive natural disaster of all time, and even after millions in aid they still have quite a ways to go to get back to the way things were.
Though $1500 may not seem like a large amount in the grand scheme of things, we instead look at it as an incredible exercise in generosity from a collection of people who might not have been in a position to donate such a sum to the people on the other side of the planet who really need it. We salute each and every person involved in this effort, from the bands, to the volunteers, to the venue, to the sponsors… but most of all to you, the fans, who made it possible for us to present The Japan Society with our contribution and do our part for our fellow man.
And it just so happened in raising these funds we had ourselves an incredible show! In case you missed it, here’s a recap of how things went…
The ‘Bud had already packed up by the time the first band took the stage. Cocked n Loaded had to compete against a very tight B’s game for the crowd’s attention, but the their booze-soaked AC/DC-meets-Guns-n-Roses-meets-a-dive-bar-bathroom-floor brand of rock proved to be more than up for the challenge. Cocked n Loaded got heads knocking and fists pumping throughout the entire venue, and all hell broke loose when they ended their set with an adrenaline-fueled cover of GnR’s “Night Train”… with every last person in the bar singing along to every last word!
Phantom Glue kept the night going strong by slamming some serious metal down on the table. The band terrified the masses with sludgy doom, beating on their instruments like souls possessed to produce a sound as invigorating as it was intimidating. Crunchy in every sense of the word, the ‘Glue may very well be the loudest band to ever play the friendly confines of The Rosebud!
Black Thai tore into their set with a vengeance – just your everyday run-of-the-mill mind-blowings and face-meltings – wreaking havoc on the very infrastructure of the building itself! Exultant riffs and cannonfire rhythm fueled this heavy and bearded and heavily bearded attack, leaving the entire crowd in awe of what they had just witnessed. The band was so loud, hard, and heavy that the club couldn’t take it, and some unfortunate technical difficulties crept into their set. The faithful crowd was unfazed though, and their patience was rewarded when Black Thai drummer Jeremy Hemond came through to save the day by ripping off furious drum solos to cover the silence while the club got their circuitry back up and running.
Longtime PGB Favorites Gozu closed out the night to a crowd that was still quite numerous, despite being depleted in the aftermath of the B’s heartbreaking defeat. (which, it just so happens, was the LAST time they suffered a loss in the series! yeah. that’s right. we got the cup.) Gozu blew the crowd away with Cornell-ian vocals and Buckethead-ian guitar solos. (to be fair, guitarist Doug Sherman isn’t quite on Bucket’s level yet (who is?), but he’s got the style right, and perhaps with a few more years of practice, a killswitch, a finger-extending surgical procedure and a trip to KFC for a costume he’ll get there). Without question, once again the highlight of Gozu’s set was their final song, “Alone,” a fuzzed-out monster balled of monstrous proportions.
- To Gozu guitarist Doug Sherman, for working tirelessly alongside the PGB staff to make this even happen. None of this, NONE of this, would have been possible without him.
- To the bands. Words can’t describe how much it means to everyone at PGB that you were willing to donate your talents to helping us raise money for a cause we all believe in. We couldn’t possibly have asked for a better lineup of local rock talent!
- To Tracy, Stella, KC, and Ramon – our incredible raffle volunteers, who made everything go off without a hitch and enable our raffle to be so wildly successful! Tracy and Stella also worked long hours on getting the PGB Track Of The Week Sampler ready, and came to the rescue countless times throughout the entire preparatory process for the show!
- To Amy and Josh at the Rosebud for donating their room, their time, their energy, their beer slingin’, and their TIPS to our cause! Thanks for everything you do to support local music in this city, and for your help in raising this money!
- To the lovely ladies of the Boston League Of Women Wrestlers, for getting all dressed up and haranguing every last guest at the show into buying tons and tons of raffle tickets. BLOWW was responsible for raising a LOT of money for our cause, more than we ever would have been able to manage ourselves!
- To Alexander von Wieding for creating the iconic graphic for the flyer, posters, and T-shirts.
- To Shawn and Kevin at AudioCotton.com, for printing the awesome T-shirts that helped us raise even more money for Japan! T-shirts are still available – including the Limited-Edition black shirts – at AudioCotton.com! (And yes, they will continue to donate a portion of their proceeds to The Japan Society!)
- To Rueben & Bill at Chameleon, Gemma at Secret Society, and the whole staff over at Stingray for donating their time and efforts to the raffle – the tattoo gift certificates were one of the biggest hits!
- To Zac at Narragansett for his donated ‘Gansett prize packs, as well as his endless generosity and support of the local music community within the city. And hey – we take care of our own – the loyal patrons in the crowd that evening made sure the Rosebud was completely sold out of ‘Gansett by 11pm!
- To Andrew at Live Nation for making one person VERY happy and about 100 others VERY jealous with his donation of a pair of Dinosaur Jr./Henry Rollins/OFF! tickets to the raffle!
- To the Born Of Fire guys for their raffle contributions, their help with promoting, and for being all-around solid guys and stalwart supporters of Boston metal.
- To Mike Coen at The Gaff, also the frontman for Boston rockers Midatlantic. Catch his new project, All Echoes Return, on Saturday 7/16 at the Middle East Upstairs… or head down to Moody Street in Waltham and check out the bar!
- To Mike Moxley, co-owner of Canary Square and Coda, for the raffle gift cards… we’re sorry to hear you’re leaving Allston, The Common Ground has certainly been a favorite over the years – you will be missed!
- To Phil Audino of Tasty Burger, a late but extremely welcome addition to the raffle – and thanks to Seth Cohen for setting the giveaway up! And on a serious note, thanks for that Lime Mint Slushie you’ve got on your menu – it blows my mind every time I have it!
- To Matthew D’Agostino of TD Bank on Winter Street in Downtown Crossing, for making such a sizeable contribution to our relief efforts. Matt’s donation was the largest from any single source out of all the donors!
- To Liz at Bukowski’s in Inman Square – for the gift certificate to raffle off… and for the gallons upon gallons of beer and Fernet you’ve served us over the years!
- To the Eat At Jumbo’s guys – way to come through with a great raffle donation in the final hour! Aside from their contribution to our benefit, these guys do some great things for the community – check out their website for more info!
- To The Boston Globe, The Phoenix, Ryan’s Smashing Life, Boston Band Crush, The Deli Magazine – New England, The Soda Shop, Exploding In Sound, Post Somerville, and all the other local press outlets kind enough to spread the word about our benefit to their readership!
- To you, the fans of local music and friends of PGB. Thank you so much for coming out, supporting your local music scene like you have so many times before and will so many times again, and helping us raise a large sum of money for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world – we only hope you had as great a time as we did in making this whole night happen!