Play What You Can – Review of FOR BOSTON: A Benefit for the Victims of the Boston Marathon
Multiple Boston Bands
T.T. the Bear’s Place, Central Square, 04/16/13
UPDATE: $7,740 was raised last night for MGH!
Boston was weird yesterday, is weird today, and will likely stay that way for some time. Bostonians had to wake up and go to work yesterday knowing that less than 24 hours prior two bombs changed how we celebrate our city. Words like amputation, shrapnel, kettle, and pellets became an unfortunate part of our vocabulary. Coming home from work I entered South Station with National Guardsmen at the Subway entrance and police at the turnstiles. The sound of helicopters overhead was constant, and on the ride home during rush hour no one said a word. As eerie as a ride as I’ll ever have. The mood is heavy, and emotion high.
Even now as I write this a co-worker’s late because her commuter train is being evacuated and searched. My city, friends, co-workers, and fellow citizens are still dealing with the ripple affects of the unspeakable – but last night the Boston Music Community banded together in an effort to raise funds for Victims from Marathon Monday’s gruesome attack, and to help each other forget about the weird, for a few hours at least.
Word of the Event at T.T. the Bears began spreading quickly on Twitter and Facebook around 3:30pm, and by the time I showed up the club was jammed. Michael Marotta & Richard Bouchard did a phenomenal job in organizing the event in such a short amount of time, and from the staff, the crowd, and the bands – everyone banded together as one. The price of admission was to pay what you could afford, with 100% of the door being donated to MGH on behalf of the Boston music scene. On top of this there were multiple raffles being held, with 31 prizes in total up for grabs (an incredible number for only having a few hours to gather them). 957 total raffles were sold and all tips given to the bartenders are also being passed along to MGH, with both totaling more than $2,300.00, and this isn’t even counting the door and all the merch proceeds from the bands that were also being donated. Again, just an incredible overall effort.
While cruel, unthinkable, and senseless acts like what happened on Patriots Day are likely to forever play out – the heart, kindness, and selflessness of the majority of people who breathe continually restores my faith in good, and last night was step one for a lot around town to move on, but not forget.
I’d like to give special attention to both Endation and Earthquake Party. Both bands played with the fervor of a Tasmanian Devil last night, and had me truly losing myself for the first time since 2:50pm on Monday. Endation felt like a Nirvana two-piece that played Fugazi standards. Matt Graber’s drumming was incredibly creative while Anthony Conley’s abandon on stage added a perfect mix of chaos to the succinct back-beat behind him. Meanwhile, Earthquake party played like the lovechild of The Ramones and Yo La Tengo – ripping through their set with barely enough time to take a breath between songs. I’ve written about them before, and truly believe they’re one of the best things happening in the Boston Music scene today. Just a great band.
Things are still weird outside. My commute this morning was a little more normal. There were still cops, guards, and helicopters, but the people on the train seemed a little less dazed and a little more there. There’s still so much we don’t know about Monday, but on Tuesday night I didn’t have to watch replays of those goddamn explosions, I didn’t have to listen to talking heads circle around things they’re not sure of, I got to escape the way I’ve done my whole life – through music.
My deepest thanks to the organizers, the staff, the bands, and the everyone there last night. You all helped me deal with the weird while helping those more affected. Simply put, Boston made me proud last night.