Monday, August 5, 2013

A Night of Rememberance and Coming Together for Brian Woehlke

Saturday night we got a chance to host a benefit for fallen firefighter Brian Woehlke. Black Iris Booking filled the Magic Stick and had a wonderful party in celebration of his life and service, while we all listened to some great music and did some shots. We raised a lot of money for his widow Jenn and his daughter Ava and once again showed how powerful the music community of Detroit can be when we come together. We wanted to thank everyone who came out and partied, everyone who donated to the cause, and all the bands for playing the show.

I want to especially compliment Nick Ciolino whose name I forgot to say on stage at the end of the night. His solo performance was one of the highlights of the night. I look forward to checking him out again. Plus he had that whole rockabilly vibe that makes me melt.

 The Suicide Machines played a fast set, none of their ska stuff at all. They were angry and full of energy even though they took the stage early at 7 p.m. I want to thank them for adjusting their schedules and making it out to play the show. Half the band had another show that night and the others had to go into work right after they played, but as always they made it happen and showed their support.

P.T.’s Revenge played second and got people dancing and jumping around. I still cringe every time singer Kevin Sierzega takes the stage with no shoes on, but appreciate that he still does that at the same time. I wish this band played more, when they do it brings back memories of a different time and fills me with nostalgia.

Next up was Heads Will Roll. I am a fan of all the newer projects of all three men in this band, but this band was before my time. I have seen pictures of shows, heard stories over the years, and listened to their recorded stuff, but never saw them live. All I can say after seeing them play is, don't you guys want to reopen this file and start playing live again? I cannot believe how loud and amazing they sounded for a trio.  Jeff Tuttle's guitar skills, Derek’s bass, and Dave Graw's drumming are a force to be reckoned with. I am so happy I finally saw this. It was better than I imagined. You should check out some of their new projects including Isosceles Mountain, Old Gods, and Nice Hooves. All great bands in their own right.

Finally, Wilson closed the show and even though I have seen them a lot lately, they had me dancing and going crazy. This was the best set that I have ever seen them play by far. They brought an energy to the stage that filled the room with smiles and played so hard and so loud that it was shaking the room. They have added in a lot of new song changes and musical interludes that showcase their technical skills while still putting on a show with lights and hair whipping all around. At one point I was bummed because they didn't bring out the bass drum and bang it during the song that they usually do, but to my surprise they incorporated it in a whole new way. Their show is getting tighter and they are becoming the best live act in the area. Chad had a lot of moving things to say about Brian and even did a toast to him during the set. All and all it was a successful night.

Thanks again to all of the people and companies that donated prizes, including Green Dot Stables, Greektown Casino, The Chop Shop in Berkley, Hard Luck, Mark Culpepper, Embarco, The End Grain Woodworking Co., and anyone else that we may have missed.

And thanks to Ramona, Kevin, and Black Iris Booking for making this all possible in the first place. Rest in peace Brian. You will be missed, but not forgotten.


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