Sometimes music can do more than entertain. Sometimes music can bring people together for a cause greater than the musicians and venue. Sometimes music can help make the world a better place. At least that was the intent with the Benefit for Tokyo show held downtown at The Warehouse on April 16. But a benefit can only raise money if people come to hear the music. Despite the wide variety of musical styles and genres played, hardly anyone showed up to listen, to have a good time, to not only support local bands, but to also support Mosaic Tokyo after the terrible earthquake and tsunami that hit about a month ago. However, those who were there had fun.
The night kicked off with the mesmerizing hip-hop-meets-jazz-piano sounds of Tryezz. With a thump that vibrates your bones, Tryezz spins sick beats that any popular artist would be jealous of. Too bad hardly anyone was there—it could have turned into a great dance party.
Up next was The Real Bob Carty. He was “a singin’ and a pickin” on his guitar while his friend, Vic Burgess, played the bongo. His southern blues sound evoked images of a hot summer day in a southern town in the 1950s. (at least for me it did!) His album, Morphine and Mojo comes out later this year.
Did I mention there was a wide variety of music? I had never heard of Natural Habitz, so I had no idea what to expect. Three guys and one girl rapped positive lyrics about why we all have reasons to smile, and why we need to look up and trust in God. They desperately tried to get the small crowd moving and dancing. It was obvious they enjoyed rapping, and their fun attitude was infectious—a smile crept onto my face as I watched them perform.
Moonshoes Mumsy was the first of three rock bands, each with a very distinct sound. The trio jams out vibes that are reminiscent of classic 1960s and 1970s rock. They played a few originals, including “Out Your Days,” a cover of “Clint Eastwood” and they ended their set with a cover of “Helter Skelter” which ended abruptly when a guitar string broke! (ah, the joys of live music).
The next band, Raenbow Station, had a tambourine! This young, pop-rock group jammed with smiles on their faces, even after they admitted they weren’t playing their best—something seemed off, they said. As their set progressed, their sound morphed from something generic to something unique. It’s hard to describe; you’ll just have to go see them play! Raenbow Station also had a sneaky tactic to get people to come to their merch table—cookies! Few can resist the cookie.
The night ended with the always-entertaining band Jettison Never. This trio, comprised of two brothers and a cousin, has been writing music for about a decade now—and their sound proves it! They play with the technicality and maturity that only comes with dedicated experience. They started their set with “Waiting For Apparitions” off the newest album, Waiting For Apparitions. Also from this album, they played “Chain Reaction” and “Don’t Go It Alone.” And I may never be able to afford a ticket to see U2 live, but Jettison Never’s cover of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was the definitely the next best thing!
Though the crowd was small, I hope they raised a good amount of money to send to Mosaic Tokyo. Remember, local music will only exist as long as someone is willing to support it. Go out and support these bands when they play, you may find you enjoy it.
Words by: Sarah Brehm
Pictures by: Sarah Brehm
Video by: Sarah Brehm