All of us have been witnesses to cancer. According the American Cancer Society’s webpage, half of all men and one-third of all women in the US during their lifetime will develop cancer. It’s a disease that also has affected people in a number of ways. From someone that has actually been dignoased with this disease, to seeing someone that they were close to, a co-worker or even worse-family member or friend-develop it.
That is what has happened to me. A couple of years ago, a dear friend of mine saw his mother, a woman that I also viewed as a mother, succumb to cancer. Now, one of my closest cousins is fighting the disease.
His name is Matt Johnson. Matt was over in Afghanistan fighting in the war when he realized that something was not right. He went to the doctor, and they ran some tests. When the tests came back, they discovered that he developed cancer.
Matt is back in the states now, getting chemo, and fighting the disease like it’s a heavyweight fight. Both cancer and Matt are throwing big heavy rights at each other. What cancer doesn’t realize is that Matt doesn’t go down easily. He’s a fighter. He also has a huge army behind him.
This past Saturday, Blind Bob’s Bar, located in the Oregon District, held an event- ‘Kick Cancer’s Ass Benefit Show’. The show had three bands take the stage on this evening-Sam at Eleven, The Rebel Set, and Shrug. Three local bands helping in the fight against the horrific disease.
All the money from the cover charge, and album sells went to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Greene County. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life Greene County is an event that is taking place on May 19th at 5:00 at Fairborn Community Park East. During the relay, teams of people camp out at a local park, fairground, or track, and take turns walking or running around a path or track for 24 hours straight. Teams will go around and have events to help raise money for cancer research, help cancer patients get to their treatments, etc.
Blind Bob’s is an appealing place for people who love coming to a tavern that is different than most. Some of the tavern’s most unique characteristics are the steel beams all around the ceiling and walls, the exposed brick, and the heartwood pine floors. The tavern is inviting, telling you as you walk in to come on in, and have a few of the many beers that they have tapped and ready to go. Talking to some of the people at the show, the tavern hosts a lot of great local talent. That alone is what makes Blind Bob’s a mainstay in the Dayton area.
The first band to take the stage on this night was Sam at Eleven. This trio came out and said that they haven’t played in well over a year. Well-the joke had to be on all of us in the crowd. This band owned the stage. The ripping of the guitars, with the crashing of the drums and the impassioned vocals made me just stand there with the sizeable crowd take notice. I didn’t believe it. I kept telling myself that these cats are lying. There was no way that they haven’t played in a live set in over a year. I asked a friend of mine at the store, whom also was close friends to the guys in the bad, after the set about this claim. Amazing.
Sam at Eleven was energetic. Their sound had a sense of pop/punk rock to it. Their energy was enormous. Their timing with one another-as precise as one could be. All of this, and once again-they haven’t played live in a year. Still don’t believe me?! I’m still debating this after a couple of days.
The next act was The Rebel Set. A few weeks ago, I went and saw these guys at the Oregon Express. So, my mindset was already made up. This band puts on an electric set. Perhaps one of the best of that I have seen. With all the instruments that the band uses (trumpets, trombones, cello) uniting together, it’s a sound that is as original as it can be.
The Rebel Set didn’t disappoint once again. Like the first time I saw them a couple of weeks ago, they came out and captivated the crowd. Their set was fun, and inviting. They didn’t go out there and try to be just another band that you come to see on a Saturday night at a small watering hole. They came out like it was Madison Square Garden. They sang a couple of covers, which made the large crowd delighted to hear, like Roger Miller’s all-time classic ‘King of The Road’, and Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’. Personally-I get on cloud nine when I hear ‘Sweet Caroline’ being sung by anyone. The Rebel Set do the song was confidence and pure beauty. They put their spin on it, which makes it even cooler.
One point during the set, the lead singer of Sam at Eleven came up and sang a few songs with The Rebel Set. It was an unpredicted moment, and it made the crowd exhilarated. It made this show, this evening even more pleasurable. Cancer was losing tonight. We had combined all of our strength, and started wailing on its ugly ass.
The last band to play for the evening at Blind Bob’s was Shrug. The large crowd, including myself, had been wine and dined all evening with great music from great local bands. This was just going to add icing on the cake.
The band came and just electrified the crowd to a roar that could be heard miles away. The songs they sang were eclectic and catchy. Each word coming out of the lead singer’s mouth was filled with rawness. Influences like Tom Petty, Lynard Skynard, Jeff Buckley, and the Jayhawks all came flying out at once. Shrug is heartfelt, emotional. The lyrics in each song are as if you were thinking that very same thing. Shrug was there to be noticed by the many that haven’t heard them. They were to show the ones that know them will leave feeling satisfied. Everyone in the building felt the energy go up with each splash of the guitars and drums. Even when the set was supposed to be over, the band played one more song. It was a fitting way to end this unbelievable night.
The night raised over $1000 for the Relay for Life team. An incredible feat that proved just how much Dayton truly cared about the fight against cancer. Three bands took the stage, and thrilled the bar. For all that were there that night, they will be talking about this for some time.
To help support the fight against cancer, check out the American Cancer Society @ www.cancer.org. We need everyone to join on this journey to stopping this disease. Every little bit helps. If you can’t donate money, just give your time to help and spread and the word.
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Thank you to all for your support!