Saturday night concert to benefit tsunami relief efforts

by Caroline McKenzie | 1/13/05 6:00am

Mat Brown '05 had an epiphany of sorts while watching the news of the catastrophic tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean over winter break.

"When that thing hit, I just felt really terrible," Brown said.

But for Brown, who is both a founding member of Friday Night Rock and the Programming Chair at Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, there was an obvious course of action to be taken. And so the Tsunami Benefit Concert was born.

"It occurred to me that my thing is putting on rock showsand that was that," Brown said.

Brown introduced the idea to other members of Sig Ep, who were in agreement with the plan. Other fraternities have also been fundraising to help tsunami victims -- Theta Delta Chi held a benefit party and Psi Upsilon has been orchestrating a large multi-house monetary donation. But the plan of a benefit concert seemed new and original to many Sig Ep members, who are promoting the event heavily -- over BlitzMail, by word of mouth, and with posters and banners.

"We have close to 100 guys who are all up for it. The guys in the house are really psyched," Brown said.

But once the idea was approved, the most important part of the event had to be organized: the bands. Many campus bands were approached for the idea, and the final lineup for the show on Saturday night includes Friday Night Rock mainstays Fashion Fashion! (of which Brown is a member) and Rightly Guided Thieves, as well as a solo performance by Eric Lindley '05 and newer groups Ladies' Night and Low Rusted Pipes.

When asked what Lindley, who previously played with campus-based band Shiny Sound and worked behind the scenes for FNR, would be doing, the immediate response of Fashion Fashion! member Calvin Richardson '06 was, "Kickin' ass." Less succinctly, Lindley is playing a 30-minute solo set blending acoustic folk rock and electronics, with sounds said to be reminiscent of the likes of Nick Drake.

Similarly, the veteran groups seem excited to welcome the newer acts into the fold. Low Rusted Pipes are, like Lindley, also playing a half-hour opening set. The last group to attach to the project, Low Rusted Pipes is a funk band composed entirely of freshmen, who play mostly original pieces. Ladies' Night is also one of Dartmouth's newest bands, and it will be playing a 40-minute reggae-infused set at the show.

Fashion Fashion! has two members, Rizwan Mahmud '04 and Brian Foley, returning to Dartmouth from further afield especially for the show. They will take the second 40-minute slot at the show, and Rightly Guided Thieves will hit the stage last, but will keep on playing until the party finally ends -- however long that takes.

"We often play for a very long time," said Rightly Guided Thieves guitarist and vocalist, Rashid Galadanci '07. "We play a lot of covers, which makes it possible."

Galadanci also quickly noted that Rightly Guided Thieves has been in the works developing about a dozen new original songs, some of which they plan on testing out at the benefit concert on Saturday.

With five musical acts confirmed, a sound system donated by West Lebanon's Blue Mountain Guitar store, a popular venue and a mass marketing campaign organized by Sig Ep members, all those involved expect the show to be a success for the benefit of the tsunami victims, even if it is happening after other charity drives have already ended.

"People have given money already this is another chance and a good impetus to give a little more. Plus, the show is an added incentive," Brown said. Tickets to the show will cost $5 on presale, and $7 at the door, though concertgoers are encouraged to donate more if they feel so inclined. In addition, although the event is dry, Sig Ep will be providing refreshment in the form of cookies for sale, the proceeds of which will also go to tsunami charities.

"Judging by the buzz on campus, I suspect crowds well into the hundreds," Brown said.

The doors at Sig Ep will open for the show at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the music will begin at 11. But until then, tickets will be on sale Wednesday night at Collis, and Thursday evening in Thayer Dining Hall. The proceeds of concert will go to a charity to be chosen by Sig Ep's service chair, and will be earmarked for tsunami relief.