Dusty Sunshine is going to Canada. The now all-female folk sextet got picked to play next month’s North by Northeast (NXNE) festival in Toronto earlier this year and have been booking gigs along the route to help pay their way. But going into Saturday night’s fundraiser—the awesomely named Yes We Can-ada—the band was short $2,500 to cover expenses.
So the ladies took over the Beauty Bar’s back patio and put together a street fair of sorts, featuring a kissing booth, barbecue, bake sale and more, all run by friends of the band volunteering their time. A date auction, a raffle and a silent auction rounded out the festivities, with prizes donated from companies like Gigi’s Cupcakes and Lucky Cat Tattoo.
Tremendous support from the local community helped Dusty not only achieve its goal but surpass it, taking in a total of $3,000. “We feel like we have a huge wave of good vibes and happiness pushing us to success,” vocalist/guitarist Heidi Guinn said afterwards.
Of course, music ultimately ruled the night, with Dusty receiving support from local favorites A Crowd of Small Adventures (violinist Megan Marie Wingerter plays in both bands) and Red Eye, an offshoot of Red Eye Radio … with a twist. For years, RER has been Las Vegas’ most fun cover outfit, playing spirited versions of everything from David Bowie to Modest Mouse, but on this night, the five-piece band delivered its first-ever set of original material.
Red Eye showed the value of its time together with a crisp, technically impressive performance heavily influenced by new wave and ’90s Brit pop. Lead singer Bryan Todd described what the quintet is going for as, “College … but I don’t think that means what it used to.”
Once they become as comfortable performing their own music as they are other artists’, Red Eye will likely develop a following similar to the one its alter ego already enjoys.