The Hard Rock Cafe’s musical staff gets onstage for hurricane relief
Wed, Nov 21, 2012 (midnight)
Photo: Bill Hughes
Friday night’s Imagine Benefit concert was a passion project for the staff of the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Not only did the team organize the event to raise money for the Red Cross Hurricane Relief fund and donate its time—everyone from bouncers to bartenders worked pro bono—but each band on the bill featured a member of the staff.
“We wanted to rally behind the victims of Hurricane Sandy and do our part to show solidarity,” said Jason Lent, the Cafe’s operations manager and half of melodic rock duo Sweetest Morphine.
On top of accepting donations at the door, staff members set up a bake sale table with homemade cookies, brownies and Rice Krispies treats, available in exchange for a donation of any amount. I grabbed a drink and sat down to watch Tarah Grace & The Magnetics. Grace often gets compared to Janis Joplin stylistically, but when she really belts it out she sounds more like Stevie Nicks with balls.
Next, fans kicked off their shoes for Love Vendetta’s danceable rock tunes. The band, formed by local-scene mainstays the Earland brothers, combines a synthy sound reminiscent of The Bravery with a post-punk attitude. Friday night’s show was also Love Vendetta’s first performance with new bassist KC Wells, formerly of longtime Vegas trio The Day After. Wells fit nicely, adding some heavier tones to Vendetta’s pop-friendly grooves.
Rounding out the bill was always-enjoyable punk quartet The People’s Whiskey, whose alcohol-infused punk provided the perfect nightcap.
Overall, the Imagine Benefit raised more than $1,600 for the Red Cross, along with awareness for the hurricane victims, and gave locals good reason to rock out. If you missed the show you can still pitch in at Redcross.org.