Big names like Gavin Rossdale, Jesse Hughes, Lindsey Sterling and more joined forces for a time-warping night of fun and unity. Charity Bomb, in partnership with Goldenvoice and Big Picture Media, promised a night of all things ’80s, from music to visuals and overall experience. Artists united to support Mental Illness recovery, sharing messages of their own personal losses and struggles.
A costumed Michael Myers greeted patrons at the door as they entered through security. More characters were found inside, including Princess Leia from Chewbacca to ninja turtles, Freddy Krueger and Michael Jackson. Chewbacca and a Ninja Turtle were seen getting down on the dance floor to freestyles from Harry Mack early in the program.
With over 50 performers, the logistics for carrying out a seamless show would be challenging. “Where’s Lauren?” host Matt Pinfield said during another transitional setup. Regardless, there was very little wait time as the bands changed players and singers. Most acts sang about two songs, each of which were ’80s anthems that had the crowd singing along.
Rachel Marin performed a full shrill version of Tears For Fears “Mad World.” Jam Akler’s “Purple Rain” rendition had everyone singing along to the chorus, and singer Winter Rain belted during Heart’s “Alone.”
Mark Hart from Crowded House joined on keys for their song, “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” which featured local rising star singer Lauren Ruth Ward. After Crowded House, she moved into an inspired cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop,” channeling Lauper herself as she moved around the stage while she sang.
Covers from Siouxsie and the Banshees “Cities In Dust” and ‘Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” were excellent choices from Shira Girl. Frank Zummo of Sum 41 took the spotlight on drums for Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn” and Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.”
“Who’s ready for Jesse Hughes?” “Who’s ready for another anthem from the ‘80s?” the host riled up the crowd as the singer of Eagles of Death Metal took the stage for “Sweet Child O Mine” from Guns N’ Roses. In fact, more members of Eagles of Death Metal took the stage that night during Stray Cat’s Slim Jim Phantom’s short set, in which they performed rockabilly hits like “Gonna Rock This Town.”
A touching tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell was shared with the crowd, as Chester Bennington’s son, Jaime Bennington was also present. “The next time someone needs your attention, pay attention to them,” the host said.
No Doubt’s Adrien Young took the drums for Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” and the Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop.” The Beastie Boys were very popular that night, as the band went into “Fight For Your Right.”
Lindsay Sterling showcased her incredible violin skills with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”
A highlight of the night was Bush’s Gavin Rossdale’s acoustic renditions of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and Simple Mind’s “Don’t You Forget About Me.” “A friend of mine took his own life in 2003,” he said to the crowd, sharing his own personal experience with mental illness and suicide.
In the final hours of the event, Jump the Needle took the stage, with Jane’s Addiction’s Stephen Perkins on the drums and featured sax solos from Pink Floyd’s very own Scott Page. They closed the night with “Some Like it Hot” from The Power Station.
Photo Credit Boston Lynn Schulz.