On Saturday February 21st, the Alrosa Villa hosted the third annual Amplified Awareness concert fundraiser. Since its inception, the event in collaboration with Mike Hoover of the Make It Fit Foundation, Jon Clevenger and The Iron Brothers of Ohio, Thunder Roads Ohio, C&A Harley-Davidson and this year’s new addition Kixson Creative have brought fans of great music to the Villa in an effort to raise money and awareness toward autism and Tourette Syndrome research.
For the third straight year during Easy Riders Weekend national recording/touring artist Jasmine Cain owned the stage with this year’s local support Perfectly Damaged and Latter. Past participants include Loboz, Fat Dog, Phillip Fox Band and Scotty Bratcher.
Though mother-nature laid down her fury and attitude all over Ohio, preventing some from being there, the crowd showed up in force to help support the causes. Attendees from OH, PA, IN, MI, KY, NY, VA and the great white north itself Canada were in the house with C&A Harley-Davidson’s Sue Leighton hosting.
Perfectly Damaged was born in Mansfield out of the ashes and debris of previous projects. They started out as an acoustical project with Matt Pagani and Bobby Bucyrus but truly came alive when drummer Jon Alfrey and bassist Frank Gonzales joined. With multiple personalities, ideas and a driving passion blended together, they are poised and ready to put out the best music possible. They are simple songwriters trying to share and relate stories and emotions for the everyday PD person, grateful to family and friends for their love and support! Mind numbing live shows and soul bleeding lyrics will be the payment!
Traci Parker Zellner, a big PD fan and a mutual friend of Bucyrus, Hoover and Clevenger hooked them up together. Bucyrus’s son is autistic and playing the show was a good way to truly support the cause. Bucyrus also attended the first Amplified event.
They opened with original “Thing Called Life.” Pagani’s Jerry Cantrell-Chad Kroeger delivery perfectly accompanied the bands bluesy Alice in Chains, straight forward rock sound. It was a “Wicked Game” they played that night. “Militia Man’s” keyboard intro gave way to the grizzly guitar weaving, bass thudding testament of how he came to be, mixing Iron Maiden history telling and riffs with a Skynyrd country brotherhood feel.
“Art of Body” went dark on melody and the physical scars of battle were told on each soldier’s skin. They did a heavier version of “Doves Cry” adding bass and brought out the vital Idol with a “Rebel Yell.”
“It was a tremendous amount of fun being part of such a special and endearing cause. The venue staff was courteous and prompt. Met people from all over the country and got to enjoy some good Rock N Roll from some good bands….oh and did I say JASMINE CAIN!!!!!”-Bucyrus
Greenville’s Latter was formed in early 2007 and are regarded as one of the area’s top draws by fans and clubs, with members from Johnny Bravo, Tazmainia, Masque, Ithika and Ozzmosis among others. Latter was put together to form a band consisting of veteran musicians with over 100 years of experience among members, bringing a rare quality of music not often found or heard in today’s industry as far as “local’s” go. Latter is a 4 piece powerhouse, delivering an amazing blend of 70’s and 80’s classic rock with some great “hair band” tunes, and most importantly, a high impact show!
In 2013, Latter had the honor of opening for national acts Jackyl and Drowning Pool at Ohio Bike Week in Sandusky Ohio and in 2014 for Pop Evil. This was a grand milestone for the band as they strive forward with their original music. The covers serve as a band calling card of their identity and history. Their shows are a great time for those celebrating their love of music. 2015 started hot and they promise the best events are yet to come with a summer to remember.
They opened the night welcoming the hair-raising prince of darkness in to “Bark at the Moon” for two great causes. Everybody howled! Def Leppard had something to say, besides gunter glieben glausen globen. They incited a full blown eighties riot with the help of the man in the iron mask and straightjacket. It’s better to be rocked like a hurricane, than smacked in the face with a blizzard. They brought out the Bullet Boys to smooth things up and Jackyl got a little frisky with the fans. Journey went “Stone in Love” with the “Youth Gone Wild” brought to you by the original Skid Row. As snow tapped the land outside, Eddie VH tapped the guitar (in spirit) as “Eruption” came out followed by “Panama.” David Coverdale was covered nicely in a Whitesnake montage.
So seriously, who would win in an arm-wrestling match Lemmy or God? Would it be the man who wrote “Ace of Spades” or the ultimate card dealer? We all have a choice in life, “Heaven and Hell.” When we each meet our maker, we can only hope we see Father Ronnie again. The sunset strip GNR made an appearance dancing with “Mr. Brownstone.”
They finished with a shot, or two of Black Tooth Grin for Dime then slammed into a namesake tune, while they could still “Walk.”
“The Alrosa Villa has been one of the honored places that I have wanted to play for years. As well as all of Latter! A lot of our favorite rockers from the past have passed through that venue! The staff is total kick ass, the Amplified Awareness Benefit is total kick ass and you have Latter, which is a total kick ass! So it’s a win win! We live to rock out and bring back the hair band days of the past we all have loved. Our canvas has grown huge and we are starting on our own tunes in March, with a very cool schedule coming up this year! It’s all about the rock n roll!” – Quintin Fyffe
The one and only “Highway Prophet” Jasmine Cain hit the stage alluring the crowd with tales from the “Nightingale.” With numerous awards and nominations, nothing will slow that girl down. The Nashville wild child, that would make the road her home, started in Sturgis and hasn’t stopped since. She played a mix of covers and originals from hanging out with Joplin and Bobby McGee to riding on the fast roads like it was “1995.” Cinderella even made an appearance. Don’t know what ya got till you’ve rode those gypsy roads.
She performed only as she could, initiating the first time attendees showing everyone else why they keep coming back for more of the shining Jasmine. Her new CD White Noise can be pre-ordered now.
The Make It Fit Foundation will be having the 6th Annual Ohio Ride for Autism on July 25th.
Feature image by Jon Clevenger
All other images by Bullet Images