When traveling to the 8th annual McDonnell Benefit concert it took me through beautiful upstate NY. It turns out that Queensberry is on the shores of Lake George, at the base of the Adirondack Mountains. In a few weeks the leaves will be changing from green to brown and orange, and it will be one of the north east's biggest autumn attractions.
The event took place under a pavilion, at an Elk's Lodge. The first thing I noticed was the abundance of homemade baked goods. I am a sucker for an apple cider doughnut. I then noticed the baskets that were up for auction. The ladies who made these baskets starts designing and thinking of next year's baskets a year in advance. After making my way through the gauntlet of baskets, my attention was drawn towards the stage. With a full P.A. system, and some amazing looking equipment this was ripe and ready for some rocking.
The first band to play was a father and son duo. The highlight of their acoustic set was a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here". It was nice to see the gift of music span generations.
The second band to play was called Bob's Monte Carlo. They played a very energetic, caustic led set. Their lead guitar player was amazing, and very humble about his level of talent. I spoke to him after the show, I guess he knew Dylan and was glad to help the cause.
This event was organized by the McDonnell family, specifically for Dylan McDonnell. His father and uncle took the stage in The Marcabes. This band of guys that has been together since they were in high school. They played an amazing set of cover songs. The place erupted with cheers and dancing when they started playing "Hotel California" and continued for the next hour. Dylan's dad is a super charismatic and high energy frontman for this band. He was running into the crowd with his wireless microphone, and dancing with everyone. It was great to see and hear a group of musicians who were so confident and comfortable with their skills. They rocked that place like it was Madison Square Garden. Dylan and I estimated there were about 350 people there, and none of them were sitting during this set. It was awesome to see that many people singing along and dancing together. The concert was also live-streamed over the internet for the first time.
I met with Dylan after the concert for some dinner in the town of Glens Falls. During our meal at least 30 people came up to him, shook his hand and talked to him. It was amazing to see the support for not only Dylan, but for FARA as well. Even small towns with small events help us to fund research, that could (and hopefully will) lead to a cure. Never let the size of an event fool you, even a small event can yield huge amounts of support. Thanks for rocking for a cure!