Schenectady County

Local bands rock generous crowd at Proctors to aid flood victims (with photo gallery)

The lead singer of The Audiostars worked up the crowd Thursday night at Proctors.

The lead singer of The Audiostars worked up the crowd Thursday night at Proctors.

There was clapping and swaying, hands in the air as the local band played.

“Make some noise if you’re here to help your neighbors, Capital Region!” lead J. Yager yelled during a pause in one upbeat song.

The crowd responded — all at the benefit concert Capital Region Relief were there to help their neighbors. A hundred percent of ticket sales went to the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Proctors donated the concert space and members of the stagehand union donated their time — and gave money on top of that, event promoter Jim Anderson said.

To maximize the giving, volunteers passed buckets.

The event represented the area music community doing its part to help those devastated by storms Irene and Lee. On Aug. 28, Irene ravaged communities in Schoharie, Montgomery and Schenectady counties and elsewhere.

“The people in the music community really want to help when something happens,” Anderson,

of Willjam Productions, said, “but the question is, what are they going to do? The answer is, what you’re good at.”

Anderson and Yager helped put the event together.

A lineup of six top local bands, plus blues legend Ernie Williams, drew concertgoers and donors out to Proctors.

There were no shortage of bands wanting to fill the roster, Anderson said. With the final list, he said, they tried to represent a variety of music tastes.

Deana Romano of Altamont came with several of her friends and got second-row seats. The seats were close enough to see the performers sweat, she said. “I love it.”

A friend of one of the members of The Chris Dukes Band, second on the stage Thursday, Romano also said she has a close friend who lost her entire house in the flooding in Esperance.

“I think it’s great all these guys volunteered,” Romano said. “I think you got to give it to the bands, you’ve got to give it to the people. It took a lot to pull this together. They deserve a lot of credit for that.”

Also playing Thursday night were Ten Year Vamp, The Fighting 86s, Garland Nelson & Soul Session, and Joe Roy Jackson.

Heather Fox of Saratoga Springs and P.J. Stasenko of Clifton Park came after seeing the event posted on Facebook.

How to help

There are many ways to help the people, schools and organizations hurt by the floods. Here are some links and ideas:

“This is a way to give back without really knowing what to do,” Fox said. “This way, it’s straight cash, which is usually what people need the most.”

Organizers got the word out through social networking, but also through local media outlets.

Kathy Santoro of Schenectady heard about it on the radio. She brought her daughter, Kelly Sheroka.

Santoro also said she knew someone who lost everything in the flood.

“It means all the hope for people that have lost everything,” Santoro said. “They feel helpless. This gives a little bit of inspiration to people in that they know that there are people out there that still care.

“I think this is a great thing to do.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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