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VIDEO: Tom Morello, Jack Black, Jackson Browne and Audioslave Play the ‘Anti-Inauguration’ Show

Prophets of Rage Perform on Inauguration Night at Teragram Ballroom

Tom Morello led his band Prophets of Rage, along with Jackson Browne, a reunited Audioslave and Jack Black in a night of surprises and protest at Teragram Ballroom.

Across the nation people expressed their opinions about Donald Trump taking the highest office in the land. But few gatherings were as entertaining and packed with talent as the group of musicians staging the “Anti-Inauguration” concert in downtown Los Angeles.

Check out the Instagram video images from Alyson Camus and Margarito Granados, at last night’s “Anti-Inaugural” Concert at Teragram Ballroom.

 

 

 

Seeing Tom Morrello pull off some #guitar wizardry felt like a religious experience. #audioslave #music #concert

A post shared by Margarito Granados (@grahmcracker13) on

 

 

Chuck D of Prophets of Rage!!!! Take the power back ✊🏼🔥🎸✊🏾

A post shared by Alyson Camus (@alysoncamus) on

 

 

Trump made Audioslave reunite!! Tom Morello played all night long! 🎸🔥🤘🏼✊🏼⚡😍

A post shared by Alyson Camus (@alysoncamus) on

Best LA Concerts of 2016: Big Stars in Small Venues, Young Trailblazers, and California Rockers

Bob Weir, Desert Trip, Eagles of Death Metal, The Cure, Make Beautiful Music in 2016

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Eagles of Death Metal at The Teragram Ballroom

The band members in The Eagles of Death Metal have coped with a lot and keep going. The most recent excellent performance was a benefit for Dave Rosser, held at Teragram Ballroom. Frontman Jesse Hughes AKA Boots Electric, is one of the most compelling performers — or poseurs — today and holds the audience spellbound with his wild maneuvers, great voice and excellent guitar work. We got an extra bonus on this night: Josh Homme debuted a new song.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Eagles of Death Metal

 

 

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Reluctant Apostles at Molly Malone’s

The Reluctant Apostles have come a long way in a short time.  The Katey Sagal and Bob Thiele-fronted band like to play at Molly Malone’s and was formed based on their teamwork during Sons of Anarchy.  The Reluctant Apostles are an offshoot of The Forest Rangers, which came to prominence during the uber successful run of SOA. But new things on the horizon from this star-studded cover band: A new Pledgemusic album and more shows to come.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of the Reluctant Apostles

 

Dick Dale gives his fans all he's got - Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale gives his fans all he’s got – Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale and Se7en Reasons Why at Whisky A Go-Go

Where would modern rock and roll be without remarkable performers Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why and the ultimate surf guitar master Dick Dale?  Dale’s varied health issues seem to fade away when Dale is on stage, never far from the watchful eye of his wife, Lana.  New Year’s eve at the Whisky A Go-Go has never been better. Dale comes from an era when you performed no matter what ails you. He led the way in the development of the California sound and he’s a true California Rocker.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Dick Dale at the Whisky A Go-Go

 

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring - Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring – Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

On one of three sold out nights at The Hollywood Bowl, The Cure would cover over 37 years of Cure songs including the hits, rarities and two unreleased tracks. Reviewer Craig Hammons noted that the set list changed each night with The Cure digging deep into their catalog of impressive material.  Robert Smith and the crew would cover 35 songs in just under 3 hours.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

 

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he's depicted here performing from his Never Twice album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he’s depicted here performing from his Never Twice album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse at The Regent Theater

We can’t say enough good things about Nick Waterhouse and His Tarots.  Every time we see Nick, the performance gets better if that’s possible, as was demonstrated at The Regent Theater a couple of weeks ago.  A multi-faceted musician, who writes, performs, and produces others, Nick is a California Rocker on the rise. Openers Sad Girl and Cutty Flam impressed.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Nick Waterhouse, Sad Girl and Cutty Flam

 

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Desert Daze

Desert Daze, the enduring fest where up-and-comers and veterans alike kick around in boots, bandanas and shorts still reigns supreme.  An eclectic mix of newbies and veterans, the fest offers a chance to hear new music and gives veterans a chance to show their stuff. Television, Primus and Thee Oh Sees mingled with Brian Jonestown Massacre, L.A. Witch, and Thee Commons.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Desert Daze

 

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory - Photo © Donna Balancia

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory – Photo © Donna Balancia

Bush at The Observatory

Gavin Rossdale is a high-energy performer, leaping into the audience and jumping on speakers.  Bush performs all the favorites and this particular show at the Observatory was extremely interactive. After a few rounds of hugs and kisses among his fans, Rossdale jumps onto a speaker and finishes “Monkey” from high above.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Bush at The Observatory

 

Robert Plant - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant at Theatre at the Ace

Robert Plant and his audience share a special bond and that was illustrated clearly at the Theatre at the Ace.  Bringing flowers, love letters and gifts, Robert still has the gals on the edge of their seats.  Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters put on a show that is Led Zeppelin inspired, but takes us to a new and earthy place.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

 

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

Dave Pirner keeps going. Whirling around with his guitar and speaking honestly to the audience, with little regard for his sweaty appearance, Pirner is happy to be on stage.  If nothing else Pirner and Soul Asylum are truthful in their performance and the crowd appreciates it. Soul Asylum’s tour started with The English Beat and wrapped solo.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

 

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat at The Canyon Club

The English Beat hits a home run every time.  There is not one song from all their famous hits that goes unheard at an English Beat concert and the crowds are devoted.  Dave Wakeling drives the band that has undergone some changes over the years, but the musicians on board are top talents.  Fortunately, The English Beat plays a lot of dates and 2017 shows are all set.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The English Beat at The Canyon Club

 

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour - Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour – Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Pacific Amphitheatre spreads the message of love and compassion for all. The show was such a warm experience that reviewer Craig Hammons said he felt like he left the stadium with 7,000 new friends.  The crowd interlocked arms, danced and sang songs of inclusion and love.  What’s better than an uplifting performance?

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Michael Franti and Spearhead

 

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

FartBarf, David and The Curse at El Cid

Who would think with name like Fartbarf this band would be amazing?  Something must have happened along the way for three guys in caveman masks to call themselves something so silly but play so good.  The electronic music we heard at El Cid blew us out of our shoes.  This is a talented group that does the creators of the Moog proud.  Opener David and The Curse shows how it’s done as this young veteran gives us a new sound that blends Americana with pure rock.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Fartbarf and David and The Curse

 

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Suffers at The Echo

The Suffers bring you to your knees, they’re that good.  Whether you call it, “Gulf Coast Soul” or good ol’ rock and roll, Kam Franklin and the band bring a blues-influenced power sound to the masses. We caught The Suffers at the Echo, one of our favorite venues, and the place was busting at the seams trying to contain the adoring fans.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Suffers at The Echo

 

Sad Lovers and Giants - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants at The Echoplex

Sad Lovers and Giants put on a show for a lifetime at our well-loved venue the Echoplex, bringing 80s new wave to a young, enthusiastic crowd. It’s sad for fans that this beloved British band may not return to the U.S. any time soon, but we are thrilled to have caught Garçe Allard, Tony McGuinness, Nigel Pollard, Ian Gibson and Will Hicks at least once.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Sad Lovers and Giants at the Echoplex

 

The Who - Photo courtesy of Desert Trip for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Who – Photo courtesy of Desert Trip

Desert Trip

Reviewer Bob Busby called Desert Trip one of the best experiences of his life.  That comes from someone who has been to thousands of shows and festivals. Aside from Roger Waters’ rantings, the moon appearing during Neil Young’s performance of “Harvest Moon,” was a highlight.  And how can you do much better than Sir Paul McCartney sharing the stage with the pop princess Rihanna? Stay tuned for next year.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Desert Trip

 

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs put on a fun, upbeat show, complete with cover songs you haven’t heard in a while. Jason Sinay and Campbell play off each other as “Gator” and “Ape” in a band where nicknames are abundant as dolphins in Florida.  The Dirty Knobs is a band to check out when they play their few gigs every year. They haven’t recorded anything so go live or go home.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

 

Bob Weir on tour with 'Blue Mountain' album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir on tour with ‘Blue Mountain’ album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir at The Wiltern

The well-worn co-founder of The Grateful Dead only gets better as the years go on. He introduced a new album and played to a crowd at The Wiltern that was comprised of not only Grateful Dead veterans but young, rainbow-clad and dread-sporting fans. Bob still has the verve and enthusiasm and the sounds ring true.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Bob Weir at The Wiltern

 

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive-In at Hollywood Palladium

It’s a rare treat to get to see At The Drive-In, but frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala is one of the most entertaining performers in the business. It’s clear from his leaping at The Hollywood Palladium last summer that he’s got a background in skateboarding and he’s a no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall musician, saving nothing for himself and giving the crowd his all.  See our award winning-shot of Cedric Bixler Zavala.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of At The Drive-In

 

Teri Le Butcherettes Photo by Donna Balancia

Teri of Le Butcherettes surfs the crowd – Photo by Donna Balancia

Le Butcherettes at Hollywood Palladium

Teri Gender Bender is the most physical female performer out there and her shows at The Regent Theater, The Echoplex and opening set for At The Drive-In prove it. There are few who can compare to this precious young rock and roll veteran whose demeanor after the show is remarkably calm compared to her rebellious and taunting onstage persona.  Despite personnel changes over the years, one thing remains a constant: Teri’s talent.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review for Le Butcherettes

 

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

GRAMMY Foundation Honors BB King at Wallis Annenberg

BB King may be gone, but The GRAMMY Foundation hosted a bevy of blues slinging rock stars to honor him at The Annenberg: Slash, Tedeschi Trucks, Joe Bonamassa and a heavenly host of blues performers sang and played the blues in BB’s honor.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review for B.B. King at the Annenberg

 

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors at The Ford Theatres

Wayne Kramer, Don Was and pals put on an amazingly entertaining show at The Ford Theatres to raise money for their charity that serves those behind bars.  The show featured Marshall Crenshaw and a slew of talent to help Wayne raise money for the charity that is close to his heart.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors

 

Bad Boy Eddy - Photo by Donna Balancia

Bad Boy Eddy Rocks Cruefest – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cruefest 2016 at Whiskey A Go-Go

Cruefest Hollywood 2016 brings the kindest hearted metal performers to the Whisky A Go-Go stage each year.  It was a Who’s Who of metal with  Heartbreak Heroes from Oklahoma and Los Angeles; Snake Bite Whisky from Brisbane, Australia; Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California; Stonebreed; Wreking Crue from Detroit, and Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why; Blacklist Union, Lunden Reign, Westfield Massacre, and L.A. Story; all of whom are from Los Angeles.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Cruefest 2016 at the Whisky A Go-Go

 

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl - Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl – Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

Brian Wilson never disappoints and his performance at reviewer Craig Hammons said his performance at the Hollywood Bowl was one of his best.  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, considered a unique collection at the time of its release, Wilson held the Hollywood Bowl audience enraptured.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

 

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop at The Greek Theatre

At a time when most people are slowing down, Iggy Pop is going strong, having his best year yet. The “world’s forgotten boy” has a GRAMMY nomination for Post Pop Depression, there’s a Jim Jarmusch movie out about him, and also a new book released about his life.  He’s a 69-year-old anomaly in the world of rock, proudly resplendent in his hard-earned success. Via his partnerships with the young and hip, Iggy continually adds new admirers to his list of longtime fans. It doesn’t hurt to have the “Ginger Elvis,” Josh Homme and the rest of the crew on stage with you.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Iggy Pop at The Greek

 

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker - Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker – Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear at The Hollywood Bowl

Reviewer Craig Hammons says Burning Spear is one of the best shows of the year simply because Burning Spear is a solid reggae performer.  The legendary musician among a sea of young upstarts bid adieu to his fans as “I Man” takes a step down from the stage. Over the many years, with grace and dignity Burning Spear has brought new fans to the reggae flock.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Burning Spear 

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live

It was a pleasant shock to find Jackson Browne appearing at Lucky Strike, which hosts mostly metal-style rockers every Wednesday night during its weekly Lucky Strike Live events.  Browne is a good-hearted type who shows up for a good cause and for the fun of the performance.  At Lucky Strike Live, he gave the regulars — plus about 600 others — a thrill, jamming with some regular players and he had fun to spare.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Jackson Browne

 

Glam Skanks release new album, "Glitter City" - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks release new album, “Glitter City” – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks at MIME

Where are the young women in rock and roll? Answer: The Glam Skanks are right in Los Angeles and they put on a terrific show each and every time. Climbing on speakers, throwing glitter, taunting the audience. Their show at MIME in Echo Park put on by Echo Box heated up the room and had fans screaming for more. There’s a new album and they’re going on tour with Adam Ant.  Stay tuned!

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Glam Skanks 

 

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth at The Canyon Club

Say what you will about the in-your-face frontman, but Smash Mouth has made it in a tough rock and roll world. When Paul DeLisle teamed with Steve Harwell, as odd a combination as that may have appeared it worked.  With a little help from a hit animated movie, Smash Mouth reinvigorated “I’m a Believer” from The Monkees and a whole new generation was jumping at The Canyon Club. Openers Paper and Strange Case lit a fire.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Smash Mouth, Paper and Strange Case

Editor’s Note: The “Best Concerts of the Year” coverage only includes the performances CaliforniaRocker.com staff attended during 2016.

Jackson Browne Goes ‘On The Boulevard’ To Give Free Concert for 650 People in Hollywood – With Video

Jackson Brown by Donna Balancia at Lucky Strike Live

Jackson Brown performed ‘Running On Empty” to 650 fans at Lucky Strike Live – Photo by Donna Balancia

New Soundcheck Live Show Gets Star Power

By DONNA BALANCIA – Jackson Browne put on a free concert to those lucky enough to get into Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood Wednesday night.

Browne graced the stage of the bowling alley-bar that’s come on the scene over the last year, hosting stars from Johnny Depp to David Lee Roth.

Wednesday night is a regular jam session called Soundcheck Live. Browne brought star power to the new weekly program at Lucky Strike. Soundcheck replaced Chuck Wright’s Ultimate Jam Night, which moved to Tuesday nights at the Whisky A-Go-Go nine weeks ago.

SEE PHOTO GALLERY BELOW

Jackson Browne collaborates with Lucky Strike bandmembers - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne collaborates with Lucky Strike bandmembers – Photo by Donna Balancia

A Ticket Wasn’t Necessarily Good Enough

The new show by Steve Ferlazzo features well-known and talented musicians. But of all the musicians at Soundcheck Live last night, Browne was the beloved headliner and throngs of fans tried to get into the show.

Browne cancelled the previous Wednesday because of illness but made good on his promise to draw the crowds a week later. He was backed by musicians including Carl Restivo and Steve Fekete on guitar, Derek Frank on bass, Ferlazzo on keyboards and Randy Cooke on drums.

Admission to see Browne was not guaranteed, and the line to get into Lucky Strike Live went down Highland and wrapped around the corner onto Hollywood Boulevard. Eventually, about 650 squeezed into the Hollywood club to hear the Hall of Fame musician perform “Running On Empty,” among other favorites.

Browne made the news earlier in the week when he said he would perform two previously postponed concerts in North Carolina on May 28 and June 1. Browne said he was ill on Jan. 8, when he was supposed to perform in Asheville, N.C. and bad weather prevented him from playing in Wilmington on Jan. 22.

He said he would donate the proceeds of the concerts to local and national LGBT groups.

"Running On Empty" by Jackson Browne - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne, pictured with Carl Restivo and Derek Frank, performs at Lucky Strike Live – Photo by Donna Balancia

SETLIST

That Girl Could Sing

On The Boulevard

These Days

Somebody’s Baby

Lawyers, Guns and Money

Running on Empty

Video courtesy of Wayne Bowdoin and Lucky Strike Live

Jackson Brown Photo Gallery

Tom Morello Tears Down ‘Velvet Rope’ for Social Justice with Jackson Browne

Tom Morello photo by Donna Balancia

Tom Morello photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

HOLLYWOOD — With veteran rockers like David Crosby and Graham Nash and Jackson Browne, and up-and-comers like La Santa Cecilia and Rocky Dawuni, The Concert For Social Justice was one of the most inspiring concerts of the year.

It wasn’t the encore of “This Land Is Your Land,” that did it, although a concert finale that gathers Melissa Etheridge, Tom Morello and a bevy of actors and audience members to sing a well-known second-grade song is rousing.

The Concert For Social Justice at The Fonda Theatre last Wednesday night brought together a diverse group of people who want to deliver the message through song.  And it’s inspiring that singing out a message isn’t banned in our country yet. 

Jackson Browne - photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne – photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

After all, as our First Amendment rights and every day habits are being taken away by corporate greed and government mismanagement, it’s amazing we are allowed to gather and sing about pretty much whatever we want.  We still have that.

It’s rewarding to know how many people donate their time for a cause.  Billy Ray Cyrus, Martin Sheen, Chad Lowe, Alfre Woodard were among the actors who participated in the show.  The show was produced by RFK Human Rights and The GRAMMY Museum.

Both are both super organizations that do plenty for others, like putting on this concert that benefits the organizations’ joint K-12 education program, Speak Up Sing Out: Songs of Conscience.  The program invites middle-school and high-school students to write songs about social justice issues.

Melissa Etheridge - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Melissa Etheridge – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

And of course, the fans and VIPs who packed The Fonda Theatre and for the most part, it was a nice-looking group of well-heeled Californians.

And to have The Fonda Theatre on a Wednesday night is great, but remember, at the Fonda, you “can’t go in and out,” of the front entrance.  Even if you leave your cell phone in the taxi.  But that’s another story.

The audience was comprised mostly of those who were just old enough to go to the record store and buy Crosby Still Nash and Young’s Deja Vu album.  And since 1970, the year the album was released, many things have changed.  For one thing, while amply capable, the once-foursome is now most often Crosby and songwriter Nash who perform “Teach Your Children.”   In addition to the obvious absences of Neil Young and Stephen Stills, on the original recording, the late, great Jerry Garcia performed steel pedal.

David Crosby - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

David Crosby – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

One original from the album remains the same.  The superbly kind and professional Henry Diltz was on hand to photograph the concert.  Deja Vu is among Diltz’ more than vast portfolio of work dating back to the 1960s.  He is co-owner with Peter Blachley and Rich Horowitz of The Morrison Hotel Galleries in New York City, West Hollywood and the new location at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

Morello riled up the audience telling them to “take down the velvet rope” that separates the audience by class, and ticket price.  It probably isn’t a great feeling to be on stage and see a wall-to-wall 3-foot gap between the photographers in the pit and the adoring audience.  So Morello encouraged the audience to break down at least some barrier in their lives.  Even as a symbolic gesture it caused a rush of people to the front and a lot more happy faces.

La Santa Cecilia photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Students and Actors like Alfre Woodard perform spoken word – photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Etheridge sang some fun ones including her well-known “Bring Me Some Water,” and hosted her own secret confessions, telling the audience that she is a lesbian and she is in favor of legalizing pot.

Produced by RFK Human Rights and The GRAMMY Museum — and sponsored by 88.5 KCSN — The Concert For Social Justice featured veterans, but was really about enabling young musicians to find and create their messages for social change through songwriting.  It’s a wonderful initiative, and Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Bobby Kennedy, is the driving force.

Kennedy — with Bob Santelli, executive director of The GRAMMY Museum, at her side — thanked Browne profusely for his help, his time and his ability to gather like-minded artists to perform for the cause.  Of course, Browne looks great and is going on tour to promote his album Standing In The Breach.  He is a mellow presence among the group of fun rabble rousers.

And while headlined by Browne, Etheridge, Morello, and Crosby and Nash, the spotlight was on young artists like Rocky Dawuni and La Santa Cecilia.

Dawuni was impressive with his friendly demeanor and endearing efforts to get the audience to repeat his reggae chorus.  He is cool and his style is energetic and uplifting.

La Santa Cecilia - photo by Donna Balancia

La Santa Cecilia – photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

La Santa Cecilia is a treat with their colorful performance and up tempo music that combines beats from different regions and a style that mixes jazz, rock, tango and bolero. The band won a GRAMMY Award in 2014 for Best Latin Rock Album.

But the members of La Santa Cecilia were not the youngest people on the stage.

Jade Rhodes from the Brentwood School in Los Angeles was the first winner of the RFK Human Rights Speak Up Sing Out Music Contest and she brought the house to tears with her song, “Invisible.”  Written, and performed at the piano on Wednesday by Rhodes, “Invisible,” is based on how she imagines an immigrant student may feel in a new school.

And after Etheridge, Crosby and Nash, Morello, Browne, Dawuni and La Santa Cecilia and the actors all took the stage for the finale of “This Land Is Your Land,” Rhodes stepped up, front and center, and sang the loudest of them all.

Now that’s inspiring.

Wednesday’s Concert For Social Justice To Benefit Young Musicians

They are known for their songs of social justice. And on Wednesday night, when Crosby and Nash, Melissa Etheridge, and Jackson Browne take the stage during The Concert For Social Justice, they will have a special purpose.

David Crosby - photo courtesy of Django Crosby

David Crosby – photo courtesy of Django Crosby

Wednesday’s concert at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood is presented jointly by the GRAMMY Museum and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. It also features Tom Morello, La Santa Cecilia and Rocky Dawuni, along with heavy-hitter actors like Martin Sheen and Alfre Woodard.

But the real stars are the students in a new music contest jointly presented by The GRAMMY Museum and the Robert F. Kennedy Center Human Rights‘ “Speak Truth To Power” initiative.

The Wednesday concert at The Fonda Theatre kicks off the national launch of the music writing contest called “Speak Up Sing Out: Songs of Conscience.” A regional, Los Angeles-based pilot of contest was held in 2014. The winner of that contest — still unannounced by the organizations — will appear on stage with the music superstars.

Concert For Social Justice Sold Out

The sold-out concert was first announced here on California Rocker on March 30.

“The concert kicks off the expansion of Speak Up Sing Out, nationwide,” said John Heffernan, executive director of the Speak Truth To Power program and who was instrumental in producing the concert. “Our partnership with the GRAMMY Museum is to empower young people to create change with music. So far it’s been limited to Los Angeles, but we want to bring national awareness of Speak Up Sing Out contest using the GRAMMY network.

http://lasantacecilia.com/ La Santa Cecilia

La Santa Cecilia to Perform at The Concert For Social Justice – Photo courtesy of La Santa Cecilia

During 2014, the contest received 25 submissions. The selections were narrowed to five, and finally, one artist’s submission was selected as most relevant. The selected artist will perform Wednesday night alongside some of the world’s most famous musicians.

“The way to prevent human rights injustices is to educate, tell people they can ‘Speak Up and Sing Out,’ Heffernan said. “We want to build a citizenry of committed people holding society to the highest standards of equality and justice.”

David Crosby, Graham Nash, Etheridge and Browne were among those selected for a particular reason, Heffernan said.

“We brought in these musicians because they’ve played such an important role of social change, writing songs of conscience,” Heffernan said. “Their music is so mainstream but they’re talking about critical issues.”

Highlighting the musical performances will be well-known actors performing monologues in the roles of revered world leaders and influencers. Among additional actors expected are Dennis Haysbert, Chad Lowe and David Arquette.

Jackson Browne, Crosby and Nash, Melissa Etheridge To Play Fonda Theatre

Graham Nash - Photo courtesy of Eleanor Stills

Graham Nash – Photo courtesy of Eleanor Stills

Jackson Browne, David Crosby and Graham Nash, and Melissa Etheridge will headline The Concert for Social Justice at The Fonda Theatre on Wednesday, April 8.

The concert will be produced in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the GRAMMY Museum. KCSN 88.5 is a media sponsor.

Additional headliners are La Santa Cecilia, Tom Morello and Rocky Dawuni.

The Concert For Social Justice will also feature special spoken word performances from actors Dennis Haysbert, David Arquette, Chad Lowe, Martin Sheen, and Alfre Woodard.

The purpose of the concert is to highlight the power of music as a tool for social justice.  Performers are expected to play a collection of songs that have helped generate change over the past five decades.

The Concert For Social Justice

The Concert For Social Justice

Funds from admission tickets support the organizations’ joint K-12 education program, “Speak Up Sing Out: Songs of Conscience.”

That program, first piloted in Los Angeles schools in 2014, invites middle-school and high-school students to write songs about social justice issues using materials from the RFK’s Speak Truth To Power human rights curriculum, and the GRAMMY Museum’s Civil Rights curriculum.

For more information

 

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