Bands unite to benefit missing persons
East End Café holds a concert to raise awareness of runaways and abduction victims.
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Updated: Sunday, July 19, 2009 05:07
Music and cheering filtered out of East End Cafe Saturday night as two bands played in a concert to raise awareness for missing persons.
The concert was part of the The Squeaky Wheel Tour, which was launched by the concert series, "GINA for Missing Persons," named after Gina Bos, a musician who disappeared six years ago.
The Essentialists and Bohemian Sunrise are two of the bands taking part in this national tour, which will hit 50 states and eight different countries, totaling 150 events.
Joseph Tolecaro, an employee at East End, said the concerts will continue over the next 19 days and are meant to help raise awareness for missing persons.
The money from independent contributors, as well as 85 percent of the proceeds from the cover charge and the sale of the bands' CDs, will go toward the cause, Tolecaro said.
Justin Hugelen-Padin, who attended the concert, said it was unique because he was unaware there was an event that raised money for missing persons.
"It's a great cause," Hugelen-Padin said. "I've never heard of another fundraiser quite like this one."
The bands approached management about playing and Tolecaro said he was happy to oblige considering the cause it supports.
"Gina Bos was a normal girl and artist," he said. "All our local artists can identify with her, so it's a great approach to the issue."
More than just local artists were interested in the concert and a busload of people from New York and New Jersey attended the event, Tolecaro said.
"Calls about the bands and the event just kept coming in," he said.
Many first-time listeners of the bands came to help support the cause.
Jenna Cohen, who attended the event, said she heard about the benefit concert from a friend and decided it was a great way to spend a Saturday night.
"Using bands to help raise awareness is a great idea," Cohen said. "More people should come out."
Hugelen-Padin, also attending East End for the first time, said the environment was very relaxed.
"It's a good atmosphere," he said. "It's low-key and very chill."
Tolecaro said it is important to East End Cafe to have a wide selection of different bands play at its establishment.
"We are the most diverse music venue around, besides Philly or New York," he said.
The Essentials, who played rock, and Bohemian Sunrise, who incorporated a mix of different unique instruments, including bongos and a saxaphone, allowed for a music selection that could please almost anyone, Cohen said.
"The two bands have such different and unique sounds that there seem to be a lot of different types of people here as well," she said.
Art Perry, guitarist of The Essentials, said playing at the East End Cafe was a completely different experience than what the band is used to playing.
"We're just starting to pull into the bar scene," Perry said. "We usually play at coffee houses."
Bohemian Sunrise has played at East End Cafe before and was met by a crowd of dancing fans.
"I love their sound," Cohen said. "I've been dancing in my seat all night."
Tolecaro, who said East End Café has not always hosted bands with community-friendly music, said he hopes the event will be a catalyst for bringing in a more diverse crowd.
"I'm hoping that this event will be the start of bringing a better quality back to the community," he said. "Newark is an eclectic and cool place and that should be reflected in the music that is played."
Nancy Gibson, a member of The Essentials, said she was pleased with the gig and the great involvement of bands in the tour.
"There are bands involved in almost every state," Gibson said. "It's a very effective way of getting attention for missing persons."