Tonight, I was so blessed to be a part of Northside: A Twin Cities Community Benefit at the State Theater. To see a full list of contributors and sponsors, please visit the website.
Local celebrity emcees introduced entertainer, after entertainer, each name getting huge applause. GB Leighton and Billy McLaughlin got the concert started with inspirational music. Brittany Wright had me in tears with her spoken word piece on the neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Jamecia Bennett stunned the audience with her vocals. The New Standards showed us how a xylophone is supposed to be played. Keri Noble rocked the piano. We watched three videos put together by WCCO that showed both the tragedy of the tornado and the hope and sheer determination of the residents to rebuild. Senator Klobucher and Mayor RT Rybak took the stage to give words of encouragement and announce their dedication to the Northside. The crowd was brought to their feet many times over the night. There were many tears shed and many “Amen!”s shouted. I loved seeing all races, ages, and demographics standing together and showing support!
Soul Asylum took the stage and the crowd really got into them. They came to Minneapolis just for this performance and were so fun to watch onstage! Then out came Brother Ali (who left another festival early to come to this event) and people went wild (including me!). And to finish off the successful night, Sounds of Blackness filled the theater with their amazing harmonies. At the very end, all of the performers came out, and performed “Holy Ground” together.
This was a backstage experience I will not forget. Everyone involved were so nice and approachable. I loved seeing Senator Klobucher get really excited with Prudence Johnson took the stage! We heard music that ranged from classical, jazz, soul, funk, rock, rap and much more! There was so much support and positive thoughts spoken. I think this benefit was a great way for Northsiders to get a bit of a break from their situation and for other Minnesotans to show they care.
If you want to still support, please visit the website! http://www.northsidebenefit.org/about/ MPR also has a comprehensive list on how to help the tornado victims. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/05/25/tornado-how-to-help/
Here are a few of my favorite images, enjoy!