Scenes From Sunday's West, Texas Benefit at Strauss Square.
Just some quick hits on Sunday's West, Texas benefit event at the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Strauss Square:
• First of all: Wow. For Sunday's event, which was only first announced on Wednesday of last week, to have drawn as well as it did — there were at least 1,000 attendees over the course of the day, no question — is just a really, really cool show of support.
• The organizers — namely Goodfriend's Matt Tobin, ATTPAC's Becki Howard and the Granada Theater's Gavin Mulloy — just did an awesome job of putting this whole affair together and deserve copious random standing ovations throughout the rest of the calendar year for their Herculean and completely selfless efforts in throwing this event. The whole thing seemed to go off with all the professionalism of a longer-planned event, and these organizers' efforts — on all fronts, from booking the bands to getting the word out on the event to securing sponsors — are to credit for that.
• No figures have yet been released, but, at one point on Sunday evening, organizers said they were pretty much a cinch to have raised at least $20,000 for West, which is incredible. Update: Organizers now confirm that over $30,000 was raised on Sunday.
• The performers — Kelly Upshaw, Daniel Hart, Doug Burr, Goodnight Ned, Somebody's Darling, The O's, Vaden Lewis and Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights — were all pretty great, all respectful of the cause, and still all on board with making sure that their donated efforts at these festivities were lighthearted enough to keep people around, enjoying themselves.
• Obviously, much of the chatter on Sunday was about the West tragedy and how happy everyone on hand was to do what they could to better those affected by it, but the second-most discussed topic was about the beautiful Strauss Square facilities themselves, with pretty much everyone agreeing that the space is perhaps underutilized. Rest assured: ATTPAC's Becki Howard said she too heard the compliments on the space and said she hopes to find more reasons to throw shows at the space a la those previous Tegan & Sara and Citizen Cope shows thrown at the space in 2012. So that's something to look forward to.
Seriously: The whole thing was just an awesome deal, on pretty much every single count. Shame we it took a tragedy for an event like this to happen, sure. But at least it did happen and at least some good did come from it.