with Only Living Witness, Cobalt 60, Grind, Plush at the Rock Angel Toy Drive at Bill’s Bar & Venus
by Joe Niedbala
When a group of great bands who haven’t yet become MTV superdarlings get together for a cause, you know it’s not just a P.R. move. This was evident when five of Boston’s finest performed at the Rock Angel Toy Drive benefit for children with AIDS/HIV.
Only Living Witness opened, displaying their patented brand of tough, muscular rock and roll. Although the house was less than full, they played with a furor reserved by most bands for the largest moshing audiences. It’s a testament to their energy that Only Living Witness feigned no punches and delivered the goods to the fortunate few who showed up early.
Home hit the stage next and continued to keep the power going. The tight groove of this band was further underscored when joined by the horns of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones for a righteous rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman.” Home hopes to treat Boston to this great pairing again soon.
Grind found themselves with two tough acts to follow, but Boston’s hardest rockin’ ladies were more than up to the task. Their trademark riffs and driving rhythms were in top form this night, and, as always, Sandy Cohen’s soaring voice captivated.
The night’s headliners, Cobalt 60 never fails to please, and with singer Keith in usual manic form, tonight was no exception. Although this evening was dedicated to helping those with AIDS, Keith brought to mind another plague. While thanking those who supported the toy drive, he followed “I’m all for giving toys to kids. It’s a helluva lot better than kids with guns!” Amen, brother.
In the “clean up,” Plush demonstrated why they’ve come so far so fast. Driving, hook-laden songs and thoughtful, arresting lyrics showed that this is a band to be reckoned with. A great way to end a very entertaining evening in honor of a very worthy cause.
The Rock Angel organization amassed over one hundred toys and several hundred dollars, all of which will be divided amongst several AIDS/HIV charity groups. Thanks to the efforts of the bands who donated their talent and the people who showed up to enjoy it, this Christmas was a little bit brighter for some very unfortuate children.