Review and photos by Vanessa Markov
More photos here
With the support of several local sponsors, Ramiro Productions teamed up with Canadian Red Cross and a long list of Canadian solo artists to create Canada Rocks 4 Japan, a benefit concert that raised over $20,000 in ticket sales, all of which will go toward relief efforts in Japan. The four hour long all-ages show, which was organized in less than three weeks, featured a wide variety of styles and genres and included many popular acts like Karl Wolf, Justin Nozuka, Glenn Lewis, Blake McGrath, and Canadian hip hop pioneer Maestro.
The young crowd screamed and cheered enthusiastically for each artist, but got particularly loud and crazy for Karl Wolf who responded with an equally energetic performance including his hit remake of Toto’s “Africa”. Fitfully jetting around like a blown up balloon that had been untied, Karl leaped off the side stairs to high five his fans, clearing the top of my head by less than an inch. Although spastic, Karl’s moves were very calculated as he ran from one side of the stage to the other, stopping and turning on a dime to narrowly avoid cameramen and the edge of the stage. “We need to help Japan,” he said in between songs. “Because one day we will need them, and they will be there for us.”
Like Karl, each artist took the time to address the cause and commend the audience for their support, some relaying more personal sentiments on the issue than others. The most chilling story came from island pop singer Shalli, who explained that she was lucky to be alive after her hotel was hit by a tsunami while touring in Thailand a few years back. Several artists including Blake McGrath, who had never sung a ballad live before this show, dedicated songs to those in Japan who were not as fortunate, and one artist, Tuzzy, wrote and performed what would become the Canada Rocks 4 Japan theme song entitled “To Save a Life”.
Other notable moments:
The lovely Oriana sings a fun female version of of Cee Lo Green’s “F*ck You”.
A mind-altering beat box performance by the insanely talented Scott Jackson and krNfx…definitely the most impressive performance of the night, see them in action at a different show here)
Glenn Lewis’ particularly flawless vocals during his hit song “Don’t You Forget It“
Blake McGrath (adorably) refers to the mic stand as a “mic stick”.
List of performers:
Scott Jackson & krNfx
The Jeffery Brothers
More info on Canada Rocks 4 Japan here
This review was also posted in Lithium Magazine here