Concert to benefit Friends, cancer society

ALPENA – People will have a chance to break out their spandex pants and hair spray next month to celebrate their favorite radio and MTV video hits during the 2014 Solutions concert. The annual event brings together a host of local musicians, with the proceeds from the event being distributed to Friends Together and the American Cancer Society.

This year’s theme is “Back in Time, A Salute to the Big 80s” and promises to provide a flashback to the time of big hair, leg warmers and cassette tapes. The popular event is geared toward providing support for Friends Together, which offers support to those dealing with cancer, and the family members who may be struggling in dealing with a loved one who is diagnosed with cancer.

This years event will feature headlining act Dead by Monday, which recently finished recording with producer Steve Albini in Chicago, as well as classic rock band Human Wreckage, Wolf Creek Release, High Speed, Phoenix, LBA (Little Band from Alpena) and special appearances by musicians Cal Howard, Kimberly Megoran and Larry Daoust.

Dead by Monday guitarist Freddi Sparxx said many of the musicians have experienced the feeling of learning and coping with a friend or loved one having cancer. He said the concert is a great way to come together and work toward the common goal of defeating the disease and helping those stricken with it.

“Cancer has touched the life of every member of my band in many ways and we’re not alone,” Sparxx said. “An event like this does more than raise funds, it raises awareness, shows solidarity and support.”

Sparxx said there will be a variety of music on display at the concert. He said there should be something for everyone’s musical taste. He said the bands will perform music that was popular in the 1980s, which is still very popular today.

“DBM are honored to be performing at this year’s show and we’re excited about this year’s theme,” Sparxx said. “It is a salute to the popular radio and MTV hits and we really can’t wait to see everyone in April.”

Event coordinator Stacy Roznowski said in the past about $7,500-$8,000 has been raised and it was presented to the American Cancer Society. She said this year it was decided to share the funds with Friends Together because of the impact it has on people locally who are dealing with cancer.

“The American Cancer Society does a lot of research, so a portion of the money goes toward that, but donating to Friends Together, which does so many amazing things, keeps the money local as well and I think people will really appreciate that,” she said.

This year’s event is being held at the APlex April 26 and tickets for the event go on sale today at Neiman’s Family Market for $10 each and they will be $12 at the door. She said there also will be a check presentation made at the event from Kris Cronger, owner of the Black Sheep in Alpena. The money raised was from wine tasting events. Roznowski said when combined with the money from the concert a significant amount is collected.

“It could be a $10,000 event and if we could give $5,000 to Friends Togther to use locally, that is very big, and it is very needed.”

Roznowski said bands who have performed for the past eight years have been very supportive and generous. She said the amount of money raised and the impact it would have would be much less, if the bands were to be paid.

“We appreciate them donating their time and talent and we can’t thank them enough.”

The event will feature food and adult beverages, as well as drawing and merchandise that can be purchased, with the money going to the cause as well.

Roznowski said people wishing to reserve tables of eight for the event can do so by contacting her at 255-7544.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at www.thealpenanews.com.