It was a great night of local music on Saturday, January 27 as The Crimson Tips, The Hard Luck Souls, and Iüdica took over the Low Beat in Albany for a very special benefit to help kids diagnosed with cancer. Admission to the event was free and the participating bands only asked that attendees donate a small toy or provide a financial contribution to the not for profit Rosie’s Love Foundation.
Rosie’s Love Foundation was formed after the death of it’s namesake, two-year-old Rosemary Frances Johnson, who passed away after a valiant battle with neuroblastoma. Her family wanted to give something back for all the love Rosie received while being treated for her illness at Albany Medical Center. The foundation provides fun activities and toys for children receiving in-patient cancer treatment and offers various types of assistance to those children’s family members.
First up in the line up was Lake George based Iüdica. The roster of the band includes Brian Michael Rhythm on guitar/vocals, Chris Walker on bass/vocal, Nate Fidd on percussion, and Thom Grover on lead guitar. The group came out strong with a rendition of “Arty” a hard rock in your face number that set the tone of the show. The highlight of the set was the band’s rendition of “Circuits,” which is featured on their 2017 EP Brain Carvings. Iüdica went on to play their new release “Lipstick, Black Dress” which is slated to be released later this year. Lead singer and guitarist Brian Michael lost his guitar strap during the song and while trying to keep the number rolling, wound up whipping off his glasses, which landed on the stage. He was able to keep the pace and when asked about the incident after the show he stated “well that’s rock and roll.”
The Hard Luck Souls were next up on the bill and they came out swinging with “I Never” the second track off of their 2017 release Closer To The Flame. The Souls are a tight unit with front-man Chris Itani commanding the stage like a seasoned veteran. The song’s lyrics describe the end to a messy relationship and paired with the excellent guitar work of Brian Gentile, perfectly represents the hard rock vibe of the four man group. The highlight of the Soul’s set was “Get Back,” a fast paced number reminiscent of The Stone Temple Pilots. The crunchy tune showcased the prowess of the band’s rhythm section which features Dave Smassanow on bass and Mark Schmidt on drums. Deep into their set the Souls treated the audience by performing the band’s newly minted single “Keep On Running.” The number has only been played out live by the boys a few times and was received enthusiastically by the crowd. The Hard Luck Souls finished their portion of the evening strong with high energy renditions of 90’s classics “Nice Shot” by Filter and Soundgarden’s “Outshined.”
The Rock and Roll fund raiser was capped off when the event’s organizers, The Crimson Tips, took the stage. The hard rock outfit is a family affair with Lance Valderrama on guitar/vocal, his son Kyle Valderrama on bass/vocal, and Lance’s cousin John Nicotina on drums/vocals. Lance started the show by thanking everyone for coming out and supporting Rosie’s Love and dedicated the show to his good friend Walter, who is currently battling with fourth stage cancer. He said that the band wanted to do more for shows for charities in the Capital Region in order to give back to their community. The Tips then went into their first number “Please Help Me” off of their 2016 LP Sludge Train. The tune got off to a rocky start due to sound problems which cut off the vocals of drummer John Nicotina. The problem was quickly resolved and the band kept playing through the difficulties. The boys produce tremendous sound for a trio and with pieces like “Let Her Bark” and “Same Shit Different Day,” The Crimson Tips gritty sound hearkens back to the late 80’s NYC punk scene. The Crimson Tips ended their performance with a blistering performance of “I Just Caught You Looking,” a song that is about when someone can’t let go of a failed relationship and becomes a stalker.
Overall the fundraiser at the Low Beat was a success. It was a great lineup of local talent and the bands were able to collect a sizable amount of donations in toys and some much needed money for Rosie’s Love. These tokens of goodwill will hopefully bring a little joy into the lives of some kids who are going through a really tough time.
Iüdica: Arty, Ghosts, Watching, Circuits, Brain Carvings, Lipstick Black Dress, B side Love, Chocolate And Parsley
Hard Luck Souls: I Never, Hold On, Can’t Be True, Izzy’s Thunder, Feels Like Forever, Let My People Go, Way Down Low, In My Head, Fly Away, Get Back, Nice Shot, Better Keep Running, Outshined
Crimson Tips: Please Help Me, Better For You, Let Her Bark, Liar, Sunday Morning, Bleed Me, She Moves, Just A Girl, Freedom, I Won’t Be There, Goodbye, So Low, Hold On, Same Shit Different Day, I Just Caught You Looking