I could go on and on and on about the concert. I could gush about the incredible talent in the room, the hundreds of hugs I recieved, the connections I made with friends new and old............but honestly the thing that really, truly blew my socks off was witnessing how incredible our music community is. Seeing first hand that we will so wholeheartedly pull together to help one of our own.
Mike Norman is a divinely talented musician who has shared the stage and studio with many of Canada's finest. His credits span all genres, country, rock, pop, blues, and he is perhaps one of the most gifted people I personally know. And he is battling cancer. Fuck Cancer. Yes, I said it, out loud and everything, and I won't apolgize for it because that is how I feel. I'm sick of cancer just like everyone else who was in the room that night. You see, the concert was for Mike, and virtually hundreds of people from all corners of the music world came out to show their support and devotion, and it was incredible. I didn't get shots of everyone present, that would be impossible because the whole room was practically a VIP. I also didn't find any photos of the Odds who started off the night, but I hear they rocked the stage and they need to be thanked! The order of the photos are not the order of the show by the way, but I tried to get as much of the night as I could.
Jim Byrnes, without a doubt is one of our local treasures, and an enormous talent. Jim is just one of those players you could sit and watch all day long, his work on the fretboard seems effortless. He is often very generous in his support of local events and charities but on this night, he was truly here to show love and respect for his friend. I wanted to add that I did take, or 'thought' I took some footage of Jim for the video, but unfortunately I mis-fired the record button and instead of shooting Jim's awesome greeting for Mike, I have video of me filming the floor while I chatted to him. Sorry Jim. :/
The Higgins are one of country's most beloved families on the country charts today and I just love watching them do anything. They rocked the stage and as always I was impressed with their talent and the way they blend so beautifully. I fondly remember spending the day with them to make this behind the scenes video when they were shooting their music video, Second Hand Car which is currently playing on CMT.
David Wills, is not only a top notch producer and manager for acts such as the Higgins, he is a musician in his own right with a fabulous band called the Dynamics. Normally I see David behind the scenes but on this night, he took to the stage and charmed the entire audience!
Chilliwack was just tuning up their instruments onstage when I arrived and I have to say I was SO glad I got there when I did because they are one of the bands I was really looking forward to seeing that night. Their music is amongst the very first I was exposed to as a youngster, and they were a standout as far as favorites in my collection went.
Mike Reno (Loverboy) and Catherine St. Germain mesmerized the audience with a flawless performance of Almost Paradise! I first had the opportunity to meet Mike over a year ago when Kelly and I made this behind the scenes video of the Loverboy concert put on by Live Nation.
After the duet a few of us girls were invited onstage to sing 'Working for the weekend' with Mike! I love my girlfriends so much, we really had fun up there and it was very cool of Mike to get us up to play with him. ;)
Cath and I singing our hearts out. It was neat to be onstage with her this time, last time I saw Cath sing with Mike I was the camera girl and I made this behind the scenes video.
Rick Tippe has been rocking the country scene for ages and knows his way around not only the stage but the music world in general. He is one of the most genuine guys I know and he brought his infectious energy to the party like he always does. If you haven't seen it yet, Kelly and I made a behind the scenes video of Rick as well.
Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason is a wicked guitar player and has the ability to grab an audience and hold them hostage. Mike and Shaun are great pals and when they get onstage along with some of the coolest cats in the city the result is pure magic. The sweet guitar in Shauns hands is none other than the Liquid Metal Guitar I have been raving about ever since I first saw one. Hearing it played live exceeded my expectations.
One More Girl are Carly and Britt McKillip and they are two of the most level headed young ladies I have had the pleasure to meet in this industry. These girls already know how to command a stage and it's not just because they are stunningly gorgeous, they are gifted musicians full of natural talent and ability and they know how to rock. They make no apologies for it, I love that, they are truly a delight to watch. I've said this before, when we had our pyjama party last fall, their star is a fast rising one so keep your eyes on them.
Aaron Pritchett is just hot, and talented and all around nice in every way. I've seen Aaron donate his time to a number of events over the years, as well as playing some of the biggest most fantastic concerts this side of the Rockies. Some people so easily take all that good in them and willingly share it with everyone and really, that is the kind of artist that he is. Go, buy his records, see his concerts, look for his videos and I can pretty much assure you, you'll see what I mean.
Dr. Strangelove are one of Vancouver's most legendary party bands. Anyone who frequented the Roxy in the last 15 years or so knows who this band is. Today you can see them play everywhere from Gateway casinos to the Canucks playoff parties. Personally, I love each and every member of this band and have sung with then a number of times as a sub for either Kelly Brock or Sarah Johns. Fun stuff, great band, awesome people. By the way, Kelly Brock and John Higgins of the Higgins are preparing to release a freshly cut single of the duet, More than Words. Watch for it!
Rachael Chatoor jamming with Dr Strangelove and guest Jay Leonard playing the Liquid Metal guitar. I was introduced to Jay that night and on a whim decided to ask him up to play with me. Boy am I glad I did because he blew us all away. (btw I just got a link to some footage from my friend, another singer and camera chick like me Thesa ,who took this video of us during this song, she grabbed some of Jay's solo......click here thanks girl!)
I kid you not when I say this, people acutally moved forward towards the stage to watch him solo. It was kind of a moment of "who is this kid?" for those like me who had not yet seen him play live before and in a room full of musicians and true music lovers, that's a pretty impressive feat.
Will Davis is a funny man, and a close friend of Mike's so he was asked to host the evenings festivities. Linda Corscadden (pictured) of the BCCMA along with Kelly Brock, Tom McKillip and countless others helped organize everything from musicians to sponsors in order to put on this musically historical event.
Together we collectively raised well over 15 thousand dollars. I know that Mike was deeply touched by the fundraising effort, but I think what really, truly spoke to his soul was the amazing outpouring of love and support that has come his way. I captured a small drop of the love and you can find it on the video. You see, I brought my camera with me and as I chatted around the room, it took some footage of people saying whatever they wanted to to Mike. Watch and you will see, it becomes very clear how deeply this man is loved. Mike emailed me after watching the video and he said, and I quote: "I just got home and watched the video .... wow it's so fantastic. I've watched it a few times and it's tremendous. Thank you so much .... it means the world to me. Lots of love!"
To all of you, the people who put it together, the sponsors who donated silent auction prizes, the musicians who showed up and gave hearts to the audience, and you who came to support the event.... I thank you all for making this one of the most memorable events of the year!
her website! PS, I also made a video of Dee, if you would like to check it out! The photo below was taken by Bal Dosanj, the other fab photographer of the night!
We love you Mike, from Rach xox