I Heart Hamilton’s: The Playlist 2.0 (Fundraiser for Food4Kids)
This Ain’t Hollywood 345 James Street North
I Heart Hamilton’s “The Playlist” fundraiser concert series has now joined the ranks of such festive annual events in my life such as my birthday, Halloween, Supercrawl! With my second one down, I know this will be something I look forward to planning every year. Last summer’s The Playlist 1.0 was a dream and I was thrilled that I could do it all again.
This year I teamed up with Food4Kids, an amazing organization that provides nutritious food for children who have limited or no access to food over the weekends. Every Friday, the packages are dropped off at schools for the kids to take home. For more info, check out the post from my visit to Food4Kids a couple of months ago.
The show was months in the making and I was so excited to secure a lineup of some of my very favourite bands in the city – Illitry, New Hands, The Dirty Nil, and San Sebastian. Rounding out the night, I was stoked to have Rockstars For Hire on board to spin some tunes throughout the night. You can always count on DJs Mac & AA for a party!
The whirlwind of promo during the week made me even more excited for the event. After making sure all my proverbial ducks were in a row, there was nothing left to do but enjoy the night. Helping me to capture everything were awesome photographers Mike Radd and Ashlina Sousa.
I was pleased to welcome special guest for the night, Emily Baynes, Food4Kids’ Chair of the Board of Directors. It was so nice to meet Emily, who has such a positive energy and passion for the cause. I took the stage to welcome everyone (public speaking was made easier when I got to stand behind Illitry’s cool setup!) and to invite Emily to say a few words about Food4Kids.
The venue had filled in nicely when Illitry took the stage to open the show. I was particularly excited to book Illitry because they had never played This Ain’t Hollywood before and I knew they would sound fantastic in that space. It was even more exciting because they tested out some new material – introducing a new drum and flugelhorn. What electronic band do you know that throws in a little flugelhorn?!
With Troy and Chester as the core of the band, they were joined by Anthony on drums and Kevin on bass. They sounded amazing and new fans were won over. I heard great feedback from those who hadn’t seen them live before. Illitry has been working away at Threshold with Michael Keire on their debut full-length and I really can’t wait to hear what they’ve come up with.
Watch footage of Illitry’s performance (featuring said flugelhorn!).
Another exciting part of this lineup was bringing Illitry and New Hands together on the same bill for the first time. The bands have been talking for a while about playing a show together and a possible tour in the future.
New Hands were featured on The Playlist 1.0, and in the span of a year, I’ve become better friends with Spence, Evan, Gordy, Pat, and Ben. I can’t say enough how much I (heart) these dudes and their music. I joke that they’re my official house band, because I can’t imagine throwing a show without hearing my favourite lyric of theirs, “I’m alive and can’t say no”! “Whichever Way You’ll Have It” is one of those songs that I will hear years from now and will feel so nostalgic.
Speaking of Threshold, New Hands are also currently in studio with Mike Keire, and fans are getting antsy to hear that album!
Watch a clip of New Hands performing “Tulips.”
The Dirty Nil were guaranteed to switch up the energy and blast the bar with their punk rock sounds. Quite a difference in volume from earlier that day when Luke and Dave played an acoustic in-store at Dr. Disc.
The venue was packed with people who were pumped for Luke, Kyle, and Dave to rock, and rightfully so. Not that I need reminding, but they win me over every time I see them live. They had a crazy weekend of shows, with a tribute show the night before and S.C.E.N.E fest the next day, and NXNE the week after. The Nil are killing it! I feel lucky to have booked them and to know them now – they are bound to be one of the city’s biggest musical exports.
Watch some footage of The Nil playing “Zombie Eyed.”
As if all of that weren’t enough, it was time for San Sebastian. They’re one of a few local bands that I’ve known the longest, so it was really cool for me to be able to book them now, years later. It’s always a pleasure seeing Mike, Greg, Brodie, Sean, and Ted take the stage. They put on an incredibly energetic and entertaining show every time.
San Seb opened with the irresistibly catchy “Sticky Fingers,” a newer song of theirs. They continued their set with a mix of new tunes and their classics. It was easy to tell who was a fan – the band drew many loyal fans to the show and those of us who knew the songs sang and danced along. At one point, Brodie hopped off the stage while continuing to play his guitar and Mike held his mic down to him and the audience to chime in.
Ending the night of live music with San Seb’s hot and sweaty dance party was the best way to do it!
Watch a clip of San Sebastian performing “Sticky Fingers.”
Food4Kids has ambitious goals for the upcoming school year to expand into even more schools across Hamilton, Halton, and Niagara to reach more kids each week. As Executive Director Lena Bassford later told me, “With support, such as this event, I am confident this can be achieved.”
I’m thrilled to say that with everyone’s contributions, including This Ain’t Hollywood who generously donated a portion of the bar sales from the night, I Heart Hamilton’s The Playlist 2.0 raised $1814 for Food4Kids.
It meant so much that I could bring The Playlist back for year two – thank you to everyone who contributed to making it happen!
My sincerest thank you to the following:
- Food4Kids for teaming up with I Heart Hamilton on this event; Lena Bassford for her wonderful support and enthusiasm; Emily Baynes for attending
- The performers: Illitry, New Hands, The Dirty Nil, San Sebastian, Rockstars For Hire for bringing your amazing talents to the cause
- This Ain’t Hollywood for hosting and generously donating a portion of the bar sales to the cause; owner Lou Molinaro for his encouragement and enthusiasm; Darlene MacNeil for designing the poster and holding down the bar that night; Lindsay Campbell for keeping track of everything at the door; Doug Smith for his fantastic work on sound; all of the bar staff for being so awesome
- Copy Dog for sponsoring all of the poster printing
- Photographers Mike Radd and Ashlina Sousa for all the help with documenting the night; the talented Steve Haining for his support and introducing me to these two excellent photographers
- Mark Furukawa and the Dr. Disc staff for help with promotion and ticket sales
- All media who interviewed me and helped promote the show
Of course, thank you to everyone for attending, tweeting, posting photos, sharing the event, and for your positivity!