Last Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at Rudyard’s in Houston, Texas, there was an epic benefit show held for my friend Meg Cambern, who has recently been diagnosed with MS. This is a very special lady and it showed, as multitudes of people and great bands came to help raise money for her medical bills.
Bill Fool, who is known locally for putting on countless punk rock and rock shows, set this show up to help Meg and may I say he did a great job.
Many locals know Meg as the former bassist of The Freakouts, but also from local clothing shop Leopard Lounge, and now Guitar Center in the Heights. This is an all around fantastic person, who loves music, treats people kindly, listens to others with an open heart, and generally just rocks. We were all happy to support this cause.
The bands on the bill were all super kick ass. Modfag, The Freakouts, Killer Hearts, Dead Roses, Talk Sick Brats, and Hell’s Engine.
Every time a band got rockin’, people swarmed up to the front of the stage to support them. It made everyone else who was sitting down at the tables feel as if they needed to get up there and be a part of the crowd’s collective energy. Most people attending swarmed the front of the stage during each band’s set, minus a small group lingering at the bar talking and having drinks. I’ve attended far too many shows where the audience seems almost uninterested in what’s happening onstage, but this was anything but that.
Hell’s Engine opened up the night with insane energy. I had never seen them before, but I will definitely be checking them out again. They play hard and fast, and reminded me a bit of Motorhead. Next on the bill was Modfag. I have never seen them play before, either, but all I can say I was compelled to get up in front of the stage and dance my ass off to their entire set. The group features members of the Born Liars, The Freakouts, The Wrong Ones, and Gun Crazy.They were AWESOME. They did a few cover songs and also some originals. Their sound reminded me of a combination of 50’s rock n roll and just straight up good old fashioned 70’s rock. Next up were Dead Roses. The band’s Facebook page describes their style as “heart broken, sleep deprived, and glam damaged”. It’s definitely rock, but with a mellow, dark twist to it. It’s been too long since I’ve seen these guys rock out, and I was really excited see them play again. Next up was Killer Hearts. This band features members from Electric Frankenstein, Texas Terri & The Stiff Ones, Down and Dirties, and The Wrong Ones. These are some seriously talented guys and I really enjoyed their set. Their sound is super heavy rock n roll, and as they state on their Facebook page” Killer Hearts play rock n roll. Loud, sleazy, crass rock n roll with a bratty twist that only guys with their pedigree can”. Their front person, Pablo Ono, is definitely in a class of his own and brings the energy up to another level. It was my first time to see them play, as well and I plan to go see them again. Next, The Freakouts came up and rocked the house down. I’ve been following these folks for some time and watched them grow so much over the years. Their sound reminds me of a cross between The Runaways and The Ramones with a punk and rock edge. Ash Kay is also one hell of a front person… she has such a commanding presence, a strong voice, and a passion that cannot be controlled. Their cover of “Strutter” was spot on and Meg joined the band onstage to sing her heart out with Ash. It has been my pleasure to watch this band evolve over the years, and I think they have a very strong set and are playing and writing some very unique music. Last up that night was Talk Sick Brats. They had a short but bad ass set. Definitely punk as it gets, these guys set up in front of the stage and just rocked balls. They were amazing and I’d like to more of them in the future!
Overall, the event helped to raise a little over $2500 for Meg’s medical bills. There was also a raffle, which helped the cause even more. I personally loved to see the support all around for the bands AND for Meg especially. Everyone there made the night truly special and I absolutely give Meg, Bill, Rudz, and everyone who played and attended props. It was a special night that I personally will never forget.