On Friday Nov. 1, 2013 the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino celebrated the life of Master Sergeant and Educator Extraordinaire Michael Landsberry.
Landsberry, a math teacher was fatally shot on Oct. 21 at Sparks Middle School by a 12 year old student before shooting two other students and then taking his own life. It was a terrible tragedy for the Reno/Sparks area. The two other students both survived.
Landsberry is survived by wife Sharon and two step-daughters, Alisa & Andrea.
This review is not about the tragic events that happened on that fateful day at Sparks Middle School, it's about the the bands, speakers and the unity of the Reno/Sparks community.
A hero sung: A benefit concert to honor Master Sergeant Michael Landsberry was awesome, featured artist included, Lavish Green, Knowledge Lives Forever, Crush, Bazooka Zoo, The Siren Society, Eric Anderson and Joel Ackerson (from The Novelists), Lacy Mattison and singer/songwriter Lucas Young.
Keynote speakers, GSR COO Steve Wolstenholme welcomed the crowd to the show. Others speakers included, WCSD Supervisor Pedro Martinez, Rebecca Gasca (who did a spoken word performance), Cheif Master Sergeant James Ross and the promoter of the show, Draper Strategies & Communications own, Mike Draper who read letters from Senator Heller, Senator Reid and Congressman Amodei honoring Landsberry. Also speaking was Landsberry's long time and best friend, Tom Gordon. Landsberry's wife and daughters also spoke.
Lucas Young has been writing songs and performing his music since 1995. While honing his craft he has shared the stage with Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music, Susan Gibson (1999 best Country Music song winner for “Wide Open Spaces”), Agent Orange and Jackson United (Chris Shiflet of the Foo Fighters) to name a few.
Youngs set lasted 15 min. and went like this,
"To Kill A Butterfly", "I Will Be There When You Die" (written by My Morning Jacket) and "Heal The World".
Young was a great start to the show. Very well played.
Lacy Mattison was up second, her set lasted 15 min. (sorry no set list)
Up next were Eric Anderson and Joel Ackerson from the band The Novelists.
The Novelists are a nationally touring acoustic group with multiple lead singers. They've built their sound around storytelling and four-part harmonies.
Anderson and Ackerson also got about 15 min.to perform their set and it went like this,
"Prisoner Of Your Mind" (Anderson), "Remember You Well" (Ackerson) and their version Pink Floyd's
"Wish You Were Here", which included a guest performance by Tom Gordon on drums.
These two guys were very good, especially when they did the Floyd song and invited Gorden to sit in on drums, very impressive.
The Siren Society performed a five minute aerial routine with a giant hoop that was hanging from the roof, the two girls did a fantastic job.
Up next was Bazooka Zoo,
This space rock collective based out of Nevada is all about creating groovy tunes and discovering new sounds. The fellows in the Zoo bridge genre boundaries and speak across generations. Their goal is to supply the public with steady doses of free and radical music.
Current members include, Bazooka Zac-(guitar, effects pads, vocals, production), J.D. Christison-(drums, vocals), Evan Tune-(bass, vocals) and Scott Turek-(keys, vocals, sound effects).
Their set lasted about 20 min. and went like this,
"Electric Mother", "The Down Low", "Season Wakes" and "Mercury Rising".
This examiner really dug these guys, their sounds were out of this world and they rocked it.
Crush came up next, their set lasted around 25 min. and went like this,
"Love Can Be So Careless", "Rain", "Making Paper", "Turn Me On Again", "Happy" and "Good Riddance" (Green Day cover).
"Good Riddance" the Green Day cover the band did might have been the song of the night.
Crush is a 3-piece electro group from Reno NV. Their setup includes a computer with a DJ pad, a guitar, and an electronic drum kit. Crush performs original dubstep, house, and trap music productions with all three members contributing vocals and harmonies.
Current members are, Jimmy Dunn-(drums), Daniel Sion-(bass) and Arron Sion-(guitar).
These guys really got the crowd going, very impressive indeed.
At this point in the show, Landsberry's long time friend Tom Gordon took the stage. He told stories of his time with Landsberry from the time that they met in high school, it was the most heart warming part of the entire show. Gordon talked about Landsberry's dedication to super hero Batman, he told the audience about how Landsberry was Batman and how Landsberry would call him the Commissioner, at the end of his dedication he pulled out the red phone that the Commissioner on the Batman show would use to contact Batman and said "Batman We Need You" and then the bat signal swooped around the whole venue, it was awesome, everyone in the audience went wild. This examiner had a hard time holding myself together.
Knowledge Lives Forever took the stage next, their set lasted 25 min. (sorry no set list)
"To infinity and beyond", Knowledge Lives Forever, is a five-member band led by singer/songwriter/rapper Chari “Knowledge” Smith, they are enjoying surging popularity due to its high-energy shows, hooky songs suitable for airplay, and indefatigable work ethic.
KLF is much more than a grooving hip-hop ensemble delivering uplifting, socially conscious flows. KLF rocks hard, pumps up the funk and mixes in electronica in its audience-engaging sets. Formed by the throaty spittin’-and-singin’ Smith in 2009 after she decided to take her sound live after four solo albums, KLF has quickly gained a fiercely loyal following in the fertile Reno music scene.
The band has frequently played the Knitting Factory and other big local venues booked by national acts, and grabbed the ears of promoters who’ve had the quintet open for Nappy Roots, Uh Huh Her, K. Flay, Sage Francis, K-Ci, JoJo, and DJ Quik.
Current members include, Chari "Knowledge" Smith-(lead vocals), Gia Torcaso-(bass), Kris Stosic-(drums), Spencer Kilpatrick-(guitar) and Vanessa Rodriguez-(backing vocals).
This examiner really does not listen to this genre of music, but after seeing this band for the second time, that will change. Knowledge Lives Forever took me by surprise, they tore it up. Lead vocalist Smith has so much charisma on stage that she took the crowd by storm and preceded to rock the house, the rest of the band was awesome as well. Very impressive to say the least, don't miss them the next time that they play.
After Knowledge Lives Forever finished their set, Landsberry's wife Sharon and his two step-daughters took the stage and told the audience how grateful she was to everyone involved in putting this show together and how her husband would have loved every minute of it.
And now comes the main event (band wise). Lavish Green hit the stage with a vengeance. Most of the people in the audience came down from their seats to get to the front of the stage to watch, dance and sing a long with this awesome band.
Lavish Green is bound for glory, tied together with Family and fastened to music. A number of guys who "do what it takes with the sounds we create".
Lavish Green, the meaning of a band.
Living life and creating honest music for over 18 years, they continue to grind away and work hard to bring entertainment to a wide range of audiences. Whether it is on a huge stage fully blown, a high energy rock show or a more intimate unplugged setting. They bring an original approach to finding places to sing and play their hearts and souls out.
With the bands 5th studio recording, they are proud to share more of their lives through music. The title track, "All For You" being about their families, is just another example of what they are about. If you open your eyes, ears and mind to Lavish Green, there is something for everyone.
Playing live, they give 110% every time they take the stage, floor or jam room.
Current members are, Chris Sanchez-(lead vocals, trumpet), Joel Gruneich-(guitar, backing vocals), Rob Wheeler-(bass, backing vocals) and Paul Emnas-(drums).
LG got 30 min. to rock the house and that's exactly what they did, their set went like this,
"Don't Worry", "Fit To Jam", "Just Another Day", "Mom Song", "Latina", "Minute", "March" and "All For You".
This band has been rockin' hearts & souls since 1995. They really know how to get the crowd going. The music that they play is very up lifting and really makes you want to sing and dance to every song. Lavish Green knows how to rock, Live, Love, Lavish.
All of the ticket proceeds from the benefit will go directly to Michael Landsberry's wife and two step-daughters. The Grand Sierra Resort & Casino also plans to donate a portion of the drink proceeds to the Landsberry's as well.
Crowdtilt will be matching 5% of all donations. All contributions will be tax-deductible.
Thank you for your unity.
This examiner has said it before and will say it again, the Grand Theater inside the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino is a great place to see a show. The sound, and most importantly the lighting are top notch and one of the best in the Reno/Sparks area. Plus there's not a bad seat in the house. To see what's going on at the GSR, (click here).
As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, "The Photos Are What It's All About", so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show.
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All photos by, JOHN TUCKNESS
Support your local bands and venues ... GO TO A SHOW !!!