Revolution Hall Hosts Dustin Mele Memorial Concert on Saturday
By Don Wilcock
In this time of self-absorbed selfies and ugly politicians telling us how we have to vote for them to save the country and the world, I just want to take a shower to get the dirt off.
And be among friends… The kind of friends who are true musical geniuses that think first about communicating their art to others and who have a sense of self that’s above the din of insecure competitive poseurs. I’ve been writing about the artists who appear Saturday for almost half a century. Groups like Emerald City, Super 400, Matt Mirabile, Chris Busone, all dedicated musicians who rip their hearts out on stage for little or no money and turn out to give solace to one of their own who hurts so deeply that the music may be the only thing keeping him alive.
Joe Mele, the quintessential rock hero, lost his son Dustin to suicide two years ago. Mele has done countless benefits for others in need. So when he decided to start an annual suicide prevention show to honor his son’s memory, the musicians he’d so selflessly helped with their careers came out of the woodwork to help. So many, in fact, that more than half of them had to be turned away.
Two years later, the juice is still there. Saturday’s show will undoubtedly run from 6pm-1am. If you ever wanted to be reminded that we in New York’s Capital Region have the best club scene in the country, check it out. The benefactors have increased from the original American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to now include Heroes at Home Project Veterans Support Services (help for wounded vets), CAPP Pet Placement and Rescue, and the Troy Music Academy Music Scholarship Program, organized by guitarist Graham Tichy and the good people from Super 400.
The first two annual concerts have been credited as top musical events of the year in The Troy Record and drew more than 1,200 people including Congressman Paul Tonko and Troy city officials. The concerts raised $22,000 to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) suicide awareness and prevention programs which in turn named the Dustin Mele Memorial Concert one of its top fundraising teams in Upstate New York for the past two years.
The positive attitude alone is better than a hot shower. Vito Ciccarelli and I will be hosting. The musicians scheduled to perform include Emerald City, Ernie Williams Band, Super 400, the Eldorados, the Daley Brothers, Tony Perrino’s Killer B, Roland Gendron and Jeff Dooley & Jack Casey. Special guest include Matt Mirable, Gary Brooks, Todd Hanhurst, Trish Anderson, Johnny Rabb, Dave Macks, Tommy Murphy, Chris Busone and more.
Any one of these acts has the talent to keep a club crowd up and dancing for a night. This is no cutting contest. This is community outreach at its most intense, the crown jewel of the music community’s outreach. Come up and give Joe a hug. Let’s join hands and feel good for change.