By BEN BURR
Nine bands, some local and some from Chicago, played at the Huskie Healing Benefit Concert on Saturday night at Otto’s with all the proceeds going to the DeKalb County Community Foundation’s Memorial Fund and the NIU February 14th Student Scholarship fund.
The show was organized by Otto’s venue manager Jessica Quinn and volunteer Alison Trebe, who formed Huskie Healing two days after the Feb. 14 shootings. Twisted Wish Productions also booked many of the acts.
In addition to the admission, a silent auction was run over the course of the night to raise money for the two funds. Items available for bidding included an Ibanez electric bass guitar, five passes to Heartbreakers Gentleman’s Club and something called a “mystery box.” There were also four people up for date auctions.
Three acoustic acts played on the underground stage, headlined by former NIU student Mer. Six rock groups took the main stage, playing from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Twisted Wish Productions CEO Willy Adkins said the show of support from artists was enormous.
“Initially, we sought out a few [bands], and once it was made public knowledge, we got overwhelmed,” Adkins said. “We got responses from over 90 bands.”
Saturday’s performers brought that same enthusiasm.
Chicago rock band Bluefish Fellows’s guitarist Brian Podlasek, an NIU sophomore, had originally been slated to play Otto’s two nights after the shooting. The group planned to take donations at that show, but with most of campus gone, wound up playing to an empty house.
“Tonight was our redemption,” Podlasek said.
Seven Day Sonnet, also from Chicago, was one of the bands contacted by Adkins. Vocalist Ben VanBuskirk expressed mixed emotions about the gig.
“It’s a bad reason to have a show, but we’re happy to play,” VanBuskirk said.
Proceeds are still being tallied, but Adkins estimates some $1,800 raised over the course of the night. The final sum will be split 50/50 between the two memorial funds.
Twisted Wish Productions will hold another benefit concert, the Metal Memorial, on May 24 at Otto’s Mainroom.
Original Article: Northern Star
Mr Willy Adkins