Blog: Japan Benefit
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We all sat in front of our screens and watched in horror over the events that have taken over the great nation of Japan. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that rocked its people had devastating results, with an estimated 350,000 reportedly homeless, and another 10,000 confirmed dead. Another 17,000 more are reported missing, according to the United Nations.
Gowanus Brooklyn’s The Bell House wanted to do their part to give back to the hurting people of Japan. The event would be called, “Bklyn Loves Japan: A Brooklyn Benefit For Japanese Disaster Relief.” Even though the subject matter was quite serious, the night’s events certainly were not. The evening was filled with a cavalcade of personalities including DJ’s featuring members of Vampire Weekend, stand-up Comedy, and New York based rock music. A little after 8pm, the master of ceremonies took the stage- comedian, Liam Mceneaney. As the host he was great, constantly engaging the audience, and holding it all together like a fine airplane glue.
The bulk of the night’s events were all about stand up comedy, and the list read like a who’s who of favorites. First up was Lisa Delarious, a great alternative comedienne who you can see at her monthly show, “The Party Machine,” with fellow funny woman Arden Myrin at Union Hall. Following Lisa, was funnyman Eugene Mirman. This guy’s approach to joke telling is revolutionary to say the least. Just came back from SXSW, Mirman had an arsenal of bits about the mostly hipster crowd at the popular Austin festival. If that wasn’t enough the emcee then introduced Todd Barry, a legendary headliner. When Barry takes the stage it feels that he is just riffing the whole time, however these impromptu riffs, and commentary about the audience, about what is on his mind are bits of comedic gold. His prepared material is always devastatingly hilarious.
After a well deserved intermission, Mceneaney came back out to the stage to announce a special guest comedian- Zach Galifanakis. The sold out crowd was thrilled, since he wasn’t on the bill until an hour before the show started. Everyone went crazy, and flash bulbs were going off non-stop. Galifianakis took to the stage and killed like only he can, bringing out a female member of the crowd and interviewing her about what she did for a living. Needless to say it was highlight. Even though he has gained a ton of stardom in recent years with the popularity of “Bored to Death” and “The Hangover,” he is still the Brooklyn guy with the best beard in town. Sorry, every guy in Williamsburg.
The time for some great hard rock was upon us with the mighty Diamondsnake. The band is a super group made up of some amazing local musicians; Phil Costello (Tragedy, An All Metal Tribute To The Bee-Gees), Tomato (Sound of Urchin, Moistboyz), and Dave Hill (The Dave Hill Explosion At UCB). Master producer and DJ, Moby is part of this outfit as well, but he is currently doing a solo tour right now. We will be interviewing these guys before their Mercury Lounge show on April 23rd, where they will be joined by guitarist Kato Nash from Urge Overkill. Diamondsnake’s performance at the benefit brought the rock in a major way, and we can’t wait to see them headline their own show. The stand out song of the night had to be, “Storm The Fucking Kastle.”
The event planners wanted to cast a wide net when it came raising funds for this great cause so they reached out to many of Brooklyn’s prominent businesses for donations for a silent auction. These very generous donations included hundreds of dollars worth of gift certificates from Union Hall, Floyd, Frankies 457, Prime Meats, Bogota Bistro, and Fonda. Also contributing items to the silent auction were Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen” (a pair of tix to see the show), and autographed copies of Stephen Colbert’s “I Am America” and Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty.”
Tuesday’s events were the first of a two night series for this very worthy cause. The next Japan benefit will take place at The Bell House on Friday, April, 15th. The guest list is shaping up to be great as well. It will feature “The Daily Show’s” Wyatt Cenac, Kristen Schaal, as well as many other very talented local celebrities. We here at LocalBozo.com urge you to attend the next event. The plight of the people of Japan,needs to hit close to home, because we never know when a tragedy like this will hit on our own soil. Humanitarian relief costs money, so why not donate, and at the same time laugh it up and rock out. Think about it, and do the right thing.