Cat Scratch Fever-Nassau County Humane Society Concert
What should have been a standing room only auditorium filled with rock enthusiasts at the Fernandina Beach Recreation Center on Atlantic Avenue last Saturday, can only be justifiably qualified as a good first time effort for the Nassau Humane Society to use rock music as a fundraiser. In my opinion it should have been sold out to a crowd that would have been treated to a great concert.
Those who didn’t show up missed a heck of a concert with some major talent. Frank Basile, organizer and frontman in an organization called musiciansleague.org put bands from as far away as Daytona-Deltona on stage and the quality of the total event was superb. Six bands playing a three song set each, while individual performers filled up the equipment transition times, making the event smooth and the encores’ lively.
During one transition the audience was introduced to Dana from Jacksonville with just a guitar and a voice. She was a last minute addition to the line up and only known as Dana.¬† The moment she opened her mouth I knew we were looking at a new Melissa Etheridge with a masterful rhythm arm on guitar. Six songs from Dana and the crowd was floor stomping and rhythm clapping for more.
Especially during the last hour of the show, as organizers and musicians were getting into the groove of mixing and matching talent, we heard some amazing rock. Clapton’s “Sunshine of your Love” was a superb performance and could have stretched a little longer, like Clapton did last time I saw him with Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler. With 13 year old model/rock star-in-the-making Tasia Bosch Dupree on microphone, Kiss’s “Rock and Roll all Night” engaged the crowds in loud appreciation.
The closing selections where not an easy cop out and as a lifetime blues/rock musician I know they required substantial practice and mastery on instruments. So when Frankie Basile’s Makeshift band with himself on drums, Hupp Huppmann on guitar, Ray Hetchka on bass and and very steady guitar dude (I tried for an hour to find his picture/name on Facebook) on lead guitar, backed up Jennifer Sealy to stand in for Ann Wilson in the famous Heart song “Barracuda” I was wondering if they could pull it off.¬† Well they did fabulously for a live setting of a very complicated song; and the audience clearly agreed.
Closing up the evening with Ted Nugent’s ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ was a natural theme choice that invited all performing musicians to join in on stage and made it an event resembling closings of “Live Aid” and “We are the World” projects.
I think the organizers are planning a repeat event for next year, in which case I will hand the video camera to one of the other SearchAmelians and happily join in with my guitar. There will be a full show video featured on Comcast channel 29/digital 264 soon. When done with editing we will post it here on the website. It will have the audio tracks recorded through the mixer instead of straight into the camera like this video which always gives some power glitches.
In closing, I am sorry for anyone who likes good rock, to not have been at the Rec Center for Cat Scratch Fever. The $10 admission was well worth the event… you would have enjoyed it far beyond even the knowledge that you supported the Nassau Humane Society and their efforts to help pets in need.