Words ~ Misha Rickard
Images ~ Chad Kessler
When disaster strikes, it is up to a community to come together for support.
On May 27, just as the Memorial Day festivities were wrapping up, tornadoes struck the Dayton area, causing millions of dollars in damage. The music scene itself is a community and in times of need, bands and fans can collectively make a difference. One month after the storms ran through Dayton, three Ohio bands joined forces to raise money for disaster victims.
The World I Knew (Cincinnati), Kienemy (Marion), and Atimera (Columbus) all took the stage at Big Room Bar on Friday, June 28. Despite the building’s air conditioning not working, causing it to be a brisk 87 degrees before the show even began, it didn’t stop the bands from bringing their own heat.
The World I Knew opened the show with front man Wesley Merritt rocking some stylish summer wear on stage. The band played a song that has yet to be released, as well as some crowd favorites (check out their video for Piecefull that dropped in January, filmed by Columbus’ own Josh Emrick and Ross Theisen. It’s incredible). TWIK has this unmatched energy on the stage, and the ability to light up a room and interact with the crowd to make sure everyone is in on the action. They were even able to convince an entire room to get on their knees and jump up on their count during a song (which was incredible considering it was an inferno inside by this point).
Next to the stage was Kienemy, a driving force in the Columbus hard rock scene. This show was special for the band in another way as well, as they welcomed their newest member Tony on bass for his first show with the band. This show was reminiscent of the days at Bethel Road Pub where these bands played frequently (RIP to another venue Columbus has lost). If you haven’t been to a Kienemy show yet, do yourself a favor and do it soon, join the #bootygang.
And last, but not least, was Atimera, closing out the show. This band is newer to Columbus, having just played their second show earlier in May opening for Hawthorne Heights and Emery. They have a unique talent that humbles themselves regularly, mentioning both their support for mental health awareness, and support for the troops overseas. The band also donated all the proceeds from their EP sales towards victims of the tornadoes, further proving that they are a band for the people.
The show was a success and together everyone was able to raise just over $500 for the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief fund. The city is still healing and accepting donations, both financially and physically (water, clothes, nonperishable foods, etc), so if anyone wants to reach out and help, it is still greatly appreciated.