CureRock, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that supports the fight against childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer, held its eighth annual benefit concert Friday, March 29, at Hard Rock Café, and aside from raising much-needed funds for kids in need, it created some very special memories for all in the room.
Soul-pop quintet The Telephone Line opened the show, with guest backup vocalists Jill Paone Simmons and Sarah Siplak adding a special element to the band’s signature sound. Singer-songwriter Zoob followed with a set that brought to mind Leonard Cohen and The Mountain Goats.
In between acts, emcee Randy Baumann of the DVE Morning Show introduced young survivors who spoke on their experiences with cancer and the help that CureRock provides to families of local patients, including covering parking costs for patient families at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for the past four years. While the musical acts were the draw for the audience, the young speakers proved to be the real rock stars.
New Jersey indie band Young Rising Sons closed out the night with a very special set that thrilled both the fans of the band and the young cancer survivors in attendance, and especially one young man who was both.
During a meet-and-greet session earlier in the evening in which patients and survivors got up close and personal with the musicians, one leukemia survivor named Leo impressed Young Rising Sons by asking questions about their music. No more than 7 years old, Leo knew the names of several of the band’s songs (“Do you play ‘Turnin’’?” he asked at one point), and let them know his favorite of theirs was “High,” the band’s breakout hit about the ups and downs of life.
The band played the song as part of its set, but had a special treat in store for Leo and the other young survivors in attendance. Before their set, they secured an acoustic guitar from Zoob, and at the end of their set, they and the crowd sat down, Leo and several other kids (up well past the normal bedtime) came up to the stage, and everyone joined in on a very special, acoustic version of “High.”
It was a pure moment that laid bare what CureRock does: connects musicians with young people fighting cancer, creating mutual admiration between both.
Check out a video of this incredible moment below, and support CureRock with a donation today.