In the 1980s, famous musicians got together to form Band Aid to raise money and awareness for world hunger during the holidays. Six teen bands in Gig Harbor will “Rock the Club” to raise food and funds for the Gig Harbor/Peninsula FISH Food Bank and the South Kitsap Helpline to support families in need.
The teens hope to make an impact by using their time and talents. The event was conceived by members of Resisting Ordinary -- Vivian Gonzales, 15, and Kari Estes, 14, as a way to give back to the community. Their band, along with five others from both sides of the Narrows bridges, will host a benefit concert from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Olalla Community Club, 12970 Olalla Valley Road SE. Admission is $3 or three cans of food per person.
Gonzales and Estes have been best friends since they were in kindergarten, and they have been involved in music since they were little. Gonzales, a freshman at Peninsula High School, is the lead vocalist and guitarist. Estes is a bassist and songwriter from John Cedric Junior High.
This summer, the girls started in “Live Out Loud,” a Ted Brown Music Outreach program. The eight-week session paired musicians to make a band based on age, style and performance level.
Through the event, the girls connected with the other musicians and formed Resisting Ordinary, Gonzales said.
“We got second place in the final concert at the Pantages,” she said. “We recorded two original songs and a cover. We practiced five days a week in the summer, and during the school year, we practice twice a week, alternating between our houses.”
The band has played at the Swiss and Jazz Bones in Tacoma, Louie G’s in Fife and at Moonfest in Quilcene. Other band members include Gabe Gadbow, 16, on bass guitar; Michael Pate, 15, on guitar; and Jack Walker, 15, on percussion.
“We play a little of everything,” Estes said. “Mostly rock and hard rock. My dad was in a band, and we have done a few of his old songs, putting our own twist on them.”
Estes’ dad, Matt, is the band’s adviser.
“I think it’s pretty cool, at age 14, for the girls to be focused on building the benefit,” he said. “It’s been great to work with them and see them grow and come into their own musically together.”
The girls list Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Iron Maiden as musicians and groups they stylize their band after.
Estes went into the Ted Brown program as a keyboardist and started the bass to fill the role for the band.
“I love the feel of the bass and like playing in a band,” she said. “It’s more exciting, and you get to meet people.”
Gonzales has been singing and playing the guitar for a number of years, and she added the drums two years ago.
“I am addicted to the adrenaline from playing music,” she said. “The first day of Living Out Loud and jamming with a band, I was hooked.”
A section in the eighth-grade English curriculum on giving back to the community gave Gonzales the motivation to do something on her own. The chapter had examples that inspired her to want to help. Combining a passion for music with a food drive seemed to be the perfect fit, she said.
When the musicians put out the word they planned a benefit concert, other teen bands from around Puget Sound wanted to be involved.
The six bands that will perform Saturday are Gossamer and Stolen Society from Tacoma, Insuburban Avenue from Puyallup, and Port Orchard’s Clarity and vocalist Lexi Ballew. The majority of the bands’ genre is rock.
Resisting Ordinary will open and close the six-hour show. It is for all ages and a family event.
“The later the day goes, the harder the rock will be,” Gonzales said. “There’s been a lot of excitement at my school about it, and lots of people say they will be coming.”
Along with a donation of food or the admission fee, there will be water and snacks available for purchase.
“We appreciate Joe Wilson and Andy Massagli from Ted Brown Music Outreach as they are sponsoring the event by loaning us the sound equipment,” said Gonzales’ mother, Virginia White. “We also appreciate the Olalla Bible Church letting us use their parking lot, and the Olalla Community Club, allowing the bands to use their facility for the benefit.”
“We’ve been working for three months to put this together with the other bands and get a set list together,” Estes said. “It’s been a lot of phone calls and work to get it organized, but we’re excited.”
The band already has been asked to do another benefit concert on the Key Peninsula for the food bank in December, and the group plans to play at the Slaughterhouse Brewery on Nov. 30.
Both girls want to make music their careers.
“I am proud of the girls for taking time to do something for other people,” said Estes’ mother, Greta. “The teens years are often about themselves,” said Kari’s mother, Greta. “The recession affected friends close to them, and I see them taking time to do the right thing and step out and help others.
“I think music can open doors for you,” she added. “You don’t have to be the shining star to be in the music industry. There are endless opportunities.”
For more information, email email@example.com.