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Eve 6 and Alex Band play at Toad’s Place for Donate Life

Published: August 28, 2008, 7:25 pm ET
Eve 6-Alex Band
Dan Petty/The Collegian
1990s Rock band Eve 6 and Alex Band encouraged fans to become organ donors when they performed Aug. 28 at Toad's Place in Richmond. The concert raised money for Donate Life, an organization that increases awareness about organ and tissue donation.
Collegian Staff

The 1990s rock trio known for putting their tender heart in a blender and watching it spin around to beautiful oblivion was at Toad’s Place last Thursday asking the audience to do more than purée their precious organs.

Alex Band, the former lead singer of The Calling, got involved with Donate Life after his wife was diagnosed with a liver tumor and needed a transplant, he said.

That was three years ago, and since then Band said that with the help of his fans he had raised more than $100,000 for the organization.

The show’s producer, Denise Mancini Tripp, said that when she began working with Donate Life, she was exposed to the need for organ donations after her son was born.

“I met a mother at the hospital who was waiting for a heart for her son, and right then I knew that I was the lucky one,” Mancini Tripp said.

Photo Gallery: Alex Band and Eve 6 in Concert at Toad's Place
Dan Petty/The Collegian

PHOTO GALLERY: Click to see Alex Band and Eve 6 in Concert at Toad's Place

“More than the money,” Band said, “it’s about getting people aware and getting them to go out to their local DMVs and become organ donors.”

The show opened with an acoustic performance from Bandcamp’s Matt Bair, who serenaded the audience with lighter-swaying ballads as the room began to fill with college students, middle-aged couples and silver-haired fans, many of whom were wearing fluorescent lanyards to show their support for the cause.

By the time Eve 6 took the stage, the floor was comfortably crowded with fans eager to see the punk rock trio reunited after a three-year hiatus.

University of Richmond senior Maggie Gustafson said she had become a fan of the group around the time they had disbanded in 2004, so she was excited to see them in concert for the first time.

“I loved them in high school,” senior Matt Keough said. “They have great lyrics.”

They opened up with their upbeat hit “Promise,” and the crowd began to bounce in unison as Bair used the stage as a trampoline.

Before playing their nostalgic graduation anthem “Here’s to the Night,” inspired by a one night stand, lead vocalist Max Collins said, “We never meant to write a graduation song, but, ‘Right on!’ is how we look at it.”

The group played a mix of its older hits along with some of its lesser-known, more recent songs. As the red, purple and green lights syncopated to the music, I scanned the diverse fans singing along. The bald, bearded man standing beside me in a Harley Davidson tee kept the tempo on his invisible drum set, while a elderly woman sitting on the sidelines wearing red Crocs seemed to know the lyrics better than Collins did.

When the band closed its set with the song from its first album “Tongue Tied,” the crowd shuffled to the bar for a refresher before Alex Band came on stage.

Band, who likes to relax before a show by playing poker, said that he listens to everything, but recently had been inspired by Coldplay’s new album, “Viva La Vida.” Growing up, it was The Beatles, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin that turned him onto pursuing music as a career.

Band began his solo career while he was still with The Calling and plans to independently release his debut solo album early next year, he said.

He began his set with some of his lesser-known solo ballads such as “Tonight” and “Hold on to You,” which showcased his impressive vocal range, but closed the show with the sing-along-friendly hit from The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go.”

The first concert Band headlined for Donate Life was held at the Los Angeles Hard Rock Café last year, and after this year’s performance in Richmond, Band plans to continue raising awareness for Donate Life through concerts and getting many more artists involved, Mancini Tripp said.

“It’s really amazing,” Band said, “One person can save 18 lives if they’re an organ donor.”

Contact staff writer Emily Viviani at emily.viviani@richmond.edu

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