Photograph By: Jaime Rose
EMOTION RUNS HIGH: Care Failure of Die Mannequin erupts with erotic stage antics at Toronto Plays for Haiti. More than 20 celebrities showed up for the event.
Humanitarians help heal Haiti
By: Jaime RoseThe devastation in Haiti is huge, and so are the hearts of Torontonians. 102.1 The Edge in sponsorship with Unicef, teamed up with Sound Academy who donated the venue, and a multitude of artists, to throw a Ďdonate what you caní show to fund relief efforts in Haiti. The event raised a total of $80,000 to further protect, feed and educate the children of Haiti.
The show opened with an acoustic spot from the Trews, with three guitars and a set of bongos. The sexalicious, shaggy-haired boys were directly followed by a small set by Moneen, who closed out on a cover of I Believe In a Thing Called Love.
The night really kicked off when Die Mannequin took the stage. Front-woman Care Failureís stage presence is like nothing many had ever seen before. Her set opened with her on the floor of the stage and stumbling to the microphone to belt out Do It Or Die. The bandís management was initially against performing for the benefit, due to the pro-bono performances and the high cost of putting on a show.
But she said, ďWe donít care, weíre doing it.Ē
Although she is clearly a poster-child for taking oneís own path, the singer/guitarist couldnít be more thrilled to be part of the team.
ďThereís so many problems [in Haiti] that I donít even know where to start. Even just getting the aid to people, the roads are fucking blocked,Ē said the songstress. ďWeíre proud to do our part. Weíre all poor musicians, so at least we can do something like sing a song, and that somehow helps.Ē
Intervals between performances were filled with Edge host appearances and local celebrities. Olympic gold medalist Donovan Bailey also made an appearance alongside ex-Argonauts quarterback Damon Allen, and current Argos Ray Fontaine and Obed Cetoute.
Long-time Toronto celebrity, Michael ĎPinballí Clemons, and his wife of 17 years made one of the most impressive appearances of the evening. Clemons played 12 seasons with the Argos, retiring in 2000, and currently sits as the vice-chair of the Argos. His words were profound.
ďThank you for giving hope to such a hopeless situation,Ē said Clemons.
The emotion then came to a brief pause as icon Maestro Fresh Wes took the stage with entrepreneur Bishop Brigante, with hype-man to USS, Human Kebab spinning on the turntables.
Brigante isnít connected directly to anyone in Haiti, but his heart goes out to the people.
ďAs far as Iím concerned, I try to be the spokesperson for survival. Any other shows going on, trying to help out any kind of humanitarian situation, Iím there.Ē
The Junction, hit the stage and closed their performance with an impressive instrumental solo.
Lead singer and guitarist Brent Jackson, who was most excited about performing on the same roster as Maestro Fresh Wes.
ďI grew up with that, it was definitely a classic. To be able to come out immediately after was crazy. I feel like he should have been headlining the show,Ē said Jackson.
By 10:16 p.m., Darrin Pfeiffer and TSN SportsCentre reporter James Cybulski announced that they had hit the $32,000 mark and informed the crowd the Leafs had won over The New Jersey Devils 3-0.
Performances continued with a set from illScarlett, who sky-rocketed the energy levels and caused violent crowd surfing, and The Salads performed with Choclair and brought the beats back to the stage.
ďI donít personally know anybody [in Haiti], but I have friends who are Haitian or who have friends down there. For me, itís not even about if you know them, itís just the right thing to do - the humanitarian thing to do. People need help, youíve gotta help out,Ē said Choclair.
Fans finally got what theyíd been chanting for when USS took the stage. Even battling a cold, singer Ash Boo-Schultz sang his heart out.
Always metaphorical, Boo-Schultz brought an excellence ribbon from his earlier life and hung it off his microphone as a literal symbol.
The night concluded with an all-call, who sang Lean On Me. Torontonians, and surprisingly the Canadian government, have another good reason to be proud of this great country we live in.