Hello (with CopE & Golden Era) – The Door is Always Open
[Story by author and vocalist Tina Praino; photographs by Funk Eye Media]
Crowbar in Tampa hosted an event called Hello on Saturday, February 13. It was a very special night, for so many reasons.
This has been an extraordinarily challenging year for everyone. Mental health awareness is an important topic during normal times. During times like these, it is an imperative.
The Hello event was organized by Stephen Leipold of FamFest Productions as a way to honor his sister, who struggled with mental health and was lost to suicide. Hello was also organized as a way to communicate to people everywhere that they are not alone in their struggles and that there is help available.
Leipold partnered with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Their organization is a powerful resource for people in crisis. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as the community’s gateway to help. People who are struggling with a variety of crisis situations including sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, financial distress, substance abuse, medical emergency, suicidal thoughts, and other emotional or situational problems can connect to hope and healing. You can find more information about their organization by visiting their website at: https://www.crisiscenter.com/what-we-do/
Crowbar does a great job hosting conscientiously safe events in this difficult time. Tom DeGeorge and his crew run a great venue, and they have spearheaded the Safe and Sound initiative in Tampa, which was founded by local small business owners who are committed to operating their businesses safely by following CDC guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone there was respectful of the need for safety.
The night had a really beautiful energy about it. It was truly collaborative, and many local businesses and artists were involved. Funk Eye Media were there taking photos all night. Chuck and Nikki Smalling do a fantastic job photographing the beauty in this community. Tampa Sessions was there recording and streaming live. The logo design was done by excellent local graphics company Bizarro Designs. Sebastian Ballester
and Mary-Catherine Griesser are making quite a name for themselves with the beautiful graphics they have been creating in the scene.
There was also a silent auction of artwork from local artists including Stephen Barry, Jerry Cahill, Drake Arnold, TinyBrush, Melissa Sontheimer, and Dylan Perry. Jillian and Mark Melucci volunteered their time to run the auction, with all the proceeds donated to The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. They managed to auction off all but two of the pieces available.
On to the main event!
The music was exceptional. Blassafrass set up in the courtyard, and he set the tone nicely, spinning really great grooves before the bands started and in between sets.
Golden Era was up first. They are a live and energetic hip hop band out of Seminole Heights, and their energy was fantastic. Golden Era are: Nook Pham Nguyen on vocals, Zac Dunn on drums, Sam Barber on guitar, Ryan Weiss on bass, Kyle Sareyani on keys, and Michelle Caudle on vocals. I hadn’t seen them play in quite some time. Caudle is a great addition to the band; I really enjoyed her voice and energy. They played a great set of all original music, including seven brand new songs. They had me up and dancing right away, and it had been way too long.
Here is the beautiful set they brought to us. Newly released songs are highlighted with an *.
[GOLDEN ERA: Get Down*, Vietnam on Acid, My Little Circus*, Wake up, Holy Roller Edible*, Warrior’s Anthem , Heal, The Recipe*, Fade, Fight Music*, History*, Patience*]
CopE was up next, and they brought fire, the way they always do. They lit the room up with an energy so palpable you could touch it. CopE is one of Tampa’s most loved jam bands. They are comprised of Dennis Stadelman on guitar and vocals, Kenny Stadelman on bass and vocals, Juanjamon on sax, keys and vocals, and Dave Gerulat on drums and vocals. The sound they put out is so powerful, and the harmonies are really beautiful. They are ramping up again and this community is extremely happy to have these fellas back in the mix. We missed them.
They started the night off with “Can’t Know Everything,” and it was so lovely to feel that CopE groove. They played “Here for You,” “Love,” and “Weekday” to finish out the first set. And we all felt the love.
The second set was like jumping a freight train. They started with “What Goes Up,” and when they moved into “See” the crowd was hopping. There is something organic about the way a CopE crowd grooves. We become one organism as they play. It’s powerful.
It only got more cohesive when they went into “Going Home,” which is truly an anthem and definitely a crowd favorite. They moved on to “Ben Krazy,” which is ridiculous fun to dance to, and then set us all loose with a cover of “Sober” by Tool, featuring Dennis on banjo. I hadn’t heard them play that one in a while, and they always nail it. What a way to end the show!
It was definitely a successful night for all who participated. I am looking forward to attending another Safe and Sound event at Crowbar. And I am looking forward to seeing what FamFest Productions gets up to in the future.
If you would like more information or would like to donate to The Tampa Bay Crisis Center or to this event, here are some links. The donation page and merchandise pages will be up for another month, and all proceeds benefit The Tampa Bay Crisis Center.