While unrelated yet appropriate, the fall 2001 Plea for Peace-Take Action Tour hit the Launchpad Saturday in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks. The tour was headlined by punk band Hot Water Music and included Matt Skiba of the Alkaline Trio, Mike Park and Cave In.
The Plea for Peace-Take Action Tour is sponsored by Sub City Records and Asian Man Records, and is touring the U.S. from Aug. 23 until Sept. 30. With a lineup of nine punk rock groups, the goal of the annual tour is to raise much-needed funds for, and awareness about social, environmental and health issues.
"Our goal is to provide an entertaining venue to present these issues to a wider audience than is normally reached through conventional fundraising," a Sub City Newsletter states.
Sub City Records is a division of the independent punk label Hopeless Records. For every album released under the label, a 5 percent royalty is donated to the bands' charity of choice. Since Sub City's kick-off in 1999, more than $50,000 has been donated to different nonprofit organizations. This year the Plea for Peace-Take Action CD, as well as the tour itself, will benefit the Kristin Brooks Hope Center and its National Hopeline Network, 1-800-SUICIDE. The Hopeline Network will receive 10 percent of tour revenue and local certified crisis centers will receive 5 percent.
According to a press release, the National Hopeline Network is an organization providing community-based services to all who need them. The network is a group of certified crisis centers that receive calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counselors are trained to confidentially handle all youth crisis issues including child abuse, neglect, depression, drug dependency and suicide. Although the Albuquerque venue was supposed to be larger - cancellations by Thrice and The Eyeliners significantly shortened the show, ending it a little before 11:30 p.m. - the show still earned a good turnout by an audience of fairly enthusiastic fans.
The Florida-based Hot Water Music played arguably the best set, pumping out streams of solid tunes to all the happy punk rockers. The entire show, in fact, exceeded my expectations as good live music should. My expectations were based on the drier versions of Hot Water Music and the Alkaline Trio songs found on the tour's corresponding CD. I was glad to see such good intentions brought forth by this tour, particularly in light of the current state of the nation - though it just happens to be coincidence that the Plea for Peace Tour overlaps the tragic events of last week.
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To be at the Launchpad though, you really wouldn't know you weren't just at any other punk rock show, except for the brief mentions of petitions a few times during the night. I was also stoked to see the girlie pop-punk locals The Eyeliners and was a little sad when I got there and found out they weren't playing.
All that being said, it was a nice, typical Downtown evening. It was good to know that under all the screeching rawness of the music something worthwhile was happening. You can still help donate to the cause by purchasing a Plea for Peace-Take Action CD. Along with all the bands on the tour, it offers tracks from The Ataris, Swingin' Utters, Zero Zero and At the Drive-In, among others. The CD is $6 and can be purchased online at www.subcity.net, along with all of the other charitable albums on Sub City Records.