By Cassandra Smith
April 27, 2011
What do philanthropy and heavy metal songs have in common? They were both a part of an event held at Colorado University’s Macky Auditorium last night.
CU’s Program Council, Cultural Events Board, and student chapter of Conscious Alliance came together to present Rodrigo y Gabriella, an acoustic guitar-playing duo, to a sold out crowd on campus. Outside the concert, students from Conscious Alliance held a food drive.
The concert was originally scheduled for April 1, but an “unforeseen scheduling conflict with the performers” forced the Program Council to reschedule to last night. Tickets to the event remained a hot commodity on Craigslist despite the time change.
The performers, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriella Quintero, are from Mexico and have a worldwide following for their music. They first became popular in Ireland and Japan, and started to gain American fans after MTV played a feature on them in 2008. They performed for President Obama last May.
The duo’s sound is hard to categorize because of the diversity of genres and styles in their repertoire, but they specialize in acoustic, fast paced rhythms. The Cultural Event Board felt the pair’s work exemplified cultural diversity, and would provide students with a unique cultural experience.
“They rage acoustic guitars with their little finger tips,” said Charlie Hurd, concertgoer. Rodrigo y Gabriella cover songs by Metallica and Led Zeppelin, and list Metallica as one of their main influences.
Josh Korb, CU student and Rodrigo y Gabriella fan, said at the concert, “I’m really enthusiastic about a classical Latino guitar approach to a beautiful symphonic heavy metal song, orchestrated and prepared with love and delicacy.“
Signs of love and delicacy were apparent outside the concert as well. Conscious Alliance publicized a food drive connected to the show through various social media outlets, and offered limited edition posters designed by artist Robert Marx to those who donated $10 or 10 food items.
Jason Blair, president of Conscious Alliance at CU, explained, “Our main focus with the Rodrigo y Gabriella event tonight is to raise food and funds for the Pine Ridge Reservation, where hunger and poverty are really severe.” The Pine Ridge Reservation is in South Dakota; all food raised goes to a food pantry Conscious Alliance set up there.
Conscious Alliance comes to many music events to raise help for those who need it. Blair explained, “We knew it was going to be a good crowd coming out, and we’ve been trying to get the student group more involved on campus, as opposed to just within the community.”
Next Saturday, Conscious Alliance will host a concert at the Boulder Theater. Blair stated, “All of the proceeds from the entire concert are going to Conscious Alliance.”
This semester, Conscious Alliance also raised around $1,000 to help the relief efforts in Japan, by partnering with another grassroots nonprofit organization called Peace Wins Japan.
“The goal of our organization is to raise food and awareness for hunger and poverty issues,” said Blair, who believes the event last night had a “really good turn out.”
Grace Edmunds, vice president of Conscious Alliance, thoroughly enjoyed the concert, and was impressed with the amount of food people brought. She stated, “The Conscious Alliance greater good is to connect the community through art, music, and philanthropy.”