A lot of Hell was raised Saturday Night at 97X Tribute Fest.  4 Quad City rock bands stepped up, and turned the volume up to 11.  $11,000 by the time everything was added up!

The bands, Electric Shock, Mizzipi Mud and Spam Halen, and KISS'd Off, all donated their time Saturday at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, joining a crowd of over 1000 people, all coming together to raise money for CURE SMA, a research and treatment organization committed to finding a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Spam Halen kicked off the show with the tunes of Van Halen.  Quad City rock fans would know the boys in Spam Halen as Bugeye Sprite.  They do a set of Van Halen tunes during their regular show, but this was the first time they ever did a whole show as tribute to the famous California rockers. "Man, we had so much fun!  Thanks for doing this," Mike Mudd, their drummer said to me afterwards.  I felt the same way.

Mizzipi Mud not only played the stylings of the Tres Hombres on stage, but meandered through he crowd before and after the show, taking selfies with the masses. Talk about staying in character!  I suppose I might do the same thing if I spent an hour or two gluing a fake beard to my face.

KISS'd Off went next.  It was a highly anticipated moment of the evening, since the band who normally plays as Project X agreed to basically become a KISS tribute band only for this benefit, with 97X's Bill Michaels behind the drums.  Oh, and they would be in full makeup too.  They were a hit, and played the hits faithfully to the growing crowd, by this time at about 700 people.  During the set, Michaels also spit a ball of fire, but even that took a back seat to his awesome drumming, which surprised many in attendance.  "I didn't know he could play drums, oh my God," one of the bartenders close to the stage shouted to me during their set.

And as Listener Ryan said: "The tribute fest was awesome. I can't believe that crazy sum bitch breathed fire."

By the time Electric Shock took the stage with their spot-on AC/DC Showcase, the crowd swelled to it's biggest point of the night.  Fans of the just-ended races at the Fairgrounds found their way over and weren't disappointed.  It was Electric Shock's best performance since I've known them.  Maybe it was the size of the crowd, or because they were playing for a cause close to the bands' heart. Madi Ramirez has SMA, and previously in the evening, Madi and her dad, Electric Shock drummer Tom Ramirez appeared with their family on stage, and it really hit home why we were all gathered.

Donations at the door, and raffles throughout the night ended up taking in just over $10,000.  Added to that total, money raised through private fundraisers put the total over $11,000.  Like Electric Shock sings, Moneytalks.

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