On October 15, Pathfinder Promotions hosted the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation Benefit show at The Local in Marietta. Jon Bodan, guitar player for Halcyon Way, had fought cancer the last year and is now in Full Remission.  Inspired by the high costs of treatments and how some couldn’t afford the best treatment, or get their insurance companies to help pay for it, Jon wanted to help the best way he knew how… Music. And so the idea for the Atlanta Cancer Care Benefit Show was formed.

This concert would be Jon’s return to the stage after fighting Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and it also represented a united effort by the Atlanta rock/metal scene to raise money for the foundation. Halcyon Way headlined the show, which also featured 5 more of Atlanta’s finest rock & metal acts.

The show opened with Throatpunch. I had never seen them live before, but WOW they melted my face off. Their energy on stage set the tone for the rest of the night. They were a relatively late addition to the show and deserved a higher slot.

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Next up was Inviolate. I have never seen Inviolate put a bad show, and I have seen them many times. Kadria continues to dazzle fans with her belly dancer moves, and her unique blend of metal, rock, and industrial. Her fellow band members groove right along with her, headbanging and moving around the stage.

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Third up, was Rigorism, and they are a new force to be reckoned with. Kevin Freeman (of Gnostic, and formerly of Enders Game) is the dynamic frontman for this group, and he combined harsh and clean vocals for a style of his own. Rob Meeks’ guitar riffs pummeled the crowd as they blazed through a quick set.

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The fourth band to hit the stage was a The Dreaded Marco, a self-styled “dirty rock” band. They may not have been a metal band, but I am pretty sure they made a lot of new fans! Their powerful grooving songs captured the ears of metal fans. Featuring Mike Froedge, formerly of DoubleDrive and Black Label Society, Charlie Sheets and Dixie Duncan (Echovalve), these seasoned musicians tore it up.

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Halcyon Way were up next, and the band took the stage with a vengeance. Jon Bodan’s return to the stage was a big part of the show, and after a year long fight with Lymphoma, the fans cheered as the curtain fell. He looked great and you would have never known of his battle if he had not said something! They played songs from all three of their albums, including songs from their new CD “IndoctriNation” which will be released on October 25th via Nightmare/Sony RED. Their set dazzled the crowd with incredible riffs, amazing drumming, and some of the best singing I have ever heard. Halcyon Way’s performance was on fire as they thrashed around the stage and engaged the crowd. It was like they had not been absent from performing but rather simply picked up where they left off! Congrats guys!

If that wasn’t enough music for the night, S.S. Vendetta was the last band to play, and the awesome music continued. Led by guitarist Alex Foretich, formerly of metal band Eternal Hour, S.S. Vendetta is a Ska-core band with great energy and a cool horn section. They put on a great show and I hope to see more of them soon!

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It should also be said that Keith Minor & Shock & Awe Productions were one of the sponsors of the show in that they provided a phenomenal light show to make it a truly professional event. Keith also does work with The Backstage Beat from time to time. Check out some of his work here.

The Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation Benefit show was a great success. They raised nearly $5000 thru ticket sales, a raffle, and donations from corporate sponsors and individuals.

The Backstage Beat has also been informed by the Promoter for the show that their main corporate sponsors have already signed on to support the 2012 version of the show, so look for this to become an annual event.

ACCF posted the following statement on their Facebook page:

“The Atlanta Metal Scene United Against Cancer benefit show raised $4,500 for ACCF!!! ACCF is extremely grateful to Jon Bodan and Halcyon Way; all of the other outstanding bands that donated their time and performed – Throatpunch, Inviolate, Rigorism, The Dreaded Marco and S.S. Vendetta; corporate sponsors – Top of Mind Networks, Avalanche Entertainment, Pathfinder Promotions, Hennessy Transportation, The Perpetual Financial Group, Inc., Shock & Awe Productions, Chequers, Avatar Entertainment Group, IntroMental, and Harley-Davidson Motor Company; LifeSouth Community Blood Centers; The Local at Sidelines; and everyone who attended, volunteered their time or made a donation to make the event a success!”