SLIPKNOT/STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor and STAIND vocalist Aaron Lewis are among the artists who performed at the second annual It Takes A Community Foundation benefit concert. The two-day event took place Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20 at The Pines Theater at Look Park in Northampton, Massachusetts. Friday’s show featured country music performances from Rhett Akins, Frank Hannon (of TESLA) and Alexa Carter, while Saturday brought rock with TESLA, Corey Taylor, LO-PRO and OTAN VARGAS. Lewisperformed at both shows.
According to Roadrunner Records, Taylor opened his set with a medley of PETER GABRIEL‘s “In Your Eyes” and STONE SOUR‘s “Through Glass” before segueing into covers ranging from PINK FLOYD‘s “Nobody Home” to TOM PETTY‘s “You Got Lucky”. In between his unique (and pitch-perfect) acoustic arrangements of these songs, Taylor made room for music from his other bands — with highlights including STONE SOUR‘s “Bother” and SLIPKNOT‘s “Snuff”. Taylor, too, kept his set kid-friendly, refraining from using expletives (replacing them with the word “bleep”) and ending his set with the night’s biggest surprise. With a choir of children behind Taylor, the singer performed a faithful rendition of the “Spongebob Squarepants Theme Song”, with much of the audience singing along.
It Takes A Community Foundation, a 501c3 non-for-profit, was founded by STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis — whose debut solo CD, “Town Line”, recently entered the Billboard Country Albums Chart at #1 — and his wife Vanessa. The charity’s focus is reviving rural communities throughout the greater New England area. The charity works with local leaders and community organizations who have firsthand knowledge of the needs of their communities. It strives to raise funds and support these community groups who strengthen, engage and enrich the communities they are in, sustain diminishing public services, and provide assistance to communities in crisis. They work to unite resources and ideas to help people and communities create a better tomorrow.
The idea to start a charity came to Lewis as a result of his local school district closing three of the five elementary schools in the area due to budget cuts. He decided to take action the best way he knew how: by hitting the road and performing. Lewis took the money he personally earned from his performances as well as profits from the first benefit concert held on August 14, 2010 and opened the private R.H. Conwell Education Center. The foundation funded everything from desks, books and school supplies to the teachers’ salaries.
“My family has been directly affected by school closures in our rural area due to state budget cuts,” Lewis has said. “We have seen firsthand the necessity for smaller communities to have a voice and to determine their own local needs and priorities. Our foundation strives to do just that–to build a collective of local community members and empower them to take charge of their own community’s future.”
To learn more about It Takes A Community, go to this location.