Suffice it to say, On the Beach: A Sandy Relief Concert is no 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief.
Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.
The latter concert raised millions of dollars for the Robin Hood Foundation’s Sandy relief fund with an aged lineup of sometimes-shirtless rock icons and was broadcast throughout the world on television, radio and the Internet. The concert helped highlight the need that followed Hurricane Sandy and has resulted in millions of grant dollars being distributed to various organizations, a majority of them in New York City.
But, the concert left promoter and Jersey Shore native Tony Pallagrosi feeling a bit detached. Despite Jersey representation at 12-12-12 courtesy of The Boss and Bon Jovi, the show was held at Madison Square Garden in front of a crowd that paid hundreds, and thousands of dollars per ticket; that even before the scalpers turned a Sandy relief concert into their own personal gold mine.
On the Beach, scheduled for Jan. 2 and being held at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, won’t command anywhere near the same kind of ticket prices and it won’t boast the unprecedented musical lineup as its Sandy relief forbearer – though be assured it’s got its own roster of music legends – but unlike 12-12-12, it’s for the Jersey Shore.
“You might be paying more if this weren’t a benefit show,” Pallagrosi said during a recent phone interview. “12-12-12, unless you were either saving your money for something like this or are fairly well off, you were not getting a ticket. We kind of went in the opposite direction. Let’s make this as accessible and affordable as possible. We wanted something that pretty much everyone could afford.”
Pallagrosi isn’t exaggerating. Tickets for On the Beach range from $40 to $60, a more than modest sum considering the lineup. Headlining the show is My Morning Jacket, an alternative, country, indie, psychedelic rock amalgamation that has released several critically lauded albums within the last 14 years.
The eclectic musical lineup also includes New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Joseph Arthur, Nicole Atkins, River City Extensions, Tangiers Blues Band and even Steve Earle, a multiple-Grammy award winning singer-songwriter known for songs like “Guitar Town” and “Copperhead Road.”
Organized by three friends - Pallagrosi, along with photographer Danny Clinch and writer Tim Donnelly – On the Beach and its unique musical lineup came together as a way to raise money for several good causes while maintaining the essential local connection.
Everyone knows someone impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Pallagrosi said, and he and his fellow organizers are no exception. Using their particular skills – Pallagrosi a musician and promoter, Clinch a rock photographer, and Donnelly and activict and writer – the three set out to do what they could to help.
“Essentially, our relationships and what we do for a living allowed us to put this group of artists together. And the Paramount Theatre was the perfect place because it was, is on the beach,” Pallagrosi said. “Nothing had been done in Asbury Park on a larger scale. Since we had the opportunity and the capability to do it, we did. The artists were very great, forthcoming and welcoming. Everyone is really jumping on board and giving of their time and talent.”
Proceeds from the event are being distributed to Shore-focused non-profits that have been on the job immediately following Sandy’s wake. Waves for Water, RebuildRecover, Coastal Habitat for Humanity, The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and Food for Thought By the Sea will receive proceeds from the event.
“The word that seems to be floating around is devastation,” he said. “I’ve lived along the shore my entire life. The towns I’ve been able to visit look like they’ve been hit by a tornado. Homes are broken half. Homes are just four and five blocks from where they originally resided. Some homes are just not even there anymore.”
As the rebuilding continues, so too does the need for help.
On the Beach: A Sandy Relief Concert is being held at the Paramount Theatre at 1300 Ocean Ave. on the boardwalk in Asbury Park on Jan. 2. Doors open at 6 pm. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com, phone charge at 800-745-3000, TicketMaster Outlets, the Stone Pony Box Office through Monday and the Paramount Theatre the day of the show, if available.