In the wake of Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., a band of homegrown superstars took to the stage to bring a little bit of relief — if only for a few hours.
Proceeds from this year’s concert will go towards funding the Wounded Warrior Project and schools in Youngstown, Ohio, which is the home of the band’s saxophonist Jerry DePizzo.
“My musical education came from grade school, middle school and high school,” Depizzo said before the show. “I was raised in the public school system. So, if I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. So, it was really important to me and the rest of the guys to make sure that we can do what we can to make sure kids all over the country can do the same thing.”
The band founded the Heard The World Foundation in 2006 to support youth, education and sustainable programs in the United States and abroad.
DePizzo said it is the bands duty to help out today’s youth.
“We are fortunate we are in this great position within our careers and the band feels that we have the moral obligation to give back when we can.”
Friday night’s benefit concert served as the group’s homecoming and final concert of 2012 as they get ready to work on their eighth studio record.
“We plan on coming out and hitting the summer really hard and coming out with some fresh tunes and a fresh look and just try to do what we do every summer which is constantly reinvent the O.A.R. experience for our audience.”
“Right now it’s a really organic and a natural experience and I think that’s coming through in the songs. I think the songs just feel very natural, very homegrown, very summertime vibe. That’s really what we are thinking about when we are doing this. Closing our eyes and thinking of ourselves in somewhere like Merriweather [Post Pavilion] and going ‘how is this going to sound?’ So that’s what we’re going for and I think that we are getting it there. It’s real exciting.”
O.A.R. released their DVD and fifth live record – “Live On Red Rocks” – on Nov. 19 through Wind-Up Records.