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Review: Bands rock for a cause
by Jessica Carner
Aug 29, 2011 | 923 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Jessica Carner - Shane Whitecloud, lead singer for Seasons of Insanity.
Tribune/Jessica Carner - Shane Whitecloud, lead singer for Seasons of Insanity.
RENO – What’s better than a rock concert at the Knitting Factory?

Not much, except maybe a rock concert at the Knit that benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a world leader in funding research to cure type 1 diabetes.

Friday evening, I attended the JDRF benefit concert featuring local bands Alice, Alice, Dirt Communion, Seasons of Insanity and Pinky Polanski.

According to Dan Bishop, bass player for Dirt Communion, all proceeds from ticket sales at the door were donated to JDRF. While no official figures have been released on how much money the concert raised, I imagine it was a fair amount since tickets cost $6 apiece and there probably were a couple hundred people in attendance.

Pinky Polanski opened the show and delivered its usual amazing performance. The best part of the band’s set, by far, was a number written for its Rocky Horror Live show, which the group performs occasionally. The rest of Pinky’s “angry rock ‘n’ roll” songs were enjoyable, but the band members really showed personality during the Rocky Horror rendition.

Friday was the first time I have seen Seasons of Insanity play, and I was truly impressed by the instrumental work of Rick Brenner (drums), John Brey (bass), Ernest Anthony (guitar) and Mike Reynolds (guitar/vocals), along with the amazing vocal skills of frontman Shane Whitecloud.

Whitecloud belted out original rock tunes with serious intensity and passion, and while I heard someone say it might be a little too "hair band" for their taste, I really enjoyed it.

The thing I like even more about Seasons of Insanity is their passion for charity.

Prior to the show, Whitecloud told me the group supports every goodwill event it can and will be playing at a benefit for autism on Sept. 10 in Victorian Square.

As usually happens to me on “work nights” when I attend concerts, I ended up leaving partway through Dirt Communion’s set and completely missed Alice, Alice. Though it is beginning to sound like I never have a bad thing to say about any bands, I always love Dirt Communion (and trust me, if they were terrible, I would say so).

A little-known fact is that Dirt Communion bassist Bishop, who I mentioned earlier, actually does a bit of freelance photography for the Sparks Tribune. He’s fantastic.

So what is JDRF and why would these bands donate their time and talents to support the cause?

According to, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects the body's ability to protect itself from viruses and bacteria. The condition strikes children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. More than 8 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes and it is one of the costliest chronic diseases, accounting for 32 percent of all Medicare expenditures.

While insulin therapy can alleviate symptoms of the disease and help people with diabetes live fairly normal lives, it is not a cure and will not prevent kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, stroke and pregnancy complications.

Since its inception in 1970, JDRF has funded more than $1.5 billion in research for immune therapies, beta cell therapies, glucose control and complications therapies. In northern Nevada, more than $8 million has been raised for JDRF.

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