Fundraiser concert set at St. James Gate for Brewer
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 06:00 am
In response to a ripoff of Brad Brewer’s music equipment, local Bow Valley acts including Brent Lee, Randy Hutchins of The Rustic Brothers, Dennis Williams, Andy Loops, Ash Brown, Fat Dev and The Naps and Elk Run & Riot performing a three-piece acoustic set, will perform for their friend and professional peer in need, Tuesday (March 21) at Banff’s St. James Gate.
On March 4, Brewer was performing in Vancouver and staying with friends in a condominium after performing two shows. It was the beginning of a Western Canada tour to promote Brewer’s upcoming EP, Small City Lights, and to help finance the album’s completion.
Tragedy struck the professional musician as thieves made off with thousands of dollars in personal and professional items and equipment. Concerts in Revelstoke, Fernie, Nelson, Vernon, Enderby, Golden and Field all had to be cancelled; 11 shows in 12 days were thrown out the window, just like the thieves emptied the contents out of his Jeep Cherokee.
“It was a secure condo building, so we thought. We played the second show and got back to the apartment and locked the car up, and the building was only accessible through keys by personal residents,” said Brewer. He even covered his family’s belongings and personal equipment with blankets before locking up the vehicle for the night, to get an early head start on the road for the next concert.
“The alarm would have been going off, and they still just helped themselves ... whoever did it knew what they were doing and cleaned us right out,” Brewer said.
The brazen thieves even took a suitcase containing his young daughter’s clothes. The vehicle was packed for a family of three. Not only was Brewer’s music gear inside, he was also making a video of the tour with an iPad, a DSLR camera and a laptop stolen from the independent musician.
“It couldn’t have been just one person with the amount of stuff that went missing,” Brewer said. “There was a cable box with all of my pedals that weighed 50 pounds alone. It’s all the little things, nine pedals, cables, harmonicas – harmonicas alone are $80 a piece, they’re not cheap.” Having everything synchronized and set up for the personal touch that you like as a performing artist is another realization for those not familiar to the intricacies of being a professional musician. Some of the items were gifted along the way and held deep sentimental value.
“You get it from other musicians, or you get it from people you work with and you think about the music that you wrote with it; everything comes with a memory or it’s a stepping stone in your career,” Brewer said.
“For example, the guitar strap alone that went missing was a huge deal for me because it was a gift I had gotten from my sister almost seven years ago when I first started playing full-time. That, I want back more than anything, it symbolizes the whole start of my career basically.”
Now back in Banff, he says he’s glad to be home, had some time to really think about moving forward here and has had a good response with a GoFundMe campaign set up to help his family.
“The support so far has been absolutely overwhelming, I love it and it makes me proud to be a part of the community,” Brewer said. “I’m looking forward to the show, just so I can personally thank everybody for putting their own lives on hold to help me for a minute.”
Brewer has set up a GoFundMe page for friends, peers and fans, to help him and his family’s time in need. The fundraiser concert begins 7 p.m. at St. James Gate.