I recently had the pleasure of attending the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit concert for the first time. The annual event took place less than a week ago at LA Live inside Club Nokia in Los Angeles May 30, 2013. A collection of fans, friends, families, and music aficionados were invited to an intimate show and award ceremony, specially honoring Tony Alva and Chester Bennington for their outstanding achievements of recovery and in the greater community.
A handful of eager fans, arrived fashionably early at the scene in hopes of getting a glimpse of the superstars who were set to perform and present during the show. I arrived at the scene about five minutes before 8pm after an impromptu day of fun in the sun at Six Flags Mountain. I caught a few minutes of Chester and the rest of Stone Temple Pilots on the red carpet taking photos and press interviews right outside the venue, and then shortly headed inside of the club where the show was set to begin.
The production crew had transformed the bottom floor of the venue into their own living room scene, equipped with tables, couches, and a dinner buffet full of temptation. With Bobby Lee positioned as our host for the night, the show kicked off with lots of laughs. I watched from the second level balcony along with the rest of the general, VIP, and LPU ticketholders. A relaxing performance by Early Morning Rebel paved the way for presenter Anthony Kiedis, who took to the stage in order to present the From the Heart award to legendary skateboarder Tony Alva. After delivering an insightful and inspiring speech, Mr. Alva then proceeded to perform three songs with his Chicken Noodle Project featuring Ray Barbee + Matt Rainwater.
Next up was an energetic performance by Ida Maria and a few witty remarks from Mr. Andy Dick before Linkin Park’s very own Mike Shinoda was introduced to present the Stevie Ray Vaughan award to Chester Bennington. Several kind words and worthy praises were exchanged, and Chester nervously took to the podium to give thanks in his acceptance speech. Stone Temple Pilots was set to perform a mini set of classic hits shortly after. STP was joined onstage by mega musicians Slash and Duff McKagan for an awesome cover rendition of “All the Young Dudes”. Stone Temple Pilots also played their new single “Out Of Time”, which was the moment I was most looking forward to the entire night. Needless to say, the song was amazing, and Chester sang the hell out of it like a true champion!
Unfortunately, the show came to an end soon after, but the night was still young. A small group of us headed over to the Yardhouse restaurant for a few drinks and late night indulgences before we each parted our separate ways. In summary, the event was a really fun experience with really nice people and great music! I’m glad I had the opportunity to see Chester receive such an honorary award, as well as perform with Stone Temple Pilots, whom I’ve been a fan of for quite some time, but had never had the chance to see live prior to the show. Many thanks to MusiCares Map Fund as well as the other sponsors for putting on such a great event. I am definitely looking forward to next year!