Grant Ellman is 13 years old, in seventh grade and isn't nervous to play the Crystal Ballroom.
"I'm used to playing shows like that," he says. Grant is one of the three founding members of the all-kid band Still Pending that has gained some fame by playing local Portland venues, winning talent search contests and cultivating an avid youtube following. Now Still Pending, along with other all-kid bands, is turning its natural talent towards charity.
On April 10, Still Pending and three other local all-kid bands, Blind Einstein, The Vibrations and Social Appetite, will come together to play an all-ages, benefit concert to raise money for Mercy Corps' international children programs.
The show, which has been named Kids Rock 4 Kids by the all-kid coalition, was inspired partially when some band members watched the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Eli Hirsch, 14, of Blind Einstein was deeply moved by the children's living situations in the movie and decided to get proactive. "We felt really inspired when we saw those terrible conditions and wanted to do something about it," he said. Eli began to gather together his musical friends and then contacted the Crystal Ballroom with the fundraiser idea.
"You can imagine all the cold calls we get here," said Jimi Barion, director of special events and music at the Crystal Ballroom, "But he [Eli] put together a really well formulated e-mail and then followed it up. He did a great job selling the idea."
Now Kids Rock 4 Kids has its own website and the bands are continuing to do promotions. Along with making a tangible difference by raising money for Mercy Corps, it will be exciting for the kids to play at a professional caliber venue such as the Crystal Ballroom. "For them to play on the stage with our production crew and lighting……..it will be cool," said Barion.
Far from timid, the all-kid coalition would love to fill the Ballroom's 1,500 person capacity. "The size of the venue doesn't matter," says Eli, "we want to play music, we want to sell out."
Tickets are selling for $10 each and can be bought either at Ticketmaster or the Crystal Ballroom box office. Doors open at 5:30 PM.