The first annual ROCKIN’ FOR AUTISM benefit concert was held in Las Vegas at the Backstage Bar and Billiards on Fremont Street on March 1, 2018. By all accounts, the show was a huge success and raised not only money, but also awareness for something affecting so many young people in this day and age.
ROCKIN’ FOR AUTISM benefit concerts are held all over the country, but this was the first held in Las Vegas put together by Eric Tucker and Barbara Stuart in support of Autism Speaks and Variety School, which does so much here in Las Vegas when it comes to working with children with disabilities. Of course, this is Las Vegas, so ROCKIN’ FOR AUTISM was done just a little differently here with not only four great bands, but a red carpet and a raffle complete with one of the best prize giveaways this community has ever come together for.
Of course, no benefit concert could be complete without the bands and the concert, and boy did this benefit show feature a great line-up of bands, all of whom I might add donated their time to help with this wonderful event. The show was opened by shock-rockers I.D.S.F.A performing in full costume with all the special effects. Next up was the return of the mighty DRIVEN who performed for the first time after a lengthy layoff with an all new line-up and showed why so many are exited that they are back on the scene. One of Las Vegas’ premier local acts, BAKER’S DOZEN was up next and received some of the best praise on the night including some out of town guests asking if we were sure this is a local act! Finally, Hollywood rockers L.A. STORY hit the stage for their first appearance in some time in Las Vegas. Many in Las Vegas are familiar with L.A. STORY from previous stops in Vegas, and know they always bring the party and a good time.
As mentioned earlier, this show featured not only some great bands, but also a one of a kind raffle with some unbelievable prizes raffled off, all to raise money for a great cause. Enough can’t be said about Nicki Heirs and her ability to gather some great items for a benefit like this. Nicki arranged for some great signed photos to be drawn for and gift bags from several local acts. Alice Goldstein came through with a Vinnie Paul signed drum head and Sally Steele provided a drum head signed by all the members of the SCORPIONS as well as two signed magazines from the Vegas Rocks Awards Shows. There were also three signed guitars given away through silent auction. One of the giveaway highlights was when a gentleman who came all the way from London, England won the framed picture of Lemmy from Motorhead!
On top of the great rock memorabilia, there were also some other great prizes raffled off on the evening. Jacob Aldes stepped up big time to donate not only a hot air balloon ride for two here in Las Vegas, but also a ride in a motorcycle side-car at over 100 m.p.h. at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Brad Cohen of Buzz T.V. also game through with one bad ass game system for an I-Phone.
The first annual ROCKIN’ FOR AUTISM show here in Las Vegas can only be deemed a total success for year one. The event went so well in year one, that year two will have some work to do if it plans on topping this. A big thanks to everyone who stepped up to volunteer his or her time and effort in making this event the huge success it was. A big thank you also goes out to all the bands, sponsors, and prize gatherers who made this whole thing possible. See you next year!
Rockin' for Autosm photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhoto