Second annual MCA DAY YYC fundraiser adds karaoke, beer and a few more surprises

Last year Calgary hip-hop artist Sabo Forte and some friends from the local music community put on a tribute to the late, great Beastie Boys member MCA (a.k.a. Adam Yauch) to mark the fifth year it had been since his passing.

Bands took turns performing a brief set of songs from the band’s remarkable catalogue and there was a silent auction element to it.

So successful was the first MCA DAY fundraiser, he’s doing it again, albeit with a slight twist. This time there’ll be an all-star tribute band performing a full set of material and prior to that there will be some Beastie Boys karaoke featuring musicians and DJs such as Scott Henderson, Rubix and Rebecca Dawn.

There will also be more DJs, giveaways, another art show and silent auction, beer tasting and more, making the Commonwealth Bar and Stage the place to be Thursday, Aug. 30.

Prior to the event, theYYSCENE asked Sabo to fill us in on some of the details.

A: Last year was the five-year anniversary of MCA’s death, this year’s the sixth … so we’re obviously hoping to make this an annual event. We never want it to be profit-based so it’s another charity fundraiser, this year all the proceeds are going to Alberta Cancer and Women in Need Society … There’s a couple of ways we’re going about that, obviously ticket sales and all of the performers are donating their time, and then we have another art show with silent auction, so hopefully some of the art pieces will impress and we’ll be able to make a bit more money for the charities that way, too.

Q: The karaoke is a new element this year, right?

A: This is a new element, 100 per cent. So the karaoke is a Beastie Boys karaoke so all of the songs will be Beastie Boys songs, and much like hip-hop karaoke they have around town, there’s no screen. So unlike regular karaoke where you get to read the words, this time you have to come correct and have all of the lyrics memorized. To help with that daunting aspect I’ve invited local musicians and artists to each perform a song, with the intention that they be leading a singalong … What will happen is they’ll come up and take the mic and then there’ll be another mic onstage for anyone that wants to join them for that song. There’ll be another shortlist of other songs available that haven’t been picked yet. Also on top of that, myself and Apeface will both be hosting the karaoke so we’ll be able to help do hypeman work and help everyone with the lyrics if anyone gets stuck.

Q: And there’s also the band collaboration with you, Ricca Razor Sharp, Goodword, The Fly, Sprainmaker, and The Mantle. What will you guys be doing?

A: We’re going to do a full hour-long set, we’re doing 16 different Beastie Boys songs, which includes includes a few of the instrumental tracks and there’s a thrash song in there as well, like  a punk rock song. We’re just trying to cover as many of the genres that the Beastie Boys covered in an hour, which is kind of a daunting task.

The idea behind it was I didn’t invite other bands as well to perform this year because, in the past, last year for example, each band only played five songs and then it was on to the next band, and we had five acts do that. I found what was happening is by the fourth or fifth song the audience was really starting to get involved, starting to move, and all of the sudden they were done and we had to do a changeover again. It never really got over the crest of a full concert vibe, so the idea this year was to approach some other people to make it more of a full tribute band with an extended set. We performed in the spring to test out the live version of it, we’d been practising throughout the winter and, like I said, we’re up to 16 songs.

Q: And Banded Peak is involved too, I see.

A: Yeah, Banded Peak has come onboard, they’re one of our sponsors, as well as CJSW. And they’re going to be there side by side in the lower lounge area giving free beer samplings as well, in the early hours of the event. If you need a reason to come down and your’re not a Beastie Boys fan, two words: free beer.

** How about free tickets? We’ve been given five pairs to give away to our readers. To enter, just got to our Facebook page, find this post, and tag a friend in the comments under it. That’s it! We’ll let the winners know by 2 p.m. Thursday via direct message. Make sure you can use em please if you’re going to enter as it is a fundraiser. Good luck! **

(Illustration courtesy Dan Buller.)

MCA DAY YYC 2018 takes place Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Commonwealth Bar and Grill. Tickets are available at the door or in advance from Eventbrite here.