Music isn’t just about sounds and beats. It’s about people—those creating the music, singing and playing it, and of course, those listening to it. Really, it’s about community.
It was great to have a chance to celebrate that community in partnering with Boston’s Alt 92.9 (now Rock 92.9) and the Massachusetts-born band American Authors at the Salvation Army Community Center in Cambridge on March 28th.
Forty American Authors fans won a chance to join the band, our POW Audio team and 92.9 in a chance to give back: We painted the community center walls, helped in the food pantry, did some gardening, and cleaned up areas inside and outside the community center. More than anything, though, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and join with the band in giving back to the Boston area, which has been so great to all of us.
While the members of American Authors weren’t all born in Massachusetts, and they now live in New York and LA, the band formed while they were attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Lead vocalist and guitarist Zac Barnett described memorable nights performing at local venues in the early days, and how there’s always a warm welcome when they come back to town.
Everyone wanted to be there—evident by all the glowing faces and eagerness to engage with each other. Somehow, we turned a cleanup project into so much more than that.
Music blasted from Mo speakers as the band laughed with volunteers while painting walls, plating food, organizing storage spaces, shoveling mulch and more. The fun didn’t end at the community center. Volunteers were gleaming as they were shuttled to McGann’s Irish Pub where we all enjoyed some delicious food together while listening to American Authors play an energetic, stripped-down set featuring some of their older hits like “Best Day Of My Life” and newer titles, which includes rather fittingly, “Neighborhood.” It was an intimate gathering, and the set made it even more special.
Five of the forty volunteers won a POW Mo speaker signed by the band. They were thrilled to have won, but all attendees left the pub smiling, feeling more connected to the band and its music. More importantly than anything, though, we all felt that much more connected to the community. Giving back feels so good, and the day sounded amazing as well.
In between songs, bassist Dave Rublin shared a personal anecdote about his mother, a long-time social worker. He learned from her just how important it was to help those in the community. He told the crowd how fulfilling it was to be a part of the event, to be able to share good will for those in need and embody the values she passed along. Together, we can create positive change that builds a brighter future for all. That was one of the most beautiful things we heard all day.
#United We Expand