By Thy Lam
The day the 9.0-magnitude earthquake shook Northeast Japan and caused a devastating tsunami, Issac Martinez, a former Elan, began thinking of how he could help the victims.
He posted his prayers for Japan on Facebook and Twitter and surprisingly received feedback from his friends and their friends.
A month later, with the help from Andrew Garcia, one of the top 10 competitors on season nine of American Idol, and Garcia’s manager, Martinez created the Red Cross Benefit Concert 2011, which was held at East Los Angeles College on April 16.
“I chose ELAC because this is my school and I’m very proud of my school,” said Martinez. “I see the fire in the students and I want to do something to get involved in.”
The concert took place in ELAC’s auditorium on April 16 and ended successfully despite the attendence numbers not meeting expectations.
“It’s kind of hard because it’s time for the spring break, but hopefully a thousand people will show up,” said Martinez.
However, only about 100 people came to see the show.
Martinez, who sang the opening song at the event, co-hosted the concert along with Aaron M. Sanchez.
Native was a DJ for the concert.
The show started 45 minutes late but immediately impressed audiences with the drum performances of nine members of the LA Zone Ikeda Youth Ensemble.
Various types of music such as pop ballad, dance and rap were performed during the concert by singers and bands like Carissa Rae, iCe, Joshua Jimenez, Nessa Rica, Tracy Rhey, FlowEthics, The Bricks, the Roney Boys and Garcia.
Rae and Rica were the best duo singing romantic ballads while Rhey roused the crowd with her dance and powerful voice.
Although Garcia was the famous singer whose performance was expected the most, the sweet three voices of The Roney Boys won most of the audiences support.
The boys sang four different songs, included the Jackson 5 hit “ABC.”
Each act performed at least two songs and gave it their best.
Most of the audience stayed to the last minutes of the show to witness Garcia sing on stage, and he did not disappoint.
Garcia not only sang the songs that brought him to fame on American Idol, but he was willing to sing songs requested by the audience.
For those who purchased VIP tickets, they had access backstage to talk and take pictures with the artists after the show ended.
All proceeds of the benefit concert will be given to the American Red Cross to help aid victims in Japan.
Before the show started, volunteers sold t-shirts.
A share of those sales will also contribute to the aid.
Honored sponsors of the concert were LatinoGraduate.net, In2DeepRadio.com, Lonelykids, Native and the ASU.