Bob Geldof, a well-known activist in the music community and founder of both charity super-concerts Live Aid and Live 8, once said: “Music can’t change the world.” While Geldof’s somewhat surprising sentiment may be referring to the big picture, there are at least three area bands that would beg to differ. Just last year, Iowa City-based rock ‘n’ roll revivalists Item 9 and the Mad Hatters organized a benefit show that helped raise money to build a fresh water well in a small village in Haiti. “Before (last year), the village people had to walk miles for freshwater,” says Pete Lower, Item 9 and the Mad Hatters’ guitarist and concert organizer. “(The concert was) a big success and I feel it’s the least we can all do to do it again this year.” This year proceeds from Item 9 and the Mad Hatters second benefit concert at Gabe’s in Iowa City will go directly to Four Oaks Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Cedar Rapids. The details:
  • WHAT: I9 & Friends Presents: Rock Benefit for Four Oaks
  • WHEN: 8 p.m Saturday
  • WHERE: Gabe’s Iowa City
  • COST: $5
“Four Oaks is a great organization and we couldn’t think of a better place to donate,” says Lower, who chose the organization on the recommendation of his girlfriend who worked with them while in college. Joining Item 9 this year will be fellow Iowa City-based musicians The Oculus and The Treats for a homegrown live music display to the benefit their community. “We’re great friends with all these bands and can’t wait to play with them,” Lower says. “It’s crazy the amount of great local music that’s going to be going on at this show.”   Related: Item 9 and the Mad Hatters bring passion, camaraderie to local music scene