It was an evening of coming together, rocking out, and raising money for a good cause. This past Friday, January 21, “Rock for Relief,” a benefit concert for the victims of the recent Indian Ocean tsunami, was held in Riverview. Sponsored by the Volunteer Center and Mortar Board, “Rock for Relief” featured four live Lawrence bands and a silent auction from various Appleton businesses. The event was hosted by President Jill Beck. First up was the Heavy Metal Ensemble of Lawrence University. It featured Graham Hand on electric erhu, Reid Stratton on electro-euphonium, Ben Klein on tuba, Sandy Schwert on flute, Adam Berey on melodica, Mike Truesdell on drums, and Keith Lipinski, introduced as a “screamer,” on vocals. Their set featured intense solos on both the electric erhu and the electro-euphonium. Even with these unique instruments, the ensemble proved they could play genuine heavy metal. The crowd stood up and clapped along as the band finished with a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” Mr. McC-Daddy’s Blues Solution came next ********– delivering a performance that left the crowd wanting more, as displayed by the standing ovation. The most interesting aspect of this group was the presence of Professor Stephen McCardell on electric guitar. Also in the group were Bryan Teoh on rhythm guitar, John Sutton on bass guitar and Nick Kraus on drums. They opened with “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” complete with impressive guitar solos and great vocal harmonies. The audience watched in hushed appreciation. The remainder of the performance was equally striking, as the band rocked and jammed its way through two additional songs. After the burst of applause following Mr. McC-Daddy’s Blues Solution, student Freya D’Almeida brought focus to the evening when she spoke to the audience about the effect of the tsunami in the area where she lives in Sri Lanka. “My family is one of the lucky ones,” she said. D’Almeida also mentioned that her family and friends back home were volunteering to help the victims. Next onstage was Denes, a Lawrence favorite. Paul Salomon led the group, enthusiastically singing while playing the keyboard like crazy. Also in Denes were Claire Weiss on electric cello, Patrick Ehlers on bass guitar, Veronica DeVore and Sarah Singer on violin, Shannon McCue on electric viola, and Jared Robertson on drums. Their upbeat, catchy music was definitely a highlight of the concert and had the audience up and dancing. Denes also donated the money from their CD and T-shirt sales toward the UNICEF fund. The concert finished with Dr. J and the New York Knicks, a group thrown together by Peter Griffith, bass guitar, Peter Gillette, trumpet/vocals, and Paul Karner, guitar. Once on stage, they “realized” that they needed a drummer and pulled Pat Breese onstage with them. Griffith warned the audience by saying, “We’re really bad *******– they wanted us to play last so you guys would leave.” Despite their questionable talent, Dr. J and the New York Knicks gave an extremely entertaining performance. They attempted covers of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are,” “Gangsta’s Paradise” complete with including a trumpet solo, and “When I Come Around” by Green Day. Their set definitely provided some comic relief as Lawrentians filtered out of Riverview. “A lot more people came to the concert than we expected,” said Meera MacDonald, who organized “Rock for Relief.” The benefit raised about $1,400 ******– of which $1,100 will be donated to UNICEF. The remaining $300 will go to a separate fund for the tsunami victims, according to MacDonald. “I’d like to thank everyone for their generosity, including the bands and the Appleton businesses” MacDonald said.