On March 15, 2019 the world listened in horror as the news spread of the terrorist attack on the two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Kiwis and their friends were devastated by the deadliest mass shooting in NZ’s history.
“In short, the Attack was New Zealand’s 9/11,” says New Zealand native/current Jersey City resident Angus Vail. “An unthinkable and completely unexpected act of terror that comes out of nowhere, and forever changes the way our small quiet Pacific country thinks of itself.”
The impact of the Christchurch attack has been felt worldwide. Here, on the west bank of the Hudson, artists and performers from New Zealand will gather at White Eagle Hall (337 Newark Ave, Jersey City) on Wednesday, April 17 for an event that will raise funds for the victims’ charity.
“I’ve been managing the business office for the band KISS for 24 years, and worked in a similar capacity with INXS before that. So with that background and the list of contacts that I have, I thought about perhaps putting on a show here would be possible. And I’d recently seen the Bohemian Rhapsody movie and remembered how amazing Live Aid was. So I thought a benefit concert here in the NJ/NY area for kiwis and their friends might be a good idea, and maybe one in LA perhaps as well,” says Vail.
“So in the days after the attack I reached out to other New Zealanders in the music business and it turned out that there were already plans coming together to do benefit concerts in New Zealand. So we came up with a idea of doing a series of concerts – all under the same theme and banner of “You Are Us” – this being our message of inclusiveness. The promoter of the two NZ shows, Brent Eccles, has been amazing in sharing with us here in the US the approved artwork, and guiding us as to the best way to benefit the Christchurch victims.”
The performance on April 17 at White Eagle Hall will include:
- Dave Gibson (Elemeno P)
- Miriam Clancy
- Marie Te Hapuku (Soprano at the Met Opera)
- Ngā Ānahera Māori performance group
- Sarah Lane (Principal dancer at American Ballet Theater)
- Stanley John Mitchell (The Drongos)
- The Crevulators (feat. Stan Mitchell & Andrew B. White)
- Samuel R. Saffery
- Carrie Beehan
- Ukelele Cabaret
- MCs Raj Varma and Arthur Meek
With more to be announced…
The bands and performers will perform separately, then come together to form a “Kiwi Supergroup:—to play classic Kiwi songs at the end of the night.
There will also be video tributes and shout-outs from Kiwi celebs from NZ and around the world to show their solidarity with us at the East Coast event.
The White Eagle Hall show is one of four shows—two in New Zealand on April 13th and 17th, our show here in Jersey City on April 17th (our time), and then the Los Angeles show on April 18th—intended obviously to raise as much money as possible for the victims and their families. As Vail explains, the shows are also meant to, “be a way that Kiwis and friends can get together, express ourselves through music and performances, and send a message from around the world to the victims’ families that yes, You Are Us. It’s not just empty words, it’s real.”
Adds Vail, “I would like to hope that it will foster a long-term shift towards inclusiveness, tolerance and understanding between people in New Zealand—and perhaps to be an example around the world.”
CLICK HERE for ticket information.