When is the last time a concert you went to saved a life, much less several lives? Love Hope Strength is a cancer charity that seeks to do just that through the power of music and the support of fans. Begun by leukemia survivor Mike Peters of the Alarm, the charity raises funds for cancer centers around the world and encourages concertgoers to sign up for the bone marrow donor list on the spot while they enjoy the evening. The night’s mission: raise the funds for a new center in Africa for a final stage of cancer care to provide those who travel many miles to receive care a place to stay as they approach full recovery.
Two Tone Ska champions the English Beat provided the entertainment in a series of short sets that ignited the audience and quickly set everyone dancing. Although far from the original lineup, the current members are solid, energetic performers who flawlessly ripped through the set, which alternated between newer songs from their soon-to-be-released upcoming album and classic ’80s anthems like “Tenderness” and “Save It for Later.” A finale comprised of “Rankin’ Full Stop” careening into “Mirror in the Bathroom” just about blew the roof off the place, proving that Dave Wakeling still has the charm and charisma to rock the checkered socks off this former rude girl. A memorable night for a noble cause.