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‘Goosebumps fantastic!’ Chords for Cure XXV concert raises $17,000 for Maine kids fighting cancer

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‘Goosebumps fantastic!’ Chords for Cure XXV concert raises $17,000 for Maine kids fighting cancer (photo courtesy Memorymaker Photography)

BANGOR – Bangor’s first proper Fourth of July celebration in three years included a concert at the newly renovated Maine Savings Amphitheater where celebrators and musicians alike got what they wanted by helping Maine children fighting cancer get what they need.

“Chords for Cure XXV” was a three-part benefit concert spearheaded by The Stone Doctors, a band of medical professionals that specialize in performing the music of The Rolling Stones. The band only performs for charity and has been performing concerts in aid of Maine children fighting cancer, and for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, since 2007.

“Chords for Cure XXV” was sponsored by Kiwanis International with generous support from Bangor Savings Bank, Darling’s Auto Group and Waterfront Concerts.

In addition to a two-hour show from The Stone Doctors, the concert included a rocking opening set by Bangor-based band Dakota and a closing performance from the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.

The transition between The Stone Doctors and the BSO involved a collaboration on the classic song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Dr. Ian Dickey of The Stone Doctors says this year’s Fourth of July concert was a remarkable experience that generated upwards of $17,000 for the cause.

“Thanks to the generosity of Darling’s Auto Group, we had $8,500 and half of that was raised during the show with people dipping into their wallets,” Dickey says.

Thanks to an in-kind match from Bangor Savings Bank, Dickey says the impressive total outlines the power of what can be done to help the community when people pull together.

“We’re looking at this as a new chapter for what will happen in the future on July 4 in Bangor,” Dickey says.

The Stone Doctors are used to rocking out to a broad selection of Rolling Stones hits and fan favorites but performing with an orchestra kept the doctors on the edge of their toes, Dickey says.

“There were a few cuticles chewed down to the quick because we had 50-world class musicians and award-winning conductor Lucas Richman operating with music charts that to us resembled sonograms of the bottom of the ocean (laughing). We knew we had to start on the same note and finish together and like Keith Richards used to say to Ronnie Wood: Keep your head down and I’ll meet you at the end. It was goosebumps fantastic and the sound was incredible.”

Thanks to the generosity of legendary southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, who’d performed at Maine Savings Amphitheater on July 3, the sound and lighting systems and crews remained in Bangor to help with “Chords for Cure XXV.” Dickey says that was a huge help in reducing production cost for the show.

“We love our rock and roll brethren in Lynyrd Skynyrd,” Dickey says, “But the sound engineers kind of pushed the volume during Dakota’s fabulous opening set so we had to pull it back a few decibels,” he said with a laugh.

Dickey says plans are already in the making for next year’s “Chords for Cure” concert in Bangor on July 4 and he says discussions are underway on how the event can build on what was accomplished this year.

“I had three hours of phone calls this week about exactly that,” he says. “We’re looking at tweaking what we did this year and possibly expanding our collaboration with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. People have told us they wanted more and they would also like to see the symphony extend their performance into the fireworks display.”

Dickey says it was a humbling experience to set his guitar on its stand as he become enveloped in the sound of 50 musicians performing Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” as a massive multi-colored fireworks display exploded overhead.

“If you take that in and it doesn’t mist your eyes up a little bit you’ve got a hard heart,” he says. “Looking back at the day’s events, from the pancake breakfast, the turkey trot run, the parade, the concert and the fireworks show, it was really an incredible way for this city to come together to celebrate July 4 for the first time in three years.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 July 2022 13:12


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