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Three bands to ‘Rock for Children’ to benefit Make-A-Wish

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Three bands to ‘Rock for Children’ to benefit Make-A-Wish (edge photo by Kevin Bennett)

BANGOR – Three well-known Maine bands are slated to come together for a night of music to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Sunday, May 26, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., at Penobscot Pour House, located at 14 Larkin St. in Bangor.

The event – dubbed “Rock for Children” – will be headlined by Dakota and is scheduled to also include sets from the bands Live Wire and The Uncrowned Kings.

“Rock for Children” is scheduled to include a 50/50 raffle, prizes and giveaways throughout the evening. Admission will be a $6 suggested donation at the door. All proceeds will go toward making a wish come true for a child in Maine.

Vinny Cormier, guitarist and vocalist for Dakota, says this event will temporarily supplant The Penobscot Music Festival which will take a hiatus for 2019 after five consecutive Memorial Day weekends.

“The festival might return next year,” Cormier said during an interview. “It’s a major investment in time to organize that show each year. Our band schedule never lets up so we decided to hold off on the festival this year, but it may be back. I’ll make that decision early in 2020.”

Since 2014, Cormier has helped organize five editions of the Penobscot Music Festival – with the first three taking place at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer and the last two at the Anah Shrine building on outer Broadway in Bangor. Funds from each festival were forwarded to several charities related to children.

“All of the bands involved are still giving their time for the cause, and I think we can all agree that Make-A-Wish is a pretty awesome charity,” Cormier said. “The kids that they help are going through things that nobody should have to deal with. Make-A-Wish brings some much-needed light and fun into their lives. It’s an honor to partner with them for this ‘Rock for Children’ event.”

Cormier says that each of the three bands on the “Rock for Children” bill will play a variety of music for the event.

“Live Wire is a great band that plays a mix of classic rock, new rock, and country,” said Cormier.

“The Uncrowned Kings are from central Maine,” he added. “The band consists of members of other successful bands, and they play classic rock, modern rock and outlaw country.”

And Dakota will do what they’ve been doing best since 1986 – they’ll rock.

“We’re adding new material all the time,” said Cormier. “We do classic rock, new rock, alternative stuff and we’re doing a lot of longhair 80s metal at the moment. I’m so happy with this lineup. These guys are so dedicated. Ask Uncle Kracker – he’ll tell you (laughs).”

Last month, Dakota performed two shows with the singer-songwriter and rapper, known for pop, country and rock hits like “Follow Me,” “Smile” and his hit cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away,” which featured a duet with the original artist.

“We played with Uncle Kracker up in Houlton,” Cormier said. “Just before the second show, we told him we had to hit the road the minute we walked offstage so we could drive to Bangor to play our third show that day. He told us we were insane (laughing). This band never complains. We love every minute.”

Each band at Sunday evening’s “Rock for Children” event will play a set at least one hour in length. Dakota’s headlining set will be an extra long one, according to Cormier.

“We’ll invite some special guests up to join us during our closing set, including Mike Steller from the band Shyboy,” he said. “It’s going to be a great night of music all to generate funds for Make-A-Wish. Since the next day will be Memorial Day, we’re counting on a big turnout.”

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