Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Seriously Heart Tour 2008

Last weekend, I had a chance to watch an up-and-coming L.A. band, Seriously, perform at Stanford as part of their "Heart Tour" to raise awareness for the dire shortage of bone marrow donors in the U.S. There's a disproportionately miniscule pool of donors for Asian Americans. Organizations like Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, the Asian American Donor Program (endorsed by Survivor Cook Islands Winner, Yul Kwon), and Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation are working hard to register new donors and to increase the probability that more Leukemia patients will find matches. Check out any of those links to find out more info.

The band consists of Chris Pham on vocals and acoustic guitar, Alex Yi on electric guitar, Joshua Baek on bass guitar, and Philip Park on Drums and viola. The band is produced by Woody Pak and Gloria Lee, friends of a friend of mine. Woody is the head of Chaos Theory Music and has composed scores for Making Tracks the Musical, the film The Grace Lee Project, and a variety of other TV, film, and recording projects. Gloria is an ethnomusicologist researching Asian American popular music.

Seriously played a couple of sets that ranged from hard-rocking, electric guitar-driven arrangements to mellow acoustic guitar and viola-based combos. For one song about the mechanization of daily life, the band moved around the stage robotically. In another, the guitarist busted a guitar string and the band attempted some jokes. Overall, they seemed like a fun group of guys.

Among the songs I liked the best -- Godspeed Cats and Dogs, and Fireflies. The latter most-likely because it featured acoustic guitar a bit. In fact, in some other songs I wish they would have turned the acoustic guitar up a little bit so that you could hear it better.

Overall it was a fun evening centered around a good cause. At some point during the evening, Yul Kwon even proposed to his girlfriend on stage!

Here's a video of the band playing at Berkeley: