Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and more will appear virtually as part of this year’s three-day “Winter Love Fest” for Light of Day, the New Jersey charity event which raises funds and awareness in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.
Highlights from Springsteen’s 2020 “Light of Day” appearance at the Paramount in Asbury Park (pictured) — where he joined Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers for a 75-minute set — will be online during the Saturday night (Feb. 13) stream, which will be available through YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook live channels. Van Zandt fans will get a treat with clips from his Disciples of Soul’s 2017 appearance and tribute to the Beatles at the Cavern Club .
Over three days and 15 hours of streaming content, the extravaganza will feature new and old clips from over 80 artists who’ve participated in the past, including Linda Chorney, Low Cut Connie, Glen Burtnik, Jeffrey Gaines, Dramarama, Steve Forbert, Willie Nile, John Eddie & His Dirty ‘Ol Band, Jesse Malin, Williams Honor, Bruce Springsteen fan group the “Spring-Nuts” and more.
“In typical Light of Day Fashion, we just went above and beyond sanity,” says festival director Tony Pallagrosi. “I was thinking about reining it in and making it manageable, but there was something that wasn’t very exciting or Light of Day about it. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and let’s go for it and make it more like Light of Day.
Pallagrosi revealed that over the last two years, the fundraiser dubbed “Bob’s Birthday Bash,” in honor of music industry veteran Bob Benjamin, who has been battling Parkinson’s since 1996, was recorded professionally.
“That’s what we are showing, highlights from the last two years at the Paramount,” he explains. “None of that has ever been broadcast before. The only people who actually saw it were the people who were in the building, so we are opening it up to a much larger audience who weren’t able to get tickets to the Paramount to see those shows.”
While Jett is expected to perform the Springsteen-penned song, “Light of Day” (she starred in the film — after which the charity is named), Pallagrosi said there will be several renditions of the song, including a submission from the Spring-Nuts.
“The Spring-Nuts have contributed two wonderful videos, and have raised about $12,000 for Light of Day this year,” he said. “Between the two videos and the two T-Shirts designed for the occasion, which raised $5,000.”
Additionally, a golf outing last fall added $20,000 to the cause, with a virtual auction of classic photos contributed by Mark Weiss–including shots of Springsteen, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Queen and The Rolling Stones-expected to raise more.
For Adam Weiner, frontman for Low Cut Connie, participation in the festival is personal. Although he now lives in South Philadelphia, he grew up in New Jersey and had attended Light of Day as a fan. Two of the group’s performances from 2019, including the honky-tonk foot stomper “Boozophilia,” will be featured. s
Says Weiner: “It will give people a taste of that absolute no-hold barred, full contact rock and roll experience that we provide that we can’t in a full way right now. I’m from New Jersey and grew up worshipping rock and rollers like Springsteen, Little Steven and Joan Jett, and sharing the stage with them was a thrill, but this is cool because New Jersey has been challenged in the past, with Hurricane Sandy, but New Jerseyans are a resilient bunch, and it’s an honor to get together as entertainers and give people a shot in the arm while they are waiting for their actual shot in the arm.”
Americana artist Chorney, who recently released the comedy series “Saving Bernie” following her documentary, “When I Sing,” is returning to Light of Day since last appearing in 2012. For the occasion, she is premiering a new song, “Bored,” written in quarantine and performed from her bedroom.
“I only wrote it less than a month ago, bored out of my mind,” Chorney tells Variety. “I haven’t written a song in a while, and everybody was going through their thing and depression, and I hadn’t picked up my guitar much during the pandemic. The worst part is not feeling productive, and this actually cheered up my day. … This song is to send out healing vibes to people who are suffering. Here I am complaining that I’m bored, but I am healthy at least, and breathing. And that is the dilemma of the song.”
Chorney hadn’t played Light of Day since she was nominated for a Grammy in 2012, the same year as Springsteen. “Bruce and I were both nominated that year, and there I was on the Paramount stage right after he was on it,” she says of the moment that was highlighted in “When I Sing.”
Pallagrosi hopes the virtual version, which will stretch from Feb 12 to Feb 14, will offer fans a much needed diversion. For more information and lineup, head to the Light of Day site.