‘Meltdown’ time again for Wills, with twist

SOUTH SURREY – What happens when an annual benefit concert’s main beneficiary meets its goals and wraps up as a charity? The obvious answer would be to celebrate and thank the concert’s organizers for years of support.For Motown Meltdown, an annual benefit concert that raised money for Shooting Stars Foundation, a charity that gave funds to people living with AIDS, it was a different story."That foundation had accomplished its goal and found itself wrapped up, but there were so many people who wanted Motown Meltdown as an event to continue that a couple of the organizers said, ‘Let’s see what we can do,’" explained David Wills, a South Surreybased musician and longtime supporter of the annual charity event.Wills is perhaps best known as Stonebolt’s singer in the 1970s, and today manages a few country and RB bands though his company, Raincoast Music. He also performs in an RB band called The Dynamics.This year’s Motown Meltdown, set for Saturday, March 28 at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom, will feature 26 different vocalists fronting the same 12-piece band, each picking a song out of the "old Motown songbook."Proceeds from the concert will benefit Seva, a charity providing money and medical supplies to prevent blindness in developing countries."Up until now, Motown Meltdown has pumped money into the community, right downtown in the West End, and now it’s going from the West End to Africa," Wills said.Though organizers of the show are doing things a little differently this year, Wills maintains there’s something they’ve been doing right all along."The underlying thing that drives Motown Meltdown is how to have a rockin’ good time and give back at the same time," he said."People there party their brains out, they dance from the very first note of the first song. It’s cross-generational, all music genres, it’s just this massive energy happening on the dance floor."Performers include veteran blues singer-guitarist Jim Byrnes, The Sojourners, Oliver Conway and young singer-songwriter Ali Milner."The main thing about Motown Meltdown is that it’s a tradition," Wills said. "It cuts across all music genres, it cuts across all generations, and it’s a way for people to go out and let loose, have fun and know that it’s going directly to a good cause."Though Wills has co-hosted the event before, this is the first year he’ll be emceeing on his own."I don’t get involved with this just to talk," he said. "Talking is just something to keep the show-flow going. No one in the crowd wants to hear some skinny old white guy talking to the crowd going, ‘Blah blah blah,’ so we’ll see what happens."Tickets for the event are $32 in advance at Ticketmaster.ca, or $42 at the door.kalexandra@thenownewspaper.com

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