The Reno Blues Society’s (RBS) annual Veterans Day Dance transformed into the Halloween Monster Mash this year, but continued its 24-year tradition of raising money for veterans’ organizations. The recipients of this year’s funds are the Veterans Guest House and Adopt-a-Vet Dental, which will split the $886 raised.
Last year the dance raised $2,000 which was split between these two worthy causes.
Three local blues bands (of course) were on the bill this year: Jokers Wild Blues Band, Blue Haven, and 9BelowZero.
First up was Jokers Wild, who played a great set. During the first break Randy Napolitano, the night’s emcee, announced that they were going to play a patriotic song (“The Armed Forces Medley”) and asked that the veterans in the room stand during their song. It was a very moving tribute.
Blue Haven was next up and, not surprisingly, the dance floor was filled as soon as they started to play. As always they, too, played a great set.
The next break featured the costume contest with all sorts of ghoulish looking characters. There was no shortage of men dressed as very well-endowed women. The winners received complimentary tickets for next year’s party. The 50/50 raffle drawing came next, and the winner gave their spoils back to the RBS. Pretty classy move!
Also during this break the Washoe County School District’s (WCSD) music department was presented with a check for $1,878.80 from funds raised in the silent auction at RBS’s spring dance. WCSD’s music teacher Alan Sullivan was on hand to accept the award, which was presented by RBS’s Napolitano, Tom Martin, Jamie Klund, and Dennis Ratto.
9BelowZero played the third set and kept the party going. All night long there was no shortage of dancers. Everybody seemed to be having a great time. The sound was great, the venue at downtown Reno’s Club Cal Neva was great, and there was a bar in the back of the room that prepared great drinks. I’m confident that the evening is going to reflect well for the charities.
Did I say it was great?
Update: This story has been updated to include the amount raised at this year’s event.
Nick McCabe is a Reno-based photojournalist and musician. He’s been shooting concerts in the Reno-Tahoe area since 2006 and writing articles and reviews since 2012, as well as doing interviews on occasion. His musical education and playing experience goes back to 1967. He is a founding member of the Reno Tahoe Forte’ Awards, and he still plays music locally for enjoyment. First concert: Jimi Hendrix. Last concert: we’ll see.