A concert with a cause

MEDLIFE Queen’s raises money with music

Kingston-based band Curfew performed at MEDLIFE’s concert this weekend.
Kingston-based band Curfew performed at MEDLIFE’s concert this weekend.
Credit: 
Supplied by Sophie Barkham

Campus pub Clark Hall was packed Saturday night for MEDLIFE’s second annual “Concert for Change,” which featured a mix of local bands and out-of-town talent. 

The Queen’s chapter of MEDLIFE helps students make visible contributions to the delivery of first aid health care to people in need across the world. All of the proceeds from the concert will go towards the MEDLIFE fund. 

The concert ran from 9 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. and featured three performers: local acts Elspeth Poulson and Curfew and Toronto band Sun K. Clark Hall provided an intimate setting for the event.

Alex Mladen, co-vice president of fundraising for MEDLIFE, came up with the idea for the “Concert for Change” last year. She says she’s pleased to see how it has grown. 

“The turnout improved a lot from last year,” Mladen said. “We decided to raise the stakes a bit by hiring a bigger act from Toronto rather than just having local acts.”

Elspeth Poulson, an indie performer and third-year Queen’s student, performed an acoustic set featuring covers as the first act. Her cover of Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” had the crowd clapping and singing along.

Next up was Curfew, a band comprised of Queen’s students Annie Brebner, ArtSci ’16, Spencer Swayze, ArtSci ’16, Owen Saar, ArtSci ’16, Nate Stevenson, Sci ’17, and Johnnie Cox, ArtSci ’16. They describe their sound as “alternative pop.” 

Curfew, which formed only this year, is quickly becoming a staple in the Queen’s music scene. Their upbeat sound and bubbly lead singer got the crowd on their feet and dancing. 

“It’s always fun to play at an event that helps others,” Curfew lead singer Annie Brebner said during the performance. “Particularly if it goes towards helping Queen’s students have such beneficial experiences.”

Toronto-based folk-rock band Sun K was the closing act. The four-member band began playing together in 2013 and released their first album Northern Lies last March. 

The band’s sound drew inspiration from folk and rock icons, including Bob Dylan and The Band. Their original songs, such as crowd-pleaser “New York City Blues,” kept the crowd on their feet throughout their entire set. Their full sound served as a perfect end note to an electrifying evening. 

Mladen said the event usually raises “a ton of money” and awareness about the MEDLIFE Queen’s chapter. MEDLIFE is an international NGO that works to provide free healthcare, education, and community development for low-income families in Ecuador, Peru and Tanzania. 

Conor Blayney, co-vice president of fundraising, explained the concert’s usefulness for the group.

“The concert is the perfect opportunity to grow MEDLIFE’s name on campus and to hopefully bring in more volunteers for mobile clinics, as well as hit the fundraising goals we set at the beginning of the year.”

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