Kings of Leon, The Flaming Lips, Jackson Browne and Built to Spill are preparing to rock Chesapeake Energy Arena, while Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn and Willie Nelson soon will have the University of Oklahoma going country.
Almost four weeks after a deadly EF5 tornado devastated Moore, Oklahoma's creative community continues to raise funds and spirits for those affected by the tragedies of May.
From country music superstar Blake Shelton and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson to Grammy nominee John Fullbright and reunited red dirt standouts The Great Divide, Sooner State musicians have combined to raise millions for various tornado relief efforts. In addition, stand-up comedians, improv performers and dancers have organized benefit shows following this spring's destructive weather.
After all, the ferocious storms and their subsequent heartbreak didn't begin and end with the May 20 tornado in Moore and south Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, devastating twisters ripped through Carney, Shawnee and Little Axe on May 19, while another EF5 tornado struck the El Reno area May 31 and was followed by ruinous flash flooding throughout the metro area.
It's encouraging, then, that Oklahoma's music makers, performing artists and event organizers just keep reaching out to help the victims.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for the July 23 Rock for Oklahoma tornado benefit that will feature Kings of Leon, The Flaming Lips, Jackson Browne, Built to Spill and special guests at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
“Shakespeare said ‘It is not enough to help the needy up, but to support them after' and in our small way we are trying to not just be here at the moment of immediate need, but to stay and help with the rebuilding. After all, this is our home and they are us and we are them,” said Wayne Coyne, the Oklahoma City-based frontman of The Flaming Lips, in a news release.
Priced at $35 and $50 (but subject to applicable fees), tickets for the benefit concert will be available at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
“We couldn't be more proud to lend a hand to our home state. We were all devastated by what happened there,” said Jared Followill, bassist for Kings of Leon, a Grammy-winning rock band that has Oklahoma City and Talihina ties, in the release. “We have family and friends that were affected by the tornadoes … this is the least we could do.”
Toby Keith Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert
An all-star lineup of the country variety is set for the highly anticipated "Toby Keith Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert" set for July 6 at the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.
The lineup of performers, now being assembled, includes Owasso residents Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn and Texas icon Willie Nelson.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 21 at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000. All seats are $25, all inclusive, all seats reserved, with an eight-ticket purchase limit, according to an email from Keith's publicist.
Proceeds will benefit The United Way Of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
“I grew up in Moore, I live in Norman and I've got lots of family and friends who were directly affected,” Keith said in the email. “I know these folks and they're resilient, but we're going to keep helping them any way we can. I'm proud to get together with some others from around here who are just as committed as I am to supporting these communities.”
Many musicians who have no personal bonds to the state have stepped up to lend their support, too.
New Orleans touring act Generationals will headline the Heal OK benefit concert at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Opolis, 113 N Crawford in Norman. The Louisiana rockers, who experienced a similar calamity when Hurricane Katrina ravaged their hometown, volunteered to play the show for free to raise funds for American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma.
Oklahoma musicians Skating Polly, The Wurly Birds and Colin Nance will open Wednesday's show, according to Joshua Boydston, communications director for the Norman Arts Council and the show's organizer.
In addition, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the University of Oklahoma campus is taking monetary tornado relief donations at the front desk for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Museum admission is always free, and art lovers are invited to consider the museum a place of rest and reflection in the wake of the tornadoes.
Patrons will have an added incentive to give to the cause this weekend, as the museum is offering special events, including live music and short-film screenings, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday during Norman's 2nd Friday Circuit of Art.
Also this weekend, four local dance companies — Hartel Dance Group, Oklahoma City Ballet, Perpetual Motion Dance and Race Dance — will perform signature and new works at Dance United — A Tornado Relief Benefit Performance at 8 p.m. Saturday at Hudson Performance Hall, 2801 NW 27.
Oklahoma City Philharmonic soloists Sam Formicola, Peggy Payne and Valorie Tatge will play live during two Oklahoma City Ballet dances. Event proceeds will go to the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“Oklahoma is a tight-knit community, and the local dance scene in Central Oklahoma is strong,” Oklahoma City Ballet Artistic Director Robert Mills said in a news release. “We wanted to do something to help raise funds for those affected and to help us all heal.”