On Thursday night, the Arts District’s Velveteen Rabbit hosted a victims benefit night. Beer, wine, even high-alcohol kombucha and, of course, craft cocktails were served as attendees migrated to the bar’s comfortable and intimate outdoor stage for live performances by local acts including Avalon Landing, Cameron Calloway and The Lique. All proceeds from bar sales and suggested donations—an unofficial count of more than $8,500—will be matched by Zappos to benefit the victims of the October 1 terrorist attack during the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Kat Kalling was an energetic opener, shouting out “Vegas strong” in between lively acoustic numbers and a cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” British-born stage performer, dancer and, as we saw that evening, musician Charlie Starling charmed the growing crowd with her ukulele with covers of Frank Turner and Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Halsey Harkins, who helped organize the event, breezed through her short set, crooning from behind the keyboard. Kaylie Foster then joined her onstage for a performance of “Bullets,” which she initially wrote following the November 2015 terrorist attack in Paris, belting the refrain: Why can’t guns shoot out love? Up next was Sonia Barcelona, who delivered a spellbinding performance by creatively looped her own vocals via effects pedals.
After all that swaying back and forth, crooner Cameron Calloway woke the crowd with the funky “Supernatural” and soulful “April 23rd,” along with John Lennon and Frank Hammond covers. Next up was The Lique, who kept the flame going with some lively rap/jazz/funk/soul. Avalon Landing closed out the evening with another Beatles cover, this time “Revolution.”
Above the drinks and music, the evening facilitated a sense of connection among Las Vegans—a message that we’re not alone in our pain and in our healing.