This is a concert that has been in preparation for three years.
And after a few schedule changes, it will finally take place – locally and featuring several big names in Chicago’s sports and entertainment industry.
“Dedicated,” a memorial concert for former Beverly resident Chris Castaneda’s mother, will be held Dec. 10 at Blue Island Beer Company.
Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Association, and performers include Sonic45, which is led by White Sox radio announcer Len Kasper, and a band that will perform songs by rock band REM.
Castaneda’s mother, Elvira “Bee” Castaneda, battled diabetes, so for him the event is a way to honor a woman who was still attending concerts after both of her legs were amputated below the knee.
“This show is for her,” said Castaneda, who now lives in Homewood. “It’s a tribute to the support she gave to our musical experience. I kinda appreciate the memories I have of her inviting herself to concerts I used to go to, sitting in the [World Theatre in Tinley Park] with REM on stage.
Sonic45, a new wave band, was founded by Kasper, who was the Cubs’ TV presenter for 16 years before moving to the Sox’s radio booth two years ago.
Other members include Dag Juhlin of Chicago band Poi Dog Pondering; Matt Spiegel, who is part of the famous cover band Tributosaurus and hosts the “Parkins and Spiegel Show” on 670 AM-The Score; and Chicago musicians Gerald Dowd and Liam Davis.
A long line of other musicians will perform, including Castaneda on guitar, and the evening will end with “an all-star collection” of musicians playing an REM tribute set.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.
General admission tickets are $30 and a general admission ticket including a poster is $50.
Castaneda, who regularly hosts concerts for the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, began hosting this show in the fall of 2019, after her mother passed away in March 2019.
Joe Shanahan, the owner of the Metro Chicago theater on the North Side, visited the Beverly Art Walk music stage, which is hosted by The Alliance, and Castaneda inquired about hosting a show in memory of his mother. .
Next, Castaneda saw Sonic45 and contacted the band about the performance.
Of course, COVID-19 hit six months later, and even in 2021 concerns about the virus remained.
Castaneda planned to host the show at the Metro this year, but a scheduling error occurred.
So he turned to Blue Island Beer Company, 13357 S. Old Western Ave.
In the end, everything worked.
“The advantage is that it will be much closer to home, closer to the neighborhood,” Castaneda said. “It will be a fun opportunity for a lot of these musicians who have never played on the South Side, especially Len’s band. … I’m really happy with the programming I was able to put together.
More importantly, he is proud to have found a way to honor his mother, who was a nurse technician at South Chicago Community Hospital, now Advocate Trinity Hospital, for 32 years.
When Castaneda once asked her why she became a nurse, she answered concisely: she just wanted to help people.
And at home, she was a patient and caring mother.
“I kind of wonder what this show would have been like in 2020, a year after he passed away,” Castaneda said. “It’s still kind of like it happened yesterday; but it’s been two years. Doing it now much closer to home is a good feeling. She grew up in a house with three other guys, and each of them had a stereo system – with my dad [Jesse]my brother [John] and myself. So she supported a lot of different volume levels.
Not only that, she encouraged her sons to love music.
“She’s always been a fan of music,” Castaneda said. “No matter what genre, if she liked it, she liked it. She never told me and my brother what we should listen to. If anything, she may have just asked us to turn down the volume; but it has always been quite encouraging.
REM was the last band his mother ever saw live, Castaneda said. Diabetes took its toll on her, so he wanted the proceeds from that show to go to the American Diabetes Association.
“Doing it for the American Diabetes Association was kind of a no-brainer,” said Castaneda, who also has diabetes. “If we were to honor her memory in some way, it’s the most fitting, having been through everything with her and diabetes.”
Concert attendees are also encouraged to bring canned foods to support the Greater Chicago Food Depository, as Castaneda’s mother regularly supported food pantries.
She “really loved helping others,” he said, and now he’s grateful to finally be able to host a concert on her behalf.
He said he “can’t express how grateful he is” to Blue Island Beer Company co-owner Alan Cromwell and business partner Dave Wilk for providing a venue.
Without them, Castaneda might have had to wait another year to host the show.
“Blue Island is just a great place,” Castaneda said, “for the music and the south side atmosphere.”