PORT ORCHARD — There’s a lot of significance in the May 26 concert at Bruce Titus Ford, 1215 Bay St., Port Orchard.
One, the event will feature veterans from such rock groups as Steppenwolf and Pegasus.
Two, the spotlight will be shared with some young, emerging artists: Hannah Michelle Weeks, 20-year-old country singer/songwriter from Stanwood; and Sin Circus, comprised of four metal wunderkinds from Puyallup.
Three, admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the Kitsap Humane Society.
The concert starts at 2 p.m. when Born To Be Wild takes the stage. The group, which includes former members of Steppenwolf, performed for years as Magic Carpet Ride. The group regularly performs at benefit concerts; a concert for the Thurston County Boys and Girls Club at the Great Wolf Lodge in 2009 helped raise more than $400,000.
The concert also benefits a couple of causes close to event organizer Glen Bui’s heart. Cause No. 1: The Born to be Wild manager/guitarist is also an animal welfare advocate who serves on the board of directors of the American Canine Foundation.
Cause No. 2: Bui likes to introduce audiences to emerging talent. At the 2012 Americana Music Festival in Poulsbo, aspiring vocalist Molly Walmsley of Kingston High School joined the band for the Lynyrd Skynyrd rock-blues classic “Simple Man.” At a benefit performance in December, the group was joined by harpist Amanda Grazadzielewski on “Stairway to Heaven.”
Bui was likewise impressed with Weeks and Sin Circus and invited them to perform at the May 26 benefit. “I’ve listened to Hannah’s music and she’s great,” said Steve Gould, general manager of Bruce Titus Ford. “I saw a Sin Circus show at Envy in Poulsbo. They sound just like Motley Crue.”
Weeks has been performing since age 12. Her debut album in 2009, "Life’s a Drama,” was produced by the late award-winning songwriter/producer Tim Johnson and recorded in Nashville.
Weeks has opened for Highway 101, Rodney Atkins, Kenny Chesney, and Darius Rucker, former lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Hootie & the Blowfish. Sin Circus is comprised of Derek Unger, vocalist/bassist; Devon Unger, vocalist/lead guitarist; Matt Zazula, guitarist; and Chase Hite, drums/backing vocals. The Ungers’ father, Steve, a bassist from Metal Church, formed the band in 2007.
Sin Circus’ repertoire of covers includes Blink 182, KISS, Poison, Van Halen, and Motley Crue. John Larson wrote of Sin Circus in the May 3, 2012 Tacoma Weekly: “Few teenagers around here can say they played a Motley Crue song in a bar and [Crue frontman] Vince Neil came up to them afterward to say how impressed he was by their rendition. The boys in Sin Circus can. Members of the South Hill-based rock band had that experience last summer when they played a gig at the Backstage Bar & Grill.”
Gould said he expects up to 300 people at the concert. There will be food vendors, and the Humane Society will have a booth. Members of a car club will display their classic cars.
Gould said the concert evolved from a conversation between he and Bui, who he befriended after buying a guitar from him.
“He told me about his work with dogs. And every quarter, Bruce Titus picks a cause [to support]. I thought the Kitsap Humane Society would be perfect for that.”
In addition to donations collected at the concert, Bruce Titus Ford will donate $25 to the Kitsap Humane Society for every vehicle it sells in May and June.
“We hope the concert raises awareness of the plight of the humane society, which is underfunded,” Gould said. “And we hope to raise a significant amount of money for them.”
The Humane Society operates a shelter in Silverdale, an adoption center in downtown Poulsbo, and a mobile adoption outreach program.
The Humane Society took in 5,000 animals and found homes for 4,500 in 2012, spokeswoman Kelly Michaels said. In addition, the society performed 3,751 spays and neuters.
“We’re on target to pass that number this year,” she said.