Hurricane Sandy tribute brings boroughs together


Devendra Banhart

Christian Gomez

Hipsters and activists came together for a sold out concert at the St. Ann & Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights Nov. 17, with all proceeds going to Occupy Sandy and their relief efforts across New York. The unorthodox venue was host to Real Estate, Vampire Weekend, Devendra Banhart, The Walkmen, Cass McCombs, and the Dirty Projectors all playing acoustic performances of their own popular songs and a few covers. The concert was entirely donation based and everyone in attendance offered from $30 or more toward Occupy Sandy and their work helping those who have been affected by the hurricane in the New York area.

A line that rounded the block transitioned to every seat being taken inside attendants were patience, polite, and charitable as the St. Ann Holy Trinity opened its doors for this very rare event as music and giving has come together. Occupy Sandy has quickly and effectively helped in the recover efforts of the New York, New Jersey and any other areas greatly affected, providing food banks, helping find shelters and generally helping those who need it the most. Important information for those trying to return to normalcy is offered by Occupy Sandy in both English and Spanish on topics such as getting rid of mold and properly killing germs with bleach. All this information is available free for anyone who needs it on their website.

The concert was organized by volunteers from both the St. Ann Church and Occupy Sandy members who in five days. The bands played largely acoustic sets that fit the church setting. Devendra Banhart played to perfection with his unorthodox singing style, the most memorable of the set was Devendra’s duo performance with just his bassist as they played covers to Spanish songs and a few of his better known songs.

The overall tone of the event was one of giving and enjoying music, all of the acts offered very personal versions of some of their biggest songs and closeness was felt in a venue that is typically a place of communion and good faith. The Occupy group has offered a very new type of benefit concert in a local venue that has a community that wishes to help and bands both of the areas that have been affected and bands that just wish to help in the relief effort. Bands such as Real Estate hailing from New Jersey played songs that describe their home state in a good light, counter to the typical stereotype of Jersey; all the acts chosen fit the venue and the concerts purpose of relief. Donations are still being taken, more information on helping or getting help is available online at