“If you have an instrument that you’re not playing, give it to a child,” said Steve Hart, director of the Foundation Room and board member of ARTTEC. The “Friend-Raiser” event took place Tuesday night inside the Foundation Room, at the top of Mandalay Bay. The purpose of the event was to both raise donations as well as awareness of ARTTEC, a school program slowly making its way into valley high schools. Of course, the big draw of the event was the reunion performance, the first in over fifteen years, of Kevin Cadogan and Arion Salazar, two founding members of Third Eye Blind.
ARTTEC stands for Arts Related Technical Training for Entertainment Center; their purpose is to give high school kids a chance to learn arts related job skills directly from industry professionals. Many celebrities work with ARTTEC and not only pass on their knowledge to the kids but also provide them with opportunities for hands-on experience on movie or television sets, music videos, and live concerts.
Some of the past projects ARTTEC students have worked on include the 2010 movie First Dog, the music video for Eddie Money’s song “One More Soldier Coming Home,” and various other film projects. The Backlight television series is also on the list of productions in which ARTTEC students play a major role. Locally, ARTTEC students do all of the camerawork for The Las Vegas Good News Show, a weekly entertainment and news program that first aired in February.
Kicking off the festivities of the evening, Brett Cohen and his band, The Jupiter Year, took the stage. Their style could be described as blues rock with soul. The passion that every member of the band played with was palpable; it was clear that they were in their element.
The Jupiter Year is the house band for the Las Vegas Good News Show, and a special honor was arraigned by Steve Hart for them after their opening act. Brett was allowed to jam out with the original Lucille guitar of B.B. King. As Hart explained, the Foundation Room and House of Blues believe that musical instruments, even signed or famous ones, such as Lucille, are best enjoyed when actually played; just looking at them behind glass is not the same.
Then the moment had finally arrived; Kevin Cadogan and Arion Salazar took the stage. It was known beforehand that Stephen Jenkins, the vocalist of the band, would not be present but it was not announced who would be filling his role. The honor went to Tyler Boyd, a young and immensely talented musician whose name we will likely hear more of. They wasted no time, beginning with their hit single “Losing A Whole Year.”
From there, they relived a few of their most popular hits from their first album. It was only fitting that they performed “Graduate” as well, considering that ARTTEC students helped in making the long-awaited music video for the song.
As it turns out, the last time that Third Eye Blind performed in Las Vegas was 1996. As already mentioned, this was the first time in over fifteen years that Cadogan and Salazar played together at all, making this a very special and memorable night for all in attendance.
The night ended with an appearance by Jeff Civillico, the host of the Las Vegas Good News Show, to announce the winners of the raffle prizes. It was a great ending to an exciting night, especially for the winners.