Carson City residents went to War on Tuesday night. War won, as did the residents and the Greenhouse Project.
The band played as part of the fifth annual Concert Under the Stars, a Cafe at Adele’s summer staple to raise project funds, and music by three groups including headliner War filled the evening with vibes aplenty. War, formed in 1969, is a funk band with elements of rock, R&B, and reggae. Multi-genre, multi-ethnic memories stirred the crowd.
“This event this year is nostalgia for those of us who are over 50,” said Maurice Washington, former Nevada legislator and now deputy director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority. “We all drank wine with Cisco.”
His reference apparently was to songs from War’s early days, when the group recorded hits with its California sound that included “Spill the Wine” and “The Cisco Kid.” War, originally Eric Burdon and War, has sold more than 50 million albums.
Washington exchanged observations about the band and reminisced with Guy Rocha, retired state archivist, recalling the mixed-rock genres of the 1970s as they surveyed the growing crowd before War went on stage.
“This event — every year — is an oasis of culture,” Rocha said. He also chatted briefly about his time working with C-SPAN video journalists in town to record television shows about Carson City’s history, as did Mayor Robert Crowell. Crowell said he encouraged the C-SPAN crew to attend the concert and get some flavor of the capital city at night.
Before War came on, the crowd heard two opening acts, CW and Mr. Spoons, and Notch 8. Both are Carson City groups.
Between those two acts, Karen Abowd recapped the Greenhouse Project’s year, thanked concert sponsors NV Energy and Carson Tahoe Health, plugged the silent and live auctions upcoming during the event, and thanked her husband, Charlie, for his indulgence in hosting a fundraiser again this year.
Adele’s is the Abowds’ restaurant business; Karen Abowd, who serves on the city’s Board of Supervisors, is the Greenhouse Project founder and president. The project affords students a chance to grow plants and produce and help less fortunate peers needing food.
“Right now we are well ahead of last year’s production,” she told the crowd.
Among live-auction items were dinner with the band, valued as “priceless” and donated by the Abowds; War band memorabilia; one week’s stay in a home on Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, valued at $4,200; a VIP afternoon charter fishing trip for four at Lake Tahoe worth $650; and a Carson City uncirculated 1884 Silver Dollar valued at $200.
The silent auction included donated items to raise funds and help send four members of the Capitol FFA in Carson City to the National FFA Convention in October. The project and local FFA chapter partner in growing greenhouse plants and vegetables.
Before the event, Karen Abowd called War the biggest act ever for the annual concert. Tickets were $40 for general admission, $60 for premier seating and $100 for the limited number of veranda seats at the restaurant.