Five for Fighting - The “World” Tour
Columbus, Ohio is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a National Hockey League team. I don’t write much about hockey; I write about music and the things that it often relates or connects to. Today, I have a reason to mention hockey.
Now, I’ve been to a few hockey games at the Nationwide Arena and I know what the term “Five for Fighting” means. It’s when a player has to sit out for five minutes because of fighting. It’s also the name John Ondrasik chose as his stage name.
John Ondrasik is the creator, voice, lyrics and music behind Five for Fighting. And, he is also something that I am – a writer. I don’t mean just his incredible and thought provoking lyrics – no – John Ondrasik also writes a hockey column at SI.com (Sports Illustrated's website) and is a contributor for Hotsoup.com, a political website. He knows what it is like to take what’s in your head and write it for the world to read.
My job today (a scary one) is to write about a man who sings, writes and plays music, pens columns, loves hockey and has a deep passion about our world and what we can do to change it.
Five for Fighting’s “World” tour gets underway Tuesday, April 17 in Bakersfield, California and John is taking this opportunity to ask all of us to help make a difference.
In this piece, my opinion is intermingled with facts and website links, but this is not a regurgitated press release. This article comes after hours of watching, reading, listening and thinking. Not just thinking about the music, but about what I’m doing in my own life to make our world a better place.
Listen to the Music, Watch the Videos, Then Do Something, Please?
There was a time when FM radio, in its early stages, was hosted in a style called “free form”. Disc Jockeys like Jim Ladd and Rachel Donahue would choose their own music and weave it around spot breaks that would tell a story, jolt your conscience or make you react to the world and what was going on around you. They chose artists and songs that showed commitment and passion, not just for musical art, but for society and our world.
John Ondrasik is such an artist. A good writer knows all the rules and can construct sentences that entertain and keep you reading. A great writer does all the above, yet his words make you stand-up and react. John did just that with his first Grammy nominated song, "Superman (It’s Not Easy),” that became an anthem of healing for the United States after 9/11. He has the great gift of writing lyrics that delve into subjects that we often find uncomfortable as a society. In song, John talks about war, love, our culture, morality issues, and change.
That is what the “World” tour is about. Change and what we can do, not only as Five for Fighting fans—but as a society—to make a difference. The second single “World” off the Two Lights CD asks the question “What Kind Of World Do You Want?” This song inspired John to create a website to help us all answer this question and to get actively involved.
The whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com website is the first of its kind. It was launched in February and is a music video community that helps raise money for charitable organizations. This concept is awesome. It’s not a strict donation site with a pay here type of link; it’s interactive and you can create and post your own video message. I had no idea what to expect when I starting watching the videos. They make you stop -- feel -- think -- and act. These are not professional cinematographers; these are people like you and me that have computers, compassion and something to say about what we want, what we care about.
We love videos at BellaOnline, and I know many of you are very talented – I’ve seen some of your montages and You Tube creations. Remember – I was a fan before I was a writer, I know the power we have when we “band” together. This is a place for you to show your talent and message in order to make a change – to make the world the way you want it to be. Before you decide you're not ready for “Lights! Camera! Action!” don’t worry, if you don’t want to make a video, you can watch and comment on what others have made. Either way, you are helping to raise money for charities like Autism Speaks and Breast Cancer 3-Day: Komen for the Cure.
Autism is being discussed openly and honestly and the support for parents and care-givers is getting stronger, but the end is far from sight. Breast Cancer is a horrible disease that touches so many of us with our own diagnoses and scares along with those of our friends, daughters, sisters and mothers. And, we can’t forget or get around the pain and difficulties that 9/11 has left us. We are all trying to build a life that is safe and makes sense during this time of war and terrorism. John’s site can help the NY Police and Fire Widows & Children Benefit Fund do the same thing. I have only highlighted three of the charities that you can help. I have listed the link at the bottom of this article as well as other links for Five for Fighting. If you do decide to make a video, please also post the link in our Pop Talk forum – let’s show John how creative his fans can be. Who knows, one of you could win the grand prize of a private Five for Fighting concert. A random winner will be drawn from 20 of the most viewed videos. You can count on me to help promote your video, just let me know!
You will find The “World” Tour schedule and Five for Fighting links below.
Thank you for reading. I wanted to share this with you and in doing so it made me take a closer look at me and the recent changes I’ve made in my own life and views. I write for BellaOnline because it’s a non-profit community and many of our ad spots are for charity organizations. I listen to pop music because I love it and it’s an extra bonus cut to find an instance when my love for pop music mingles with the personal causes and interests of artists like John Ondrasik.
By the way, John, I have a bit of hockey trivia for you from Columbus, Ohio. Can you tell me what the mascot is for the Blue Jackets? What’s his name?
Have a great week, everyone. Write to you soon!
The "World" Tour
Five for Fighting’s tour kicks off in Bakersfield, CA with opening act Chantal Kreviazuk.
April 17 - Bakersfield, CA – Majestic Fox Theatre
April 18 - Las Vegas, NV - House Of Blues
April 20 - San Diego, CA - 4th & B
April 21 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theatre
April 23 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
April 26 - Kansas City, MO - Voodoo Lounge
April 27 - Dallas, TX - Lakewood Theatre
April 28 - Austin, TX - Hogg Memorial Theatre
April 30 – Lake Buena Vista, FL - House Of Blues
May 02 - 4th Street Live - Louisville, Kentucky - **with Collective Soul
May 04 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
May 06 - Albany, NY - The Egg
May 08 - Verona, NY - Turning Stone Casino
May 09 - Philadelphia, PA - Keswick Theatre
May 11 - Mashantucket, CT - Foxwoods Resort Casino
May 12 - New York, NY - Nokia Theatre Times Square
May 15 - Cleveland, OH - House Of Blues
May 17 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre
May 18 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre
May 19 - Minneapolis, MN - The Guthrie Theatre
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