Friday, November 20, 2009

Public Enemy at Lisner Auditorium

Public Enemy came to DC yesterday on a mission -- not to fight the power, but rather to use their influence to fight youth homelessness in the District and the rest of the country. The evening began at the Sasha Bruce House, where Chuck D, Flavor Flav and the rest of the iconic hip-hop group toured the facility and hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for more than 30 homeless youth.

Following the dinner, Public Enemy then took to the streets themselves, playing a few of their hits on the back of a flatbed truck as it made it’s way through George Washington University’s campus en route to Lisner Auditorium, where the band was scheduled to put on a charity-driven concert (all ticket proceeds went directly to the Sasha Bruce House).

While the show itself was an opportunity for the band to showcase its legendary performances, it was clear from the onset that the evening’s goal was to put a spotlight on National Homeless Youth Awareness month. Flavor Flav, never the shy one with a mic in hand, continuously urged those gathered outside Lisner to purchase a ticket and support the cause.

The successful night -- really, if you were walking around Foggy Bottom and didn’t know what was going on, you were in for quite a spectacle -- would not have been possible without the help of Virgin Mobile, whose Re*Generation initiative is aimed at helping homeless youth. Their signs, of course, were plastered everywhere, but that’s fine; while it takes a nation of millions to hold Public Enemy back, it also takes millions to make a difference. If last night’s show is the catalyst for even a few people to go out and help those less fortunate, I'm certainly not going to argue.

A few more pictures can be found on Flickr.