Many believe that music has healing powers, and this is what rockstar Bret Michaels wanted to prove. On Sunday he headlined a benefit concert for those affected by the twin tornadoes that hit the town of Pilger in Nebraska in June. The town has been struggling to rebuild itself for two months, and many considered Michaels’ concert a welcome respite as well as a way to have fun while contributing to relief efforts.
"It's great that he is doing that for us, I mean I am grateful for it. I mean I wasn't going to miss it, I knew that," said Billy Mitchell, a long-time resident of Pilger, to WOWT 6 News.
People reportedly lined up outside the DeVent Center in Norfolk, Nebraska hours before the show, which was sold out by the end of the night. Donations were coursed through Michaels’ foundation, Life Rocks, with $45,000 raised just by the concert.
— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) August 25, 2014
— KristiCapek (@KristiCapek) August 25, 2014
“We want people to feel great. I want to make this a celebration of the spirit of really what Nebraska is,” said Michaels. He sang hits such as “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Something To Believe In” to a crowd that rallied in support of the town of Pilger.
“If I could play the music and live out my dream, I feel blessed, I feel thankful and to be able to give back a little or a lot, whatever we could give back into that community that is a great day,” Michaels said to WOWT 6 News.
The story of Pilger resident Kandi Murphree was one that made the rounds in the media. Her story illustrates the extent of the damage that the tornadoes made on Pilger and the people who lived there. The tornadoes claimed the life of her five-year-old daughter, Calista Dixon, and left Murphree in a coma for two months. She recently awoke to find that she had lost Calista and no longer had a home. However, efforts like Michaels’ to help Pilger are giving her the strength to move on with her son and daughter.
“I'm dealing with it now, and we're going to be 100 percent,” said Murphree.