By Vanessa Cuellar
Tustin High School’s Key Club hosted their fourth annual Butterfly Empowerment Benefit Concert that was held on Saturday, May 16th. All of the proceeds went towards raising awareness for young women who have been abused or neglected in any way. This concert helped support organizations such as NYEMO Cambodia and Pathways to Independence to ensure that women receive the support and aid that they need. Not only was the concert for a great cause, but the performances were one to remember. Bands such as Phase Five, Trevor and Austin, Midnight Red, and many more hit the plaza stage for a night full of music and dancing. Hosted by special guest Kel Mitchell, this concert definitely “served” up great music.
The night kicked off with high school students performing cover songs and even some original. Kristin Nguyen started off with a beautiful interpretation of “Skinny Love” by Birdy. Leah Baltes performed “Ghost Town” on the guitar, and her light and airy voice captivated the room. Angie Ngo added her own little twist to “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake, and Wayne (aka Mr. Lunch Lady) rapped and had the crowd going.
Duo Trevor and Austin rocked the stage with a cool mix of acapella. One brother would beat box while the other would sing, and their voices filled the plaza with high energy and good vibes. Even host Kel Mitchell joined the fun by rap battling Trevor.
The night was still young when Nick Kandler and his group hit the stage. He performed his single “Tonight” and also did a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Goat” while playing the guitar. By now girls were singing and clapping along while Kandler captivated the space with his voice. After his amazing performance, boy band Phase Five had everyone on their feet. Although they were missing one member (who is currently working on getting his visa) Phase Five definitely made up for it by their vocals and dance moves.
The crowd was still high off the rush of energy from the other performances that you wouldn’t think it could get any louder. But when recording artist Katja Glieson was on, the whole plaza was lit up head to toe with neon lights and the sounds of fans could be heard from miles away. She rocked the stage dancing with her backup dancers to her song “Look at Us.”
With the night almost over, the fans waited impatiently for the main event: Midnight Red. Smoke arose from the stage and strobing lights appeared above as the teen heartthrobs emerged. The five boys performed their song “Hell Yeah” and some cover songs as well. The overall experience was unforgettable and everyone had a great time. Not only were their voices amazing but they also danced and interacted with the audience. To show their gratitude for making an appearance at Tustin, they surprised Ms. Tran (Key Club advisor) with a gift. Midnight Red finally concluded the show and reminded everyone the real purpose for the concert, to raise awareness for young and vulnerable women around the world.