Did Saving Abel Bail on Northwest Charity to Follow the Buckcherry Money Trail?


Hey, remember Saving Abel? If, like me, there was a period of time in your life when you didn’t consider the subgenre of post-grunge to be a load of rancid piss-whiffle, then you likely do. Best known for their 2008 single “Addicted”, Saving Abel is that one post-grunge band that you always thought was Hinder or Buckcherry every time you heard them on the radio, and that you likely haven’t thought about in about seven years. Despite being one of the most unlistenably bad disaster areas in post-grunge to ever see mainstream success, they weren’t the sort of awful that made people interested in them, or that was just generic enough to keep them relevant, which even puts bands like Creed and Nickelback ahead of these guys. As such, they’re the sort of band you only remember exists whenever you see them in headlines for doing stupid shit. On that note…

An Operation Ward 57 production, Rock & Rally for the Troops is a fundraising charity concert that takes place annually in Pierce County, Washington, which takes a handful of rock bands, both local and touring, and has them perform to benefit injured and recovering veterans and service members. To quote their website directly:

The event will benefit wounded service members, their loved ones as well as those that aid in their recovery through the programs of Operation Ward 57, a non-profit that supports wounded warriors.

Last year’s Rock & Rally concert featured the likes of The Adarna, Ten Miles Wide (formerly known as The Mothership), Mom’s Rocket, Antihero, and several other local favourites. This year’s outing features Klover Jane, Van Eps and JP Hennessy, and, originally, Saving Abel was scheduled to headline the event at Cheney Stadium, which is a much larger venue than last year’s outing, which took place at Louie G’s Pizzeria in Fife, Washington. And, along with the much larger venue, the event coordinators decided on that headliner, Saving Abel, to help draw in more people and help more wounded warriors, and with Saving Abel’s history of playing shows that benefit that cause, it seemed like a perfect fit.

In fact, it was such a great fit that Rock & Rally for the Troops began spending thousands of dollars on promotion and an advance to the band, and all seemed well, until about two months ahead of show date, when Saving Abel began changing the terms of the original contract. They originally agreed that they’d be driving a van and a trailer, and, as part of the contract, asked for parking provisions for their tour rig, so it’s pretty clear they were planning on driving to play the event.

At some point, though, due to a familial situation, they asked if the charity would fly all of the band members out and backline the event, as opposed to them driving. Of course, this amounted to a several thousand dollar price tag that this small organization could not absorb. The charity did however make the offer to fly the band member out, whose significant other was expecting. Apparently the band said that the only way they could do the event would be if they were all flown out, so, in other words, they would not be able to be out on the road, which seems like a somewhat innocent-enough request given the circumstances.

However, let’s flash-forward to early this month, when Saving Abel and Buckcherry announced they’d be playing some shows together, which is kind of amazing when you think about it; two completely awful sound-alike bands playing a show together. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. But, they’re both rock bands, they should be out playing live shows, making money, getting more pussy than an animal rescue team, right? But let’s back up to the last paragraph. Remember, Saving Abel needed to be flown into shows, and couldn’t be out on the road driving?

Yeah, well, uh, the BuckAbel Tour (a name that sounds more of a threat to your mental well-being than an appealing tour idea; a name that could only be out-evil’d by the forthcoming “AdolfManson Tour”, coming soon to a city near you) covers several dates that are clearly an over-the-road touring situation. Which, again, is totally cool, I suppose. That said, remember the August 1st date that they wouldn’t able to play for the wounded warrior charity? As announced earlier, now they’re playing a show on that day in Joplin, Missouri, presumably staying somewhat local so they can join back up with the Buckcherry tour the following day in Des Moines, Iowa.

Amazing tour poster, by the way. It was very progressive of Buckcherry to hire a blind person to make their tour poster for them.

Here’s where the question lies: Did Saving Abel follow the money and publicity trail that only an opening slot for Buckcherry could provide, and in doing so, bail out on the charity and the thousands of northwest fans that were dying to see them play this event? While the idea of seeing Saving Abel perform live in concert to me sounds about as appealing as a Bob Dylan world tour performing Under the Red Sky in its entirety, apparently that’s not the case with everyone, because their appearance at Rock & Rally for the Troops was enough to sell tickets to a lot of excited attendees.

It also begs the question, did they put in the flight request just as a way to get out of the show, knowing that the charity would not be able to afford to fly them out, thereby leaving them available to tour with Buckcherry?

So, that’s the situation. This big fucking quasi-famous rock band from Mississippi decided to take a dump on the northwest fans and the charity that spent thousands of dollars to have them play, only to have them shit-can their appearance when a more beneficial-sounding opportunity presented itself. Saving Abel did return the deposit but the move cost the event coordinators lots of dough. The event will still be held on the same day, regardless of which steaming bags of dicks decided to bail on them. Rising hard rock band Eve to Adam has already stepped in to take Saving Abel’s place, and will surely draw a crowd all their own.

If you’d like to support the charity, and possibly donate to help offset the cost of having a band cancel just a couple months before the show (Massive Cunt Tax, as I like to call it), you can do that here.

If you’re disappointed by not being able to see Saving Abel live in concert thanks to the most erect of dick moves, well, you can replicate that experience right now. Simply take any guitar you happen to own, tune it to Drop-D, then beat yourself over the head with it for an hour straight.

Your friend,
Jess Casebeer

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