By Troy Aldrich
The Right Now, a soul band from Chicago, has adopted a larger mission than making music, following the death of a close friend.
The band is an advocate for the “Hope for the Day” foundation and has raised $20,000 to help support their cause.
“Since last April it became clear it was part of our narrative, and we needed to share it,” Stefanie Berecz, lead singer for the band said. “We can spread awareness while connecting with our fans.”
The band played in Iowa City last spring with The Diplomats of Solid Sound, a funk band from Iowa City. The show was the first they had played after taking a break following the death of the father of Berecz’s children.
“Just naturally as you grow older, your message as a band changes,” Berecz said. “Our message on Starlight captures that.”
Starlight is the band’s last release but was recorded before the band suffered the loss of its friend. The Right Now performed the first song they have written since then for the first time during their set at the Yacht Club, located at 13 S. Linn St.
This new track followed the band’s traditional pause mid-set to share its message. While keyboardist Brendan O’Connell treads lightly over the keys, Berecz holds back tears while discussing the topic they hold so dear.
The new song presented a new tempo and energy, as Berecz sang the lyrics, “Who wrote the book on saying good-bye?”
“When you write about something so deeply-routed you have to explore a new sound to go with that,” Berecz said. “We stick to the root of the song: the melody.”
Following the new track, the band continued to play songs of their last album, *Starlight*. The Yacht Club’s audience was very receptive, filling the dance space in front of the stage.
The band’s Iowa City counterparts came out to support their friends. The Diplomats of Solid Sound’s drummer Forrest Heusinkveld and guitarist Doug Roberson spoke about their time playing with The Right Now.
“They’re not just a great band, they’re great people to work with,” Heusinkveld said. “We played several shows throughout the Midwest with them following the show last spring.”
Cedar Rapids band, Soul Sherpa, opened for The Right Now. The 10-piece band crowded the Yacht Club’s stage to perform songs from their new album, “Same Wave Train.”
“Cedar Rapids centers more to cover bands,” Ian Draves, bassist for Soul Sherpa said in a former interview with *The Daily Iowan*. “Iowa City supports live and original music more.”
The band also performed several covers, but its most energetic tunes were its originals; with corresponding choreography displayed by the three-piece horn section.