Dhruva Krishna is about to move across the country. You might recognize him as the drummer for several local bands (including Eastend Mile, Manic Soul, and more recently, Nevada Color.) Or maybe you saw him around James Street back in the day when he was the Assistant Venue Manager. More recently, he’s taken up an Artist Relations position at Misra Records, where (among other things) he manages rising local rapper Mars Jackson.
But as much as he’s given to the Pittsburgh scene over the years, his next step will take him Los Angeles. Specifically, UCLA, to study entertainment law. Luckily, he has one final parting gift for us before he goes. On Saturday, May 5th, a stacked lineup of some of the best musicians in the city will assemble at Cattivo to send him off. (Seriously, check out that flyer.) “Once I realized I would definitely be leaving Pittsburgh for law school,” Krishna explains, “I wanted to make sure my final show was special.”
Citing inspiration from other supergroup events, such as Randy Baumann’s Rambles and Hugh Twyman’s holiday parties, he continues, “There really isn’t just one ‘group’ of musicians that I picked from. I wanted to include blues artists, jam artists, jazz artists, folk artists, rappers—basically, anyone who has inspired me in the past four years—to be a part of the event.”
The tunes will be a mix of original songs and crowd-pleasing covers, ranging from the 1960’s to the 2010’s. This diverse, collaborative approach exemplifies both Krishna’s experience working in the scene and Pittsburgh’s music community at large. “I think bringing people from all different parts of the music scene creates a more unique experience,” he says. “We’re still doing a multi-band lineup, but these bands aren’t necessarily the ones you’re used to seeing (or may ever see again!)”
To top it off, 100% of the show’s proceeds will benefit Prevention Point Pittsburgh. This charity takes direct action to assist injection drug users in Allegheny County, with services such as clean needle exchanges, free HIV/Hep C testing, overdose prevention training with Naxolone, and much more. The cause is one that’s close to Krishna’s heart. “I am lucky enough where I personally do not know anyone close to me who has died from this epidemic,” he says. “However, I know dozens of individuals who have lost loved ones to this crisis.”
He started working with PPP two years ago, inspired by their “incredible mission.” The first fundraiser he organized for them was a 90’s tribute show, where each band covered a musical group of that era who had lost someone to opiate addiction—Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nirvana. The concert was a big success, raising nearly $1000 for the organization.
“The main reason I’ve focused on [the opiate crisis] is because of how relevant, topical, and poorly addressed it currently is,” he says. “As a young adult living in the Appalachian region, the opiate crisis takes the lives of my peers every day,” Sadly, that’s not an exaggeration. Krishna points out that in the last ten years, there have been over 3600 reported overdose deaths in Allegheny County alone, with 18-34-year-olds accounting for over 1000 of those deaths. But the “practical action” taken by organizations such as PPP gives him hope. “More importantly, these groups are helping to break destructive stigmas that further ostracize and perpetuate a cycle of violence and drug usage,” he says.
Thanks to the help of both healthcare industry sponsors and the musicians involved, all of the proceeds from this concert will directly benefit PPP. But B.Y.E is not just a charity show, or just a rock show, or just a rap show, or just a “bon voyage” to one of our scene’s greatest assets. It’s all of those things at once, and it’s something that won’t happen again.
“The one thing I want people to know about this event is that it’s going to be a really cumulative and special moment.” Krishna says. “Every single aspect—from the artists, the venue, the promotion, the songs—was chosen because of its sentimental value to me. I hope I can pack the room to share that experience with everyone there, and to raise money for a great cause.”
This event is sponsored by Allies for Health + Wellbeing, Center for Inclusion Health of Allegheny Health Network, Coordinated Care Network Pharmacy, and Pitt Public Health. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show. You can buy them here. Doors open at Cattivo at 7 PM and the music starts early, at 7:30. Check out the Facebook event page here. And for more information on Prevention Point Pittsburgh, click here and here.
– Max Somerville, Nathan Zoob of Wreck Loose
– MANIC SOUL
– Eastend Mile
– Mars Jackson
– The Summercamp
– Scott and Rosanna
– Ferdinand the Bull
– Jon Bindley of Bindley Hardware Co.
– Lucy Clabby & Mac Inglis of Buffalo Rose
– Shawn Mazzei of Dan Bubien & The Delta Struts
– Abigail Iksic of Run the Meat
– Michael Zech of The Bleil Brothers
– Sruli Broocker of Chillent