LEWISTON – Callie Robichaud squealed in delight or excitement.
At that moment, hers was the only voice you could hear, filling the dark hall of the Lewiston Middle School auditorium.
She wasn’t alone. More than 200 rock fans surrounded her, ready to scream, stomp and dance to Lewiston’s Battle of the Bands. But they were waiting quietly for the moment.
“Callie’s ready,” Event organizer Sue Lemay said from the front of the stage. “Callie, are you excited to see all these boys here?”
Callie squealed. After all, this was her night.
Six local bands took the stage Saturday night to claim bragging rights from this battle-of-the-bands concert. They’d be followed by Sparks the Rescue, a popular touring band and judges of the six others.
The entire night was designed to benefit 13-year-old Callie, an LMS student with cerebral palsy. Proceeds will help purchase a special chair for Robichaud and help pay for other things not covered by insurance.
Justin Leclair, an Edward Little High School senior and guitar player for Colorful Like Me, said they were there to help.
“It’s a good cause, and we wanted to help the girl,” Leclair said. “Plus, it’s a nice little bit of exposure.”
Poland’s Feedback, the youngest band, featuring a group of middle-schoolers, was also the first to take the stage. They were followed by Winthrop High School’s Dead Man High Wire, then Lisbon High’s Detour, Edward Little’s Colorful Like Me, Lewiston’s As Your Eyes See Clearly and Leavitt’s Fight of the Fading.
Lemay said she wanted to help Callie and her family. Callie’s mom, Tina, is Lemay’s cousin. Callie’s family recently moved to a new home and had it specially fitted for Callie, Lemay said. Adding that when she saw how expensive it was, she asked if the family had considered putting together a benefit.
“She (Tina) told me, if you want to do a benefit, be my guest,” Lemay said.
A Battle of the Bands seemed like a good idea. Lemay’s son Nick, guitarist for Fight of the Fading, had been trying to put one together for about a year.
“And when we said we were doing it for Callie, everything fell into place,” she said.
Lewiston schools offered the use of the auditorium for free. Some local businesses loaned equipment and others offered raffle items to give away.
Nick even wrote a special song for Callie, “Angel In Disguise.” It was the first song played before the show started.
“It was just something that spilled out, right onto the pages,” he said. “It’s just what I feel for her and what she goes through.”