STORY WRITTEN BY VIRGINIA LINDAK
For Digital First Media
The Bacon Brothers Band rocked the house Friday night as they returned to the Colonial Theatre to perform a benefit concert to a nearly sold out crowd.
Proceeds from the event are dually shared by the Colonial Theatre and French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust (FPCCT), two local organizations the Bacons have long supported.
Actor Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael, a renowned composer, took to the stage with their six-man band to play mainly original songs throughout the night. The crowd enjoyed as the brothers switched up their music styles each song, from acoustic, to electric rock to funk. Kevin led the way with vocals and also played guitar, harmonica and drums. Michael accompanied Kevin on vocals and the brothers’ shared harmonies were outstanding. Additionally, Michael played guitar as well as a beautiful cello solo as he covered the Everly Brothers tune “Let It Be Me.” Between songs the brothers shared engaging anecdotes that created a feeling of unison throughout the entire room.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Michael said to the crowd. “The French and Pickering Trust is not just an organization, it is an idea. The Colonial Theatre is also an idea. Our dad believed very strongly that it only takes one small prime mover to do the right thing and the energy spreads. He proved that in his life and certainly the Colonial Theatre has completely changed Phoenixville.”
With family ties to the Phoenixville area that stretch back decades, the Bacons own land along the Pickering Creek, as did their grandmother who was one of the first residents in Chester County to protect land through the French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust.
The FPCCT is approaching 50 years of serving the community by protecting land and streams all over Chester County. Event chairman and FPCCT board member Stock Illoway originally came up with the concept of the benefit concert, which has become a regular event in recent years. He noted the FPCCT was thrilled the Bacons returned for their fifth benefit show.
“They have been so generous in supporting our two organizations. It’s always a great show and a great party,” said Illoway. “They have a great feeling for this area and are very supportive of all our endeavors. We are lucky they are able to squeeze us in.”
Andy Pitz, FPCCT executive director, said they work well in conjunction with the Colonial Theatre as both organizations are community based. “It’s kind of an unusual combination. We protect the environment and they protect the culture. Nothing exists in isolation; everything should be like this. We’re not in competition, we compliment each other, totally. Michael Bacon has a property that is protected by one of our conservation easements, so that is pretty cool. They’re big stars and they generate a lot of excitement. It creates a real buzz in the community so it is great.”
Colonial Theatre executive director Mary Foote said funds raised by the concert are a big help with general operation costs at the theater, which can sometimes be the hardest funds to come by.
“It is so generous of the Bacons to take the time to come to the Colonial. What I like most of all is the partnership with the FPCCT, because I think both organizations are working really hard to elevate the quality of life in the communities. It’s a great partnership and I think it does tie in with what the Bacons feel about community.”
Malvern resident Sherri Frank was one of many audience members who enjoyed the show. “I’ve been wanting to come for many years and they did not disappoint. They are really wonderful in concert. All the rows were filled and I am thrilled for the Colonial because I am a member,” said Frank.