Kingwood rocks with summer jam
- Written by Robert Kleeman
Rain pelted concrete, grass and attendees at a memorial concert Aug. 17, but the dreary weather did not dampen the spirit of the hip-hop flavored tribute. Lamar Berry, owner and operator of Pirate’s Cove Car Wash, organized the inaugural Kingwood Summer Jam to commemorate two Kingwood high school students who died in a car accident, May 25. A few hundred students and community members ignored the wet weather at Kingwood’s Town Center for a half-day of music and remembrance. Kingwood High School Students Alex Hudson and Kate Disorbo died after their car hit a curb. The car flipped several times before slamming into a tree. Berry said the accident devastated several of his employees who were friends with Hudson and Disorbo, and it inspired him to organize a memorial. He implored the attendees to remember its purpose. “They need to understand the reason why we’re here,” he said. “They need to be safe when they drive. That could be them.” The tribute concert was headlined by Houston rap stars Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Lil’ Flip, Slim Thug and others. Berry will donate the event proceeds to three scholarship funds: one for the two families and one each for Kingwood and Kingwood Park high schools. He said although rain hampered early turnout, he expected bigger crowds for the evening headliners. He said he wants to host the event again next year. The majority of the popular artists worked for a fraction of their normal performance price tag, he said. “When they found out it was a charity gig, they wanted to come,” he said. Best Buy was one of several businesses supporting the event. Josh Martinez, a Best Buy mobile manager, said many of the store’s employees are friends with Berry and wanted to help his cause. The store’s tent offered attendees CDs at sale price and a chance to play the video game Rock Band. “We want a unified environment,” he said. “Once Lamar told us about this, we said sure, anything to help you out.” Kingwood High School sophomore Chelsea Creeks said she attended to support her fellow students, though she did not know Hudson or Disorbo. “We wanted to support the foundation,” she said. High school senior Travis Heinrichs, who performs under the name 909, opened the concert with his rap partner Alan Williams. The duo, 909 and A-Will, played a short set during one of the afternoon’s few dry moments. “Not only was it one of our first performances, but we knew it was for a good cause,” he said. Family members printed 300 shirts and 300 bumper stickers commemorating Hudson to sell at the event. Hudson’s sister Stefeny Reuter said she hoped the concert would help the Kingwood community move on from the tragedy. “It’s to remember how fragile life is and all that she did,” she said. Hudson loved attending concerts, so the event was an “amazing” tribute, Reuter said. “If she were still here, she’d probably be hanging out with us,” she said. “She would have loved this.” Photo: (Top) Rappers Travis Heinrichs and Alan Williams of the duo 909 and A-Will perform at the inaugural Kingwood Summer Jam. The concert, hosted at Town Park, memorialized two high schoolers who died in a car accident last May. (Bottom) Members of punk and ska band Vendetta perform at the inaugural Kingwood Summer Jam. The concert, hosted at Town Park, memorialized two high schoolers who died in a late May car wreck.