LIVE: 8th Annual Dustin Mele Memorial Benefit Concert @ Rev Hall, 03/19/2022

On Saturday, March 19th, Brown’s Revolution Hall in Troy, a modern industrial style venue with great acoustics and open floor plan and a large wrap-around balcony (once a music venue turned events venue) hosted the 8th Annual Dustin Mele Memorial Benefit Concert. Since the sudden and devastating passing of Dustin Mele on March 12th, 2013 to suicide, his family, friends, and community have pulled together and put on an annual concert every year to help raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. Dustin’s memorial concert is a beautifully organized concert I look forward to each year and every year as it not only reminds me of all the talented musicians and wonderful community, we have but also how I admire Dustin’s family’s ability to take such a tragic event and turn it into an amazing night of life, love and music, all for a greater cause. Patti Quade, Dustin’s mother said it best, “We are so grateful that we have this opportunity to reach people and try to help erase the stigma and spread awareness.”  

Photo by Amy Klemme

Rev Hall was the perfect venue for this yearly concert. This year’s concert lineup included the very talented Jeff Dayton who joined them all the way from Nashville, Kyle Bourgault Band featuring the music of the Eagles, local favorites Super 400 and Soul Sky, with many special guest appearances from Steve Candlen, Chris Carey, Frank Daley, Tom Flynn, Chris Garabedian, Chris Gill, Todd Hanhurst, Brian Kane, Heather Kovar, Tommy Love, Scotty Mac, Eileen Markland, Luke McNamee, Tony Perrino, Johnny Rabb, Rich Romano and a very special guest drummer, Ellie Jo Agnes Friday Hohman, on drums. 

This year’s concerts proceeds are going to three organizations in Dustin’s Memory: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and Rensselaer County mental health and emergency assistance programs through Catholic Charities CoNSERNS-U program. All of which work diligently to fight the stigma of mental health, bring awareness and services to those in need.  “we’re so blessed to be able to share this event and the programs and services that these 3 organizations provide with such a wonderfully supportive community. This year, over $20,000 was raised with donations still coming in, bringing our 8 year total to over $100,000. Our hope is that each person who attended left with the knowledge that if they or someone they know gets to the point where they are struggling with a mental health crisis, that they know they are not alone, and there are organizations and resources they can turn to for assistance.” Says Joe Mele and Jenn Newman Mele, Dustin’s Father and Step-Mother. 

Photo by Amy Klemme

This year’s concert was generously sponsored in part by Brown’s Brewing, The Catholic Monument Design Center, C.W. Whalen and Sons, Fagan Associates, Grotto Skin and lash Lounge, Guth DeConzo Consulting Engineers PC, Modern Press, Dino Petrocelli Photography, RadioRadioX, Rensselaer County Deputy Sheriff’s PBA, Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office, and Al Woodard Films. 

We at Nippertown, on behalf of the Dustin Mele family, friends and community, would like to thank everyone who attended, donated and sponsored. Without the outpouring of love and support each year from everyone, The Dustin Mele Memorial Concert would not be as successful in fighting the fight for suicide awareness and prevention. A heartfelt Thank You, to everyone. 

Photo by Amy Klemme

Quote from Lindsay Mele, Dustin’s Sister. “The mental health crisis is one that affects everyone near and far, and all our lives have been deeply impacted in one way or another. Every single person that is involved in the memorial in any way is a part of a great big support system, it is growing every year and I am grateful beyond measure for each and everyone.” 

Photo Gallery by Amy Klemme

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