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HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) — Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan held a benefit concert of Highland Park shooting victims at his tea house and performance space Madame Zuzu tonight.
It was an intensely personal moment for the hometown rock star. Highland Park has been Corgan’s home for the last two decades. He and partner Chloe Mendel will stream the benefit live on the Smashing Pumpkins YouTube channel.. It features performances from Corgan, bandmate Jimmy Chamberlain, and Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, among others.
“It’s not every day you play a moment like this,” Corgan said. “We hope to create a healing energy.”
Corgan perched on stage in front of an intimate crowd, offering a night of music meant as a kind of medicine.
Viewers were encouraged to donate to the Highland Park Community Fund.
“This is the most people I’ve been around since the parade,” said Lindsey Hartman, shooting survivor. “I”s hard. The most mundane things are challenging now.”
The money raised from online donations will benefit the victims and help Highland Park recover.
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“The goal is to raise funds and make the show for anybody to watch. Many people don’t feel safe to go to a crowd setting yet,” said Chloe Mendel, Corgan’s partner.
“Mr. Corgan is an amazing community member. He has supported us for years in a lot of different ways, so this is a wonderful way to come together and try and help those families that were truly hurt by this,” said Maureen Byron, Highland Park resident.
Mendel, along with her and Corgan’s children, planned to be at the July 4 parade, but were delayed by a later flight. They have friends, neighbors and customers who were injured, physically and emotionally, by the tragedy.
They are also selling merch designed by artist Gary Baseman, with all proceeds to be donated directly to the Highland Park Community Foundation to help those impacted by the mass shooting in Highland Park.
The merch can be purchased here.