Smile for Jonny Benefit Concert | June 1 | Moncton

Category: community 42

Casino NB was alive with the sound of music on Saturday night, June 1 2024 as music lovers from all over the East Coast and beyond gathered in support of musician Jon Flanagan.

Jason Murray
A capacity crowd turned up at Casio NB to support longtime Moncton musician Jonny Flanagan. Photo: Jason Murray.

Long time Moncton musician, teacher and resident “Rockstar” Jon Flanagan was celebrated for helping lay the foundation for modern DIY shows, touring and jamming with your buddies. A legendary drummer, performer and all around positive promoter of people young and old starting and continuing to learn and play music. 

A longtime drum teacher at Long & McQuade in Moncton, Jon is responsible for thousands of people picking up drum sticks, taking a shot at cracking the code and learning music. Recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer, Jonny has no plans of slowing down and this was evident during his mid-show, 15 minute drum solo that was as good as any 70s arena band could ever hope for. 

Every black shirt, Converse wearing, jean clad fiend, friend, fan and fellow musician was on hand including opening bands East End Rivals, Zero Zero UFO, The Nuclear and Diner Drugs. These bands never looked or sounded so good with the full theatre PA and multiple generations of family, fans and degenerates coming together to support the event with all proceeds going to help Jon and Gillian face the financial challenges ahead. 

A silent auction was held and t-shirts sold to help support the cause. Tons of local businesses including Q103, Los Cabos Drumsticks, Hey Rebel and Long & McQuade stepped up to make this night happen. 

Old friends and scene legends The Monoxides, The Motorleague and headliner Iron Giant took to the stage to close out the night. It was a culmination of all the great things to come out of the Moncton music scene of the past 50 plus years. A nod to the groundwork laid down by a wide range of heavily influential scene founders and documentarians like Mark Gaudet and Ray Auffrey who were standing proudly at the back, fists up, jean jackets on. 

A true celebration of what can be done when everyone works together, comes out and supports each other and makes sure our Maritime music scene stays strong. The legacy of what all these bands and their fans have created, the scene that started small and grew with the help of those who weren’t doing it for anything less than seeing their friends get up and play a few songs. 

Hours of hard work, practice, commitment and dedication shone brightly as Jon took the stage to thank the crowd. His nickname from high school was Jonny Rockstar but everyone knows him now as Jon Flanagan the musician who helped create, nurture and build a scene for the over 1200 people in attendance to enjoy, join and keep on keeping on in the future. 

Big thanks to everyone who helped put the night together including Steve Hickox for organizing and starting the Go Fund Me page. If you’d like to donate to Jon and Gil you can do so here

Jason Murray is the author of A Distorted Revolution – How Eric’s Trip Changed Music, Moncton, and Me and the owner of diymedia.ca 

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