While politics and noble causes are often found at the heart of musical endeavors, the "Plea for Peace" tour is putting a new spin on activism. The bands involved are not pushing ideas on anarchy, straight-edge lifestyles, or even any particular political party. All they really want is for the emo kids to get out and vote. The end of war would be nice too.
The tour was founded by Mike Park (ex-Skankin' Pickle, currently a solo artist and the man behind Asian Man Records) in 1999, with the goal of promoting peace through the power of music. Helped by a bevy of devoted volunteers, the tour has been successful despite the lack of corporate backing. Since its inception, Plea for Peace has raised over $100,000 for various charities. The rate of voter registrations at the events is also encouraging, at about 20 percent.
This year's sojourn marks the second year headliners Cursive will be involved with Plea for Peace. The band enjoys being on a politically minded tour; commenting on the difference between normal tours and PFP, bassist Matt Maginn said, "You definitely get more of a community feeling at the shows, from the other bands and people that come. The people are excited about registering and there's just a really positive atmosphere. Everyone has a good time. It's a rock show, but at the same time there is a purpose behind it."
Cursive shares the bill with Park as well as with the madly popular metalcore of Darkest Hour and the tightly wound polit-punk of D.C.'s Decahedron (the latter band is a recent addition to the bill, taking the place of Denali, who split up right before the tour kicked off). Voter registration forms are available at each show, as are compulsory free buttons to adorn your already-crowded black Dickies messenger bag.