After an amazing week full of mental health awareness, it all led up to the Who Can Relate concert featuring not just Logic but many many more, as Hill Auditorium filled with people committed to destigmatizing and fighting mental illness.
With a surprising video greeting from Bill Clinton as the opener, the UM Men’s Glee Club took the stage with powerful vocalists to perform “Glory.” Then Glenn Close came out, talking about her work with her organization, Bring Change 2 Mind, changing the narrative around mental health after her sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (fittingly, yesterday, March 30, was national bipolar day) and her own struggles with depression. And as the stage worked on some server technical difficulties, we got treated to an impromptu performance by Glenn Close, which was amazing in itself.
Kevin Hines, a Golden Gate Bridge suicide survivor, led everyone in shouting “Be here tomorrow.” A phrase so simple, yet so powerful. As the auditorium rang with these three words, I felt the reassuring tension as they echoed into silence. Hakeem Rahim performed spoken word pieces that struck a chord about rising up again. As the founder of I Am Acceptance, his work is also changing the world, and having his presence onstage was truly special. Finally, NFL star Brandon Marshall and his wife Michi talked some more about the importance of support groups and getting help, as Marshall himself lives with borderline personality disorder. Seeing these prominent successful figures united around a common cause that affects all their lives personally is a reminder that, though it is a hard journey, the future is bright and worth fighting for.
By the time Logic took the stage (wearing a Zingerman’s shirt no less), everyone was on their feet and ready for a night of great music. This was the very first time he was performing his newest Bobby Tarantino II mixtape, and though it was only released earlier this month, everyone was singing every word. At the end, he performed his hit “1-800-273-8255.” Seeing everyone sing this song with their phone lights waving in the air was truly touching.
Logic’s story is also one of great admiration. He started on food stamps, and now he has a Netflix documentary and is about to start his summer tour. The first time he performed in Ann Arbor, it was at the Blind Pig as an opener for a small crowd, and yesterday he performed in front of a crowded Hill Auditorium where everyone was singing along. His journey is an emblem of hope for many others that started from nothing that the future will allow them to make something of themselves.
However, the concert did not end there. After Logic left the stage after his last song, Harris Schwartzberg, the man who put this all together, called Logic back to the stage as “You Will Be Found” from the amazing musical Dear Evan Hansen was performed as a thank you for Logic. This breathtakingly important song about mental health was a perfect ending to a night filled with inspirational people and songs.
The night was just amazing. Full of uniting strength and infinite support, it was a beautiful reminder that you truly are not alone. If you or someone you know is fighting with mental illness, there is hope and love. Stay strong <3