Musician Brian Owens, who lives in the city of Ferguson, dedicated a concert Wednesday night to victims of gun violence, including Michael Brown.
The performance in north St. Louis' O'Fallon Park had been scheduled for several months. But the Ferguson tragedy gave it special meaning.
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French opened Owens’ concert with a moment of silence for Michael Brown. He told the crowd that Brown’s death is already bringing about long-overdue conversations.
“Because in the short amount of his time on this earth, he has made an impact. Things are changing in St. Louis. You can feel it,” French said.
Owens didn’t directly address the tragedy with the audience but jumped right into the groove.
“We’re just going to play music tonight. Here we go,” Owens told the audience. He hopes his music brings hope and peace to the people who came to see him.
“I think music can heal the soul,” Owens said.
Owens says the events in Ferguson have confirmed his mission of offering music with a message.
“We don’t make music for entertainment. We don’t make music to sell records . We make music to touch and affect people,” Owens said.
North St. Louis resident Geraldine Miller said she thought the idea to dedicate the concert to Brown and other victims was a good one. She's upset about the shooting and the aftermath.
“I was sad about the violence and the raiding of the stores — that should have been avoided,” Miller said.
She only asks for one thing: “I think it’s all about getting justice.”
Follow Nancy Fowler on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL