Several musicians with ties to Pilger, Nebraska have organized a benefit concert for the tiny town that was struck by two EF4 tornadoes last month. Clint Meyer, an associate professor of biology at Simpson College in Indianola, grew up in Pilger.
He saw the pictures and videos of the damage done on June 16 and went back to his hometown a couple days later to volunteer with cleanup efforts. “To be there and notice the scale and the depth of it all, it wasn’t just the row of houses you see in the picture – but the row behind it and the row behind that, several blocks completely destroyed” Meyer said. “There was no way to get a sense of that with just the pictures, so it was a pretty shocking experience to see it.”
Two people, including a five-year-old girl, were killed, and 16 more were critically injured. Over half of the buildings and homes in Pilger were destroyed or severely damaged. “It will never be the same as it was, of course, but the hope is that there will still be a town there that can start finding whatever that new normal is,” Meyer said. “I think the hope is to try and raise awareness that even though the volunteers are gone, there is still a need there.”
Meyer plays guitar and sings in the central Iowa based band Monday Mourners. He wrote a song about Pilger, titled “(The Town) Too Tough To Die,” which he plans to premiere at the benefit concert.
Audio: 30-second clip from demo recording of “Too Tough To Die”
Monday Mourners and three bands from Omaha will play the benefit show for the town of Pilger this Wednesday, July 30 at The Waiting Room in Omaha. The show will start at 8 p.m. and there’s a cover charge of $8.
Aerial video footage of Pilger, NE tornado damage: