In the Pink’s gig on July 13, 1989, at the Channel was already one for the books when the opening band, Extreme, had their gear taken away by their ex-manager. They pulled up to the club in their truck, were met by a sheriff, and had everything confiscated — now that’s rock ’n’ roll. But that night ended up being memorable for a more meaningful reason, because that’s when In the Pink — the hard-rockers known for the local 1991 hit “Under Summer Skies” — met the person who would become an inseparable part of the band.
“We were sitting in the dressing room, and the door barges open and in comes this 15-year-old girl, and she says, ‘You don’t know me. My name is Kiva, and I’m a huge fan and I love all your music,’ ” remembered In the Pink guitarist Robby Hoffman. They all instantly bonded, so the band made Kiva the head of the In the Pink fanclub.
“She was like our little sister and a big inspiration for us, because she was one of the first people to believe in what we were doing,” said Hoffman.
When news broke that Kiva’s cancer, which she originally fought in 2014, had returned earlier this year, there was only one thing to do. In the Pink vocalist Tommy Dempsey called Hoffman, who suggested “doing a reunion concert for her around her birthday and raising some money to help her.” Dempsey didn’t need much convincing, and neither did bassist Eric Bosniak or keyboardist Steve Ferlazzo. With Tommy’s brother Robbie Dempsey filling in on drums, it was official: the band was getting back together for the first time since 2012.
“It was the easiest thing,” Hoffman said about the decision to reunite, “I think it’s a testament to who [Kiva] is as a person, and how it’s human nature to want to help a loved one as best as you can.” With local favorites Flesh and Sweet Cheater rounding out the bill, “Rock for a Reason: A Concert for Kiva” will be a chance to revisit the days of big hair and bigger riffs for a good cause. The show is Friday, Aug. 17, at Mixx 360 Nightlife, 665 Broadway, Malden, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.