Tampa Bay: Here come The Wilson Van...to the Hard Rock this weekend!

By Amanda C Starling on January 4, 2013

“Photo Courtesy of Mike Starling”

You may have seen him in action on CBS’ The Gifted Man (before they cancelled it, BOO!) or in the wide array of films he’s starred in, but Patrick Wilson is more than just a hunky face splashed across the big screen. He’s a ridiculously talented actor and musician. He also happens to be the youngest of three sons to one of Tampa Bay’s most recognizable news anchors. John Wilson came to Tampa’s Fox 13 in 1993, bringing his talented offspring to the bay area.

Oldest brother, Paul, is a singer and the owner of  Wilson Media, an advertising agency in St. Petersburg. Middle brother, Mark, is a guitarist and news anchor and reporter alongside their father at Fox 13. The three brothers plus a few close friends make up The Wilson Van, a Tampa area band. These talented musicians use their love of music to play local gigs for charity. Past shows have benefited Paws for Patriots, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, and All Children’s Hospital.

“Photo Courtesy of Mike Starling”

I was fortunate enough to partake in the band’s Paws for Patriots concert at the State Theatre in Downtown St. Petersburg in May, 2012. A tear jerking video opened up the band’s performance, chronicling the Paws for Patriots mission. The touching tribute introduced the audience to three Tampa Bay veterans who were blinded during battle. Paws for Patriots presented by Southeastern Guide Dogs provided furry helpers to each of the local heroes. The guide dogs lead their masters on stage for the cheering crowd to hear their stories. It was truly unforgettable.

“Photo Courtesy of Mike Starling”

As for the music; tunes from Van Halen, Journey, Zac Brown Band, and a few The Wilson Van originals rounded out a fantastic night full of fun from a group of inspirational individuals. The Wilson brothers interacted with their audience and encouraged the crowd to sing along. Patrick even took a swig from the water bottle of a lucky lady in the front row before giving it back to her as a souvenir.

Where are they playing next, you ask? On Saturday, January 5th, The Wilson Van team up with Pitbull Toddler (Tampa Bay Radio Personality Cowhead‘s Band) for a free concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tampa to benefit wounded soldiers in the bay area. The show starts at 8pm. All proceeds benefit the ‘Hope For The Warriors‘ a civilian 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. Check out the The Wilson Van/Pitbull Toddler LIVE at the Hard Rock Tampa 1.5.13, but more importantly check out the show!

Amanda Starling is a Creative Writing Major / Film Minor in the PEL Program at Eckerd College. When not working or studying, she enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

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