ITHACA—While Mayor Svante Myrick could not personally attend the 6th annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser for the State Theatre, he still managed to make an impact in writing. In a framed letter written by the mayor and read aloud by music promoter Dan Smalls, Myrick declared May 14 “X Ambassadors Day” in honor of the event.

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Supported by electronic musician Robert Delong and synth-rock band JIMKATA, X Ambassadors headlined the benefit in front of an enormous sold-out crowd filled with fans of all ages. When the band performed singles “Unsteady” and “Renegades”, the audience erupted into singalong chorus. Lead singer Sam Harris remarked that playing a sold-out homecoming show had been a longtime dream for the band, and dedicated a performance of the song “Gorgeous” to the town of Ithaca, introducing it with a coy reference to the town’s slogan: “I think this is on a t-shirt somewhere.”

X Ambassadors finished the night with a three-song encore that included a cover of “Purple Rain” by the recently-deceased Prince, and a sweet family rendition of Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind” that featured Sam singing with his mother in a duet while brother Casey Harris accompanied on keyboard.

X Ambassadors take the stage. From left to right: Drummer Adam Levin, guitarist Russ Flynn, lead singer Sam Harris, and keyboardist Casey Harris. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Sam Harris performs with brother Casey Harris in the background. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Casey Harris performs a piano solo. Several members of the crowd cheered specifically for Casey throughout the night. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Russ Flynn was introduced by Sam Harris to both the crowd and to the band as the X Ambassadors’ new touring guitarist. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Adam Levin behind the drums. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

A crowd of hands waving along to the rhythm of X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady”. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice

Sam and Casey Harris. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

X Ambassadors in front of a sold-out crowd. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

 Brothers Sam and Casey Harris perform a cover of Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind” with their mother. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Sam Harris wipes his eyes after a hug with his mother. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Music promoter Dan Smalls of Dan Smalls Presents joins State Theatre Executive Director Doug Levine in announcing Mayor Svante Myrick’s declaration of May 14 as “X Ambassadors Day”. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice

The packed balcony attendees settling in before X Ambassadors take the stage. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Multi-instrumentalist electronic musician Robert Delong begins his performance silhouetted by monitors. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

As Robert Delong begins his performance, the audience rushes out of their seats to stand at the front of the stage. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice

Robert Delong performing at the 6th Annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser at The State Theatre of Ithaca. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Robert Delong performing at the 6th Annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser at The State Theatre of Ithaca. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Robert Delong performing at the 6th Annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser at The State Theatre of Ithaca. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

Robert Delong performing at the 6th Annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser at The State Theatre of Ithaca. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

JIMKATA performing at the 6th Annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser at The State Theatre of Ithaca. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

JIMKATA performing at the 6th Annual “Benefit My State” fundraiser at The State Theatre of Ithaca. / Photo by Benjamin Torrey, The Ithaca Voice.

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Benjamin Torrey

Benjamin Torrey is a videographer and photographer for the Ithaca Voice. He produces video spots for the businesses that underwrite the Voice, and is the creator of the Bedhead...