Gimme Shelter countdown: 5 days

We're getting super excited for this Saturday's festivities, when Gimme Noise will take over First Avenue for our Gimme Shelter: A Benefit for Haiti concert in the Main Room. To get ready, we'll be counting down the days to the concert by giving some background on each of the acts in the lineup, starting today with one of the co-headliners, Mark Mallman.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to spend some time on the road with Mallman while researching this cover story on the grandiose local piano-rocker. It was an honor to follow closely alongside Mallman has he played the last few shows of his tour, and it gave me a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of one of the Twin Cities' most prolific and recognizable performance artists.

In addition to writing tight pop songs in the '70s glam rock vein, Mallman has set himself apart by adding grand experiments to his stage shows, including this list of stunts Mallman has pulled over the years and his most recent performance at the Varsity on New Year's Eve, which climaxed with the piano man dangling upside down over his keyboard in a straightjacket and Silence of the Lambs-esque face mask:

Mallman's New Year's Eve Stunt - 2009 from Ben Clark on Vimeo.

Mark Mallman will play second-to-last at the Saturday's benefit show, taking the stage around 8:30 p.m. Other performers at our Gimme Shelter benefit show include Solid Gold, Peter Wolf Crier, Zoo Animal, and DJs Jimmy2Times and Mike 2600. Stay tuned all week for mini-profiles of each of the artists who are donating their time to play at our benefit, and don't forget to pick up your tickets in advance -- we are expecting the show to sell out.