On Sunday, April 8th, I attended Cole Grant’s final show with the infamous surf punkers Street Violence. It was an intimate house show comprised of some really true-to-heart rockers intent on Cole leaving with one last melody to hang from his shoulder.
Athens-based Koko Beware opened up the night, followed by Decatur band Ghost Lights. Both bands threw down extra hard, but I would have to say that Ghost Lights, who is set to play 529 this Saturday night, slayed their set with intertwining bass and guitar pouring out onto the street. As I took a break for fresh air, I could still feel the vibes pulsating throughout my body, calling me back for more. A combination of hard blues, alternative rock and talented musicianship, Ghost Lights is a formidable trio comprised of Stone Irvin on vocals and guitar, John McNabb on drums and his brother Daniel on bass. Influenced by the Velvet Underground, Warpaint and the Pixies, the band left the party with a torrential energy that was in great need of release.
And no sooner had Ghost Lights put down their guitars than Street Violence emerged from the crowd of listeners, put up a few amps and tore the sheet rock off the walls. I could feel my feet splitting like two rocking chairs as the floor bounced me up and down. Bodies flew into each other like an ecstatic wall of drunkards in a pinball machine. Half of the room was shirtless and begging for more by the end of the blaring 40 minutes. The band bayed at the cries of their listeners and continued their onslaught as a hardened gang of grunge surfers. Once or twice the thought ran through my head that the floor would cave in under the weight. The air in the room was so thick I felt I could breathe in every note and rhythm as the band bounced back from Will Raines’ candy red keys to Suzanne Baker’s fox vox, to Cole’s bass, his thumb hammering like Thor, to Shawn Dillard, who was psychotically thrashing away at his set like a bloodthirsty Viking on the warpath.
In the end, they took us down slow. Street Violence played their final song and the music ceased. In a haze, the audience dissipated into drinking ventures elsewhere. I had the chance to catch Cole before he left. I wished him the best of luck and awkwardly asked where and why he was leaving. No bad feelings, just time to move on. He told me that he was moving out of state indefinitely. He wasn’t worried. “Music can be found anywhere,” he said. I tipped my head in response and told him, “People are listening everywhere, and when you face them with the right set of ears, the right kind of eyes, you will see your scene emerge.”
The scent of the trail never truly dies, it merely changes to fit its needs, and like the scent of Street Violence on their loving warpath, a memory will remain of the nervous and grand energy that stamped spray paint fused with blood onto the Krog street tunnel.