Adam Carter Memorial Concert
March 23, 2011
It was a somber scene at The Bone last night, a scene tragically all-too-familiar in the local music scene of late.
Since August, five members of the local music scene have died -- Ace McNeely, The Will Callers' Bradley Kyle Schroeder and Chase Monks, Frankie Campagna and, most recently, Campagna's Spector 45 bandmate Adam Carter, for whom Wednesday night's gathering was held. Not one of these area musicians was older than 33 years old at the time of their untimely death. It's been a trying time, to say the least.
Yet once more, a sign of strength from the local musicians touched by their fallen friends' lives: Eleven bands gathered at The Bone, whose sound system had been built in part by Carter upon the Deep Ellum venue's recent reopening, to perform in honor of their friend. And, over the course of six hours of performance last night, that's precisely what they did, performing the same songs they so often did as recently as last week, when Carter was still alive and present, be it performing in these bands, helping them from the sound booth or cheering them on from the crowd.
And, just as had been the case earlier this year when Campagna was memorialized, their performances all came with a message -- to treat your friends well, to help them through tough times and to never be afraid to ask for someone's help.
In the crowd, similar, yet less guarded sentiment: There were tears -- plenty of them; there were slumped shoulders; there were stone-cold faces. The attendees leaned on one another, both literally and figuratively, and they coped, in front of one another, in the various ways that humans cope with loss. Some celebrated their friend's life, regaling one another with tales of Carter and subsequently laughter. Some pleaded for explanations as to why Carter committed suicide. Others simply appeared overburdened by it all, numbed by this recent spate of loss in the community.
Conveniently, the layout of the venue helped attendees choose their method of grieving. On the rooftop gathered the talkers. In the performance room, the revelers. In the side, billiards room, the saddest of all. There, on a pool table, sat a collection of take-home tokens -- "45" stickers, compact discs of Carter's music, and a collection box for donations to given to an organization working in suicide prevention. Right alongside these artifacts, a poster for the event sat with a pen for attendees to sign.
A formal funeral will come on Friday. But, this event, indeed felt like a goodbye.
Here's hoping it's the last the local scene will have for some time.