In honor of the New Year, I would like to do something different with my blog this week. I’d like to talk about a place to which some of you may have had a very strong connection to, or maybe not. Perhaps, like me you only attended a couple of shows. Regardless of your involvement or non-involvement, Skull Alley was certainly a very important place to a lot of people.
Skull Alley closed its doors on Friday, December 31st for the last time (two years after its inception in 2008). The all ages venue closed in part because of crippling financial injuries suffered due to a coding violation during an inspection by the Fire Marshal. Another factor was Jamie Prott’s (co-founder) desire to move on. At the last show, Prott delivered a speech to mark the occasion. In the speech, he spoke about his brother, Dylan Prott, in whose memory Skull Alley was originally established. He went on to say that although it was intended to be a memorial for his brother, it had also served as therapy for him. He also thanked all of the folks who had been loyal to the venue over the last two years, and who had made it the great place that it was.
The set list that night was comprised of Reading Group, Lemuria, Young Lions and The Foxery. It was, in a way fitting that Lemuria, a pop-punk band from Buffalo, New York played. Just two years before when Skull Alley first opened, the group performed at the inaugural show.
To many people, Skull Alley was much more than a venue, it gave them a voice. Bands that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, were able to perform and reach out to their intended audience. It was a place where people of all ages were exposed to great music that spanned a wide range of genres. Culturally, it was a very important part of this city’s music scene, and it will be greatly missed.
Over the last few days, many people have shared their experiences with me, and recounted their favorite shows and events. If anyone wants to share any stories or experiences, please feel free to comment below.
For the Manual AM episode that covers Skull Alley’s closing, click here.