Ghost Light concert kicks off fall season

Ryan Rosenberg, guitarist for Listen, Earth, performed with his bandmates as the
second group for the show. 
The Lions Roar / Megan Ferrando
 

Young music fans trickled into the growing Ghost Light venue to enjoy local musicians on the rise.

The Ghost Light, a concert venue that started last year at the Columbia Theatre, kicked off its second season once again last Thursday night with local bands West Without, Listen, Earth and Modern Language.

The venue added tables and chairs to the concert room, offering the audience the choice to stand or sit and relax during songs.

“I think the chairs were good because it filled up the back space and made it look like less of a big, empty room,” said junior english major Katherine Wall, a student working with the KSLU Radio. “It was nice to see a lot of people here. It’s cool to see people from Southeastern up there playing, looking like they’re having a good time.”

West Without, an indie alternative rock band based out of Baton Rouge, kicked off the night. The group is made up of guitarist and vocalist Dane Monic, guitarist and vocalist Derek DeBlieux, bass player Alex Holeman and drummer Johnny Sheets. 

This was the group’s second time at the Ghost Light, although different from their first performance with the removal of singer Raine Landry. 

“We had a female singer with us last time. Since then, we’ve decided to go two different ways,” said DeBlieux. “We’ve decided to go the band route, and she’s going to do the solo singer thing. She’s going to do amazing things in that.”

Although the band has continued with the same songs and a similar sound they played with before, they have made further changes in their arrangement including going from having three singers to one.

“We just decided to simplify it,” said Monic. “We decided to just give the band a voice so people can hear it and go, ‘Oh that’s West Without.”’

Listen, Earth followed West Without, offering a purely instrumental post-rock style show. The group is comprised of Ryan Rosenberg and West Lentz on guitar, Winston Scully on drums and Josh Ydarraga on bass. Despite having no lyrics, the crowd was engaged with the music.

“It’s really free and because there’s no vocals then whatever you feel during the song that’s what it means,” said Rosenberg. “Most people think instrumental music is hard to get into, but because there’s no words, it’s really easy to get into. You just have to give it a chance.”

The group evolved into an instrumental band after casually playing together.

“We like playing music, but we don’t really know a lot of people who sing and were into instrumental stuff and the stuff we play,” said Rosenberg. “We kind of just progressed to the point where we were like, ‘Hey let’s do this just us.’ We don’t need a singer to make good music. Just the kind of that mindset of let’s just have fun and not try to impress anybody.”

Listen, Earth plans to break up as Rosenberg and Scully are moving to Oregon next year.

Modern Language, based out of Hammond, finished the night with a sound made up of alternative rock, indie rock, post-rock and emotional music. The band is made up of Matt Harris on guitar and vocals, Micah Blessing on bass, Zach Blessing on drums, Seth Leonard on electric guitar, Patrick Mongrue on horns and keys and Danny Morreale on electric guitar and vocals.

The musicians all commented on how welcoming, fun and professional the Ghost Light venue is.

“The sound is great at the Ghost Light,” said DeBlieux. “They treat you really well so  the energy is good from the beginning of the night, and by the time you get onstage you want to give a good energy. I just feel really at home here.”

The treatment from the Ghost Light staff has impacted the bands. A dressing room, stocked fridge and relaxed atmosphere promote a positive relationship between the venue and bands.

“It’s not what I expected. It’s pretty different. Most venues we play, it’s just like show up, set up. They’re not taking care of you, but these guys take care of us,” said Scully. 

The intimate atmosphere and small town location has created a great location for rising bands to reach out to their audiences. 

“We really like playing at the Ghost Light,” said Monic. “You would think the bigger cities would be cooler, but it’s really cool to play in smaller places. Even when it’s a small crowd everybody is into it. At this point, the smaller cities really are the better shows.”

The next Ghost Light concert will take place Nov. 20 featuring Jodi James & CO with Denton Hatcher. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the ticket price is $8. For further information on the Ghost Light Venue and links to the band sites, view columbiatheatre.org.

Dane Monic, vocalist and guitarist for West Without,
performed with the three other band members as the opening for evening. 
The Lions Roar / Megan Ferrando