20 September 2011

WATCH: A night at the Common Grounds coffeehouse in Charleston, 1997

I came across these videos a while back while doing a search on YouTube. The videos, shot in 1997, are almost 30 minutes worth of footage from a Band Slam at the Common Grounds coffeehouse in Charleston. The all-ages venue on Summers Street was a fantastic space to see shows before it closed in the late '90s for a multitude of reasons. After multiple two-hour road trips from Bridgeport to Charleston, it was at the Common Grounds that I formed a lot of friendships with fellow showgoers from the Kanawha Valley and discovered a lot of new music. It was there that I saw local bands like Malicious Intent, Westbygod, Shindig and many more, as well touring acts such as Fugazi and Codeseven. Though I wasn't at the show from the videos, I did recognize a lot of people I know from footage of the crowd and performances from Dead Ant Farm and other local groups (most of them pretty bad). Seeing the mid-'90s fashion sense of Charlestonians is an embarrassing reminder of my youth, but the videos succeed in making me sentimental for a scene that was a lot of fun. I wish I could think owner Bob Webb for giving us such a place. I'll never forget that fucking carpet.

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