Posted: 08-29-2013
Long Live The Soapbox

Written by Tini Howard

The announcement of Wilmington iconic music venue The Soapbox’s closing was the first hit to the city’s live and local music scene. As if that wasn’t enough, fans reeled with the second hit: The treasured venue was closing two weeks early.

When the news came down, the Brooklyn Arts Center stepped up, opening the BAC doors to Soapbox fans for three nights in July. From July 17-19, the Brooklyn Arts Center felt like a rocking wake, celebrating the glorious life of The Soapbox rather than mourning its unfortunate passing. “It was family,” explained Garrett, a Soapbox floor manager for two and a half years. “I met my baby’s mama there, and we had our baby shower there!”

For three nights, the BAC was packed with Soapbox love. Thursday night featured Brooklyn-based rockers SoftSpot, as well as locals Coup de Grace, Museum Mouth, and the reunion of The Title Ceremony. Friday night took it a little harder with headliners He Is Legend and Sumerlin, House of Fools, A Bottle Volcanic, Josh Moore, and Must Be the Holy Ghost. Saturday was the final show, a tour stop for the Summer Hotbox Tour, featuring reggae bands Tatanka, Stick Figure, Passafire, and special guests Redemption. Running the gamut from roots reggae to dancehall-inspired rock, the music was the perfect backdrop for a night in Wilmington.

Even the bands were misty at the Soapbox’s passing. Chris Taylor, bassist and backing vocals Sumerlin, grew up in Wilmington and dreamed of playing at the Soapbox as a young musician. “I still can’t believe it,” Taylor said. “We all through The Soapbox would live forever.”

It just might. There’s a buzz running around town that says The Soapbox will be back in Brooklyn before the end of the year. In the meantime, former Soapboxers can look forward to BAC’s upcoming shows: Matisyahu, Big Boi, The James Hunter Six, and Jake Shimabukuro.


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