On Saturday, Nov. 20, Lancaster musicians will gather to celebrate a fallen friend and fellow bandmate Adam Figurelle.
A Concert for Adam takes place at Millersville’s Phantom Power and features bands who either played with the Philadelphia drummer in a band or on the same concert bill, including Wallace, Mattress Food, 25th Hour and Big Fat Meanies. Entrance is by donation.
According to members of the band Wallace, Figurelle died this past August due to a “freak medical accident,” which Figurelle’s family has not shared publicly.
“I think we really sought out bands that we had shared bills with multiple times before and bands that had to get to know Adam on multiple occasions, just to fill in some memories that we all shared together,” says Wallace bassist Hannah Pugh over the phone.
In December of 2020, Wallace released “Grapefruit,” a multimedia EP project involving new songs and music videos.
“It was maybe a month and a half after everything happened (that we talked about doing a benefit concert),” says Wallace Gerdy, guitarist and vocalist of the band. “We had been talking about it a little the whole time, like, ‘we need to figure out something to honor Adam and celebrate Adam.’ We figured the best way was something with music."
Mattress Food and Wallace will do a split set for the benefit show, with Mattress Food vocalist Sami Rahman sitting in on drums for Wallace and Pugh making her drum debut with Mattress Food.
“It's exciting and also bittersweet,” Pugh says. “I never expected to have to fill in under these circumstances. I think it would make Adam happy. Just in my time with him and Wallace, he taught me some things on the drums. He knew I was interested in playing drums, so it felt fitting for these shows.”
Funds from the show will benefit two of Figurelle’s favorite organizations – the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Suicide Prevention Foundation.
Both Gerdy and Pugh say they will continue making music in some form together in the future but are unsure if it will be under the “Wallace” banner, and there are no shows currently booked for the future.
In fact, just getting the drive to play music after losing a bandmate itself took a long time to regain.
“I admit, I didn't pick up my guitar for a while after everything happened,” Gerdy says. “Playing music just ... didn't feel good. But I think doing these practices has helped a lot and I think I reached a point a few weeks ago where I thought, 'Wow, it feels good to play music again.'”