LIKE MANY, Ben Maher of Savannah band Lies in Stone doesn’t want to be seething alone at home on Inauguration Day while Donald Trump is sworn into office.
“I, and I’m sure everyone else, was pissed off that Wednesday morning,” he says, recalling the day he heard the results of the election. “At least the popular vote was.”
So, what’s the alternative to screaming into a pillow while hate-watching the news station? Throw a loud, raucous, all-ages rock ‘n’ roll show supporting Planned Parenthood, of course.
“It’s a way of saying, ‘Hey, guess what: not only do we have to deal with you, but you have to deal with us,’” Maher states. “That’s the general idea behind it.”
- Greta O. and the Toxic Shock
Together, Maher and Emily Earl of Sulfur Studios created a lineup and decided to turn the event into a benefit for Savannah’s chapter of Planned Parenthood.
“Let’s give some money to someone who’s going to be first on the chopping block,” says Maher. “And Planned Parenthood is one of the first on the chopping block.”
It was important to both Maher and Earl to feature bands with female members, and the final lineup is a fine selection of some of Savannah’s top acts, including electronic/rock/post-punk duo Twisty Cats, punks Greta O. and the Toxic Shock, and garage-yacht duo The Lipschitz.
“That was a very purposeful task,” says Earl. “I’m personally excited to host all these bands with ladies; there need to be more women making music in Savannah, I think.”
When seeking out a venue, Maher knew Sulfur Studios was the perfect spot. With its grassroots ties through Emergent Savannah, eagerness to host charity events, and support of the arts community, their philosophy was just in line with the kind of event Maher hoped to create.
“Sulfur Studios is a great place to have a show in any way, shape, or form,” he says.
Lies in Stone made its debut at the all-ages space, opening up for Black Tusk, in 2016.
“That was our first show, and it was a lot of fun,” Maher remembers. “They were very accommodating hosts and seemed to really get people out.”
- Twisty Cats
Earl is glad that Sulfur Studios can be available for the community on days like the 20th.
“I think, especially just because this is going to be a difficult day for a lot of people it’s nice that we can use the space we have to host people in a time like that,” she says. “It’s important to not get too bummed out and get together and try to make the best out of an unfortunate situation.”
Maher says throwing an event like this in a red state like Georgia is “definitely drawing a line in the sand.”
“It’s harder to do in a place like this,” he says. “Savannah is a bigger town, but it’s still a small town. Standing up for the underrepresented in any way, shape, or form is very noble, and doing it even when you’re a minority says a lot more about your character and about what the cause is really worth. It’s definitely hard to do it in a small town like this—and Savannah’s fairly blue, but it’s still not, though. I don’t think we could get away with certain things in this town, but it’s definitely the bluest city on the coast.”
Earl and Maher both hope the event is a way for the community to come together and support one another.
“Come out, go to the show, and participate in something that’s proactive instead of being pissed about it,” suggests Maher. “Be pissed about it together. Hopefully all the bands will be extra-angry and there will be lots of fists in the air that night. Come out and rock for a cause.”