Thank You Rick, Thank You Dusk

One of the first things I noticed when I stopped by Dusk on Monday was that the iconic name plate had been removed, but the facade was now covered in well-wishes from Friday night’s attendees. A crew was inside removing fixtures and that’s where I found beloved Dusk owner, Rick Sunderland, who had of course set aside the sign. And what better place to pose with it than in front of the also iconic Kiefer portrait. (I have no idea where that is going.)

The closing prompted an outpouring of memories on social media, people recalling favorite bands, favorite shows, the summer nights outside, the night they met their girlfriend. And many, like Irene Yibirin writing for Motif Magazine, found a third place and second family when she moved to town, one that was open to her idea of a short film festival.

Everyone made plans around the two-day, Fourth of July Revival/Summerfest featuring what seemed like every band on the East Coast, playing both indoors and out, with all the lumpy couches pulled out onto the pavement. They also held the two-day Shiza Fest to celebrate/mourn the life of local drummer Nick Iddon. Special events and causes often found a home here. And while I favor live music, Dusk also hosted the best DJ’d dance nights with Soul Power and events like Cure vs. Siouxsie.

Mostly, everyone is going to miss Rick, who will be keeping his day job. Rick has been a gym teacher at Central High for 23 years! (How has he kept up this schedule?) Rick will initially be taking some time off but don’t be surprised if he isn’t done with the local scene.

Local music writer Rob Duguay expressed some “Thoughts on Dusk” at Culture Beat:

When I was going through rough times, Dusk was one of the places of refuge for me. I could just put my worries on the back burner and enjoy myself for a bit. . . . I also consider current and former employees including Danielle Tellier, Dan Baldwin, Dan St. Jacques, Amanda Salemi, Amy Bee Spielman, Aaron Bressler, Sammy D’Ambruoso, Vinnie Bellows and Tom West to be good friends of mine as well and I always looked forward to seeing them when I stopped by.

Not surprisingly, Yibirin also remembered some of the same folks:

My heartfelt gratitude goes out to the incredible individuals who shaped Dusk into the haven it became – Coach Rick, Danielle, Kayla, Chelsea, Amanda, Sammy, Corey, Vinnie, Danny, Dan, and everyone who contributed to the vibrant spirit of the venue. Your impact will be sorely missed, and the closure of Dusk marks the end of an era that will be remembered fondly by all of us who considered it our home.

That’s the kind of place it was.

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Patrons went to town on every flat surface last Friday night, leaving well-wishes, declarations of love, and brickbats for the new owners. I shudder to think what this stretch of Harris Avenue is going to look like by next year.

How many bands played there? This many.

 

1 thought on “Thank You Rick, Thank You Dusk”

  1. Rick and Danielle are prob my two favorite people in the the providence music industry. Always made this old dude feel like he was part of the scene when I was mostly just old! Rock on kids!!

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