Bonneville and Vanity Theft bow out at Canal Street
By C.C. Hutten
Around 10 years ago, 13-year-old Alicia Grodecki of Dayton-based band Vanity Theft walked into The Attic for a show featuring an indie pop/rock band compiled of a few guys from her high school. What she didn’t know that night, was that soon she would be playing on that stage – and many more to come – alongside that same band, Bonneville.
The 10-year camaraderie between Bonneville and Vanity Theft comes to an end Friday, Aug. 30 at Canal Street Tavern.
While Vanity Theft is not leaving the music scene forever, the men of Bonneville have collectively decided to pursue new creative routes.
“We decided to break up to explore other things,” said Bonneville guitarist and vocalist Ryan Pitts. Bonneville started to grow more popular after the group moved to Columbus, and then the band hit a few obstacles. “It’s not as much fun when it becomes serious,” Pitts continued. “And it’s harder to practice when everyone becomes so busy.”
Each member is working on different projects and different avenues in their lives. Bass player and vocalist Kevin Sanders is taking an opportunity in France, while drummer Nick Frye is starting his own projects. Pitts said that he has a project in the works as well.
“They’re a band I’ve respected for a decade now,” Grodecki said. “It’s sad to see them go, but they are all individually talented and to see what each of them will do next is very exciting.”
“It’s like a dagger through my heart,” Pitts said. “But the show will be fun and really nostalgic for us.”
Bonneville has played countless venues in the Dayton area, but he said that Canal Street Tavern seemed fitting for a last show because of how much they played there when the first got together.
“Mick Montgomery [former owner/current booking agent at Canal Street] helped us out a lot over the years,” Pitts said. “We’ve had quite a few shows there. Canal Street is one of the only places that is really all about the music.”
The show is only a two-band bill, and Pitts said Vanity Theft seemed like an obvious choice to partner with for the farewell show.
“They’re really cool girls,” he said. “They’ve been doing it almost as long as us, and we like their sound.”
Vanity Theft recently returned from a European tour, capping off three years of nearly non-stop touring. “Right now we are laying low,” Grodecki said. “But when Ryan hit us up, we were “floored and really, really honored to join Bonneville and wish them success in their future endeavors.”
Bonneville will play about a two-and-a half-hour set after Vanity Theft, starting with their earlier music.
“Then we will bring in our recent keyboardist and finish with our newer stuff,” Pitts said. “There’s a lot of energy in our live shows. Playing live shows, out of all the things about being a band, are my most favorite thing.”
Grodecki agreed; she said there is something different about Vanity Theft’s live performances.
“When we play at home, our live show is exponentially better,” she said. “We have a blast regardless.”
Vanity Theft respects Bonneville, and connects with them as a band.
“I love Bonneville. I was blown away before I considered myself a musician,” Grodecki said.
Even though Bonneville is saying goodbye, Vanity Theft is taking more of a hiatus, and Grodecki assured her audience that she is definitely not hanging it up soon and that their audience could expect more Vanity Theft in the future.
“Right now we’re regrouping,” she said. “It’s kind of all up in the air. Europe was a big trip. I’m filling in for other bands and doing a lot writing – stepping my game up […] I’m definitely not going to stop.”
Vanity Theft’s most recent album, Get What You Came For, and Bonneville’s last official record, Amy’s House, were both released in 2011. Both artists can be found on iTunes and Spotify.
Pitts and Grodecki both said Bonneville and Vanity Theft are excited for the farewell show in their hometown where both bands began, however heartbreaking.
“Dayton has an awesome music scene,” Pitts said. “It will always be our home.”
“I know people underestimate the music scene in Dayton,” Grodecki said. “I was the same way until I ventured out. There are so many great bands in Dayton, but so few venues. It’s a small community, but a tight-nit group.”
Both bands agree that the show will be a good time. Grodecki said it’s going to be solid evening of music.
“We’re going to melt some faces with rock n’ roll,” Pitts said.
Bonneville and Vanity Theft will perform on Friday, Aug. 30 at Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St. Admission is $5 for 18 & up. Doors at 8 p.m. For more information, please visit bonnevilleband.com and vanitytheft.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer C.C. Hutten at CCHutten@DaytonCityPaper.com.