Keith Perks

PHOTOS: Grant Williams CD release party with Behind the Grey and Katie Kelly at Thirst T’s, 10/14/16

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It’s not often that you hear a solo bass album, and it’s even less frequent to see a live show that revolves around the bass, so we just had to attend Grant Williams’ early release party for his debut album, “Suspended Animation,” at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant on Friday, Oct. 14.

Wilkes-Barre singer/songwriter Katie Kelly, who goes by The Onyx Oak these days, opened the night with her original outer folk music, joined by her Umbriel bandmates Aarika Whittle and Anthony “Shiny” Montini for one song, “Funeral Pyres,” which exclusively premiered on NEPA Scene earlier this year.

Next up was Scranton metal band Behind the Grey, who performed their first-ever acoustic set featuring eight stripped-down versions of their hard rocking tunes with new singer Dom Vito. While they admitted they were a bit nervous to try something new, the set was well-received by the crowd and recorded by NEPA Scene for an online video exclusive.

Then it was time for Williams to take the stage with drummer Chris Langan of LondonForce, Dani-elle, and many other local bands. Williams played through 10 of the 11 tracks from the instrumental album, along with a cover of Skrillex’s electronic hit “Bangarang.”

Showing off his collection of different basses through their unique sounds and explaining the deeper meaning behind each of his original bass compositions, Williams also played a snippet of a new song he’s working on after the audience chanted for more at the end of his set.

“Something about it was just instantly gripping,” he said of his chosen instrument in a recent interview with NEPA Scene.

“It’s still the coolest instrument. There’s no effort that goes into it. There’s never been, ‘I have to learn something because it’s getting boring.’ There’s never been a rut where I even considered stopping. It’s just awesome. I have ukuleles and all that stuff. Even the stand-up bass – it’s cool, but it’s not the electric bass. I couldn’t tell you what it is, but there is just some Hallmark, lovey-dovey nonsense that happens between me and the instrument all the time.”

Read an in-depth interview with Williams about his entire musical career and get the details on his upcoming live performances here.