The news of Mark Erickson's suicide in September hit the Phoenix music community hard. Erickson was a familiar face on stage, performing in local groups including ROAR, Gospel Claws, and Sweetbleeders.
But it was Colorstore, the band he fronted for nearly a decade, that most reflects Erickson's commanding, singular vision.
R.I.P. Mark Erickson of Colorstore, Roar, and Gospel Claws Mark Erickson (Colorstore, Sweetbleeders, Gospel Claws, Roar) Memorial Service/Benefit Announced Download: Colorstore's Shambolic, Fuzzy "My Life As a Beaver"
"It wouldn't be Colorstore without Mark," says Colorstore drummer Jef Wright, "Colorstore was his band. He wrote all of the songs and all of the lyrics."
As a tribute to Erickson, Colorstore is prepping for its final show, to be held on Saturday, December 8, at FilmBar. In addition to live performance, the show will serve as a memorial and will see the vinyl release of Colorstore's Afire, released in digital and CD format in April 2012.
"We have not played any shows since Mark passed," Wright says. "The idea for a final show came up fairly early on, I believe, the night of Mark's memorial. It has been therapeutic for us to continue to get together, play the songs, and keep Mark's memory alive through his songs."
Wright says the lineup will feature the remaining members of Colorstore (Robin Vining, Jef Wright, Aaron Burke, Jeremy Randall, and Chris Kennedy), as well as former members Mike Devine, David Marquez, and Ryan Breen. Guest vocalists Abe Gil (Treasure Mammal) and Owen Evans (ROAR) will also perform.
"Pretty much everyone is chipping in on the vocals," Wright says. "Each song will be its own unique representation of what Mark was playing and singing." Wright set up a fund for Erickson's children shortly after his passing (see the band's Facebook page for details regarding donations).
"The outpouring of support for Sophie and Jack has been incredible," Wright says. "The donations are all being put into an investment account managed by Mark's sister so that the funds can grow until Sophie and Jack are young adults. Since Mark's passing, we have donated all of our music sales to the fund for his children and we will continue to do so moving forward. All proceeds from the show on December 8 are being donated to the fund."
Colorstore will utilize FilmBar's innovative setup for visual projections and pictures of Erickson.
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"Colorstore played FilmBar in August of 2011 and it was one of Mark's favorite shows that we have ever played," Wright says. "It is very fitting for our final show to be there. We had planned a vinyl release of Afire for quite a while, but it was on hold for a bit. Making sure that it came out on vinyl was very important to us because it would have meant the world to Mark."
$10 tickets to Colorstore's final show include a copy of Afire on your choice of vinyl or CD.