A BU Central performer died at Boston Medical Center Friday night after complaining of lightheadedness following his set the night before, witnesses at the show said.
Last Lights lead singer Dominic Mallary was transported to BMC around 11 p.m. Thursday , according to a Boston University Police Department report of the incident, about two hours after his band opened as the first act for the concert. He was 24 years old.
Mallary had wrapped his microphone cord around his neck as part of his act, which Last Lights drummer Patrick Murphy said temporarily stopped the blood flow to the lead singer’s brain. Witnesses at the event said Mallary completed the show and seemed conscious and alert for the next two hours, however.
‘He seemed fine for at least an hour or two, but after the last band played, he said he was feeling faint and couldn’t feel his legs,’ he said. ‘When they arrived at the hospital, he started to go into seizures, and that’s when he lost consciousness.’
Murphy said Mallary, who sings music mostly from the hardcore genre, twisted his microphone cord around him for every show he performed, and that ‘it just happened to be this time’ that the act did not end well.
Once at the hospital, Mallary was put on life support because he was unable breathe on his own, Murphy said.
‘They confirmed him basically brain dead,’ he said.
Mallary, a 2007 Emerson College graduate who majored in writing, literature and publishing, wrote all the music and lyrics for the band, Murphy said.
‘He was playing guitar his whole life,’ Murphy said. ‘Every band I’ve ever been in with him, he’s written all the music, and it’s just amazing. He was an original songwriter.’
Murphy said the music label Think Fast! had signed the band just two days before its performance at BU Central. Last Lights will not continue without Mallary despite a planned tour.
‘It shouldn’t have happened to him,’ Murphy said. ‘His band was doing good. Everything he worked for his entire life was finally coming true.’
College of General Studies sophomore Greg Friedlander said his band played a show with Last Lights last year, and he attended on Thursday to see the band.
‘Every time they play, he gives a hundred percent,’ Friedlander said. ‘In the hardcore community, it’s been absolutely devastating. People who don’t even know him are just in shock.’
Last Lights opened for the hardcore band Four Year Strong in a Live Concert Series performance at BU Central. About 250 people attended Mallary’s last performance, BU Central Manager Brandon Epstein said.
‘He played a fantastic and memorable show for fans at BU Central on Thursday evening, and it is clear he will be missed,’ Epstein, a School of Management senior, said in an email.
College of Arts and Sciences junior Jeanne Mansfield attended the show, and said she was surprised to find out about Mallary’s death.
‘He was amazing in what he was able to do, not even just in singing and screaming, but dancing and jumping around at the same time,’ she said. ‘During the Four Years Strong show, he was just as energetic as he was when he was singing. I would’ve never assumed anything was wrong.
‘It’s just weird to think that him doing what he apparently loved killed him,’ she said.
Staff reporters Lauren Finch, Borana Greku and Taylor Miles contributed reporting to this story.