Zac Brown Band may have drawn Grand Rapids’ biggest crowd this week, but a Simon & Garfunkel tribute, Fauxgrass Quartet, Small Houses, Roger MacNaughton, Badfish and more are on the weekend list.
7 p.m. Friday
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Looking for something to do now that Journey has postponed its weekend show at Van Andel Arena due to singer Arnel Pineda’s throat ailment? Well, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” because there’s plenty of live music on the docket. (By the way, the Journey show likely will be rescheduled to a date in January or February.) And if you’re checking out one of these shows, snap a photo and email it firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll include it in my weekend wrapup.
Talk about an intriguing show at The Pyramid Scheme: Seattle native David Bazan, once roaring as Pedro the Lion and now just, well, David Bazan, will perform Pedro the Lion’s “Control” album at 7 p.m. ($13). And that’s probably not as confusing as it sounds. Here’s the ticket lowdown. And read more about it in this month’s REVUE Magazine here.
7 p.m. Friday
Schuler Books & Music (28th Street SE), Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids’ Fauxgrass Quartet has turned bluegrass on its ear in a good way with its energetic, jam-band styled shows — which should really rev up the intimate confines of Schuler Books’ studio on 28th Street SE. By the way, there was some confusion about the date being promoted for this show: Well, it’s at 7 p.m. Friday.
7:30 p.m. Friday
$10 suggested donation
Bethlehem Lutheran Church (250 Commerce Ave. SW), Grand Rapids
The MAJIC Concert Series continues this week with one of West Michigan’s most well-known family bands: Potato Moon. Boasting a fair amount of sibling vocal magic and instrumental prowess, the Stancils and company deliver folk-rock permeated with throwback swing, acoustic touches and rock fervor that’s made them an uber-popular live act in the Grand Rapids area.
And the band’s most recent album, “The Ghost Sessions,” is an Americana-hued gem. Photographer Paul Peterson is MAJIC’s visual artist of the month; concert donations support local organizations whose focus is social justice.
The Grand Rapids Symphony presents
The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids
For more than 10 years, singers AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle have been, well, Simon & Garfunkel, performing that duo’s biggest hits in pretty darned impressive fashion. They’ll cross the “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and join the symphony for this particular tribute. Ticket info here.
Wealthy Orphans, Kevin Kammeraad, Strawberry Heritage
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
This is not your typical CD-release show. Rick Beerhorst and Wealthy Orphans’ celebration of their brand new album, “Throwing Glory,” will be a family affair. Staged on Saturday afternoon, Brian Vander Ark will host the event, which will include a puppet show and the Laura Armenta dancers, along with band performances.
Believe me, Wealthy Orphans’ folk-rock-with-a-twist approach is thoroughly entertaining in its own right. Get tickets here.
And because Beerhorst was my guest this week on Local Spins Live (10 a.m. Wednesdays on News Talk 1340 AM, you can get a preview of the show and learn more about the new album here.
Small Houses, Mat Churchill, Water Liars, Jacob Bullard
8 p.m. Saturday
The DAAC (115 S. Division Ave.), Grand Rapids
On the other end of the concert spectrum from a giant arena show (see Zac Brown Band above) there’s downtown Grand Rapids’ ultra-intimate Division Avenue Arts Collective, aka The DAAC, which will host a small-but-riveting, 7-inch-vinyl-release show on Saturday featuring Lansing’s rootsy, acoustic-driven Small Houses, along with performances by Grand Rapids’ own Mat Churchill, Jacob Bullard (of Antrim Dells) and Water Liars.
Trampled Under Foot
8 p.m. Saturday
$13 advance, $14 day of show
State Theatre, Kalamazoo
This energetic young blues band from Kansas City already has made its mark, winning the 2008 International Blues Challenge as well as being named 2012’s blues band of the year at the Blues Blast Music Awards. The Schnebelen siblings that comprise Trampled Under Foot also have earned widespread kudos for their instrumental prowess and powerful singing. Get ticket information at the State Theatre website.
(And for those looking to get their blues fix in Grand Rapids, The Thirsty Perch Blues Band plays Billy’s Lounge in Eastown at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, $5.)
Roger MacNaughton Christmas CD-Release Show
2 p.m. Sunday
$10 advance, $12 day of show
First Congregational Church of Lowell (865 Lincoln Lake Ave.), Lowell
Ada pianist/composer Roger MacNaughton may be West Michigan’s most prolific writer. The award-winning instrumentalist will usher in the holiday season on Sunday with official release of his latest album, “A Quiet Christmas.”
MacNaughton will be joined by saxophonist John Gist and guitarist Luke Galas for what promises to be a Christmas show that’ll get your holly hopping in a warm and fuzzy way. Call LowellArts at (616) 897-8545 for advance tickets. There’s an artist’s reception following the concert. Get details here.
And head from there to downtown Grand Rapids for more jazz-hued instrumental wizardry, when Randy Marsh’s Randissimo’s Sunday Jazz cranks up at 7 p.m. Sunday at SpeakEZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Ave. NW, with Robin Connell and Ed Fedewa adding to the fun. Read more about that jazz series here.
FRIDAY: The Lustre Kings and The JetBeats roll in to The Tip Top Deluxe Bar and Grill on Grand Rapids’ West Side (760 Butterworth Ave. SW) for a rockabilly show on Friday, followed by West Michigan’s own terrific rock outfit Dutch Henry (with Daddyz Breakdown and Tamaray) on Saturday. Details here.
SATURDAY: Looking for a scintillating dose of the blues? Well Grand Rapids’ ever-popular Thirsty Perch Blues Band plays Billy’s Lounge at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5.
SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Founders Brewing Co., 235 Grandville Ave. SW, opens up early on Saturday for its Breakfast Stout celebration, which wraps up at 9:30 p.m. with a performance by the Lowdown Brass Band ($5). Get details here.
And at 7 p.m. Sunday, local musicians will pay tribute to Weezer (playing three albums in their entirety) in a benefit raising money for Grand Rapids’ Student Advancement Foundation ($5 donation). More details about that here.)
SUNDAY: Yes, they’ve been here more than a few times. But Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime returns to The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, for a rescheduled show, playing after 6:30 p.m. Sunday along with Scotty Don’t, Three Cents Short and Dockside Fever. Tickets are $15 with some four for $44 packs available. Details here. The same night, Hrvrd plays a 6 p.m. front lounge show in The Stache, with Sugar Glyder, Junior Astronomers, The Water Clocks & The Red Handed. Tickets are $6 advance, $8 day of show. (And this follows Saturday night’s hard-rocking Wayland show at the ‘Section, with Coldville, Head Trip, and Trip ‘N’ Dixie, Scrapyard; $8 advance, $10 day of show.)
A veteran journalist and former music writer for The Grand Rapids Press, John Sinkevics is editor and publisher of LocalSpins.com, profiling regional artists and commenting on West Michigan's music scene. He hosts "Local Spins Live" on News Talk 1340 AM in Grand Rapids at 11 a.m. Wednesdays, and the hour-long "Local Spins on WYCE" at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE-FM (88.1), both spotlighting regional artists.
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