Officially, the odd summer of 2020 enters its final month this week — just as live music options ramp up to take advantage of the warm Michigan weather. See what’s on tap via this week’s show listings.
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Grand Rapids psychedelic rock band Lazy Genius hasn’t played a live show since October.
So, hitting the stage for the first time in 10 months amid a coronavirus pandemic represents a big step for the group, which was forced to cancel spring shows at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium and Grand Rapids Public Library.
It’s also a big step for Blandford Nature Center, which kicks off its 2020 “Bands at Blandford” series this week with Lazy Genius playing outdoors at 7 p.m. Friday (Aug. 21).
“They have assured us it’s going to be safe. We are going to wear masks and are bringing all of our own gear, including the PA and mics,” said band leader and guitarist Patrick Wieland, adding that Blandford is limiting capacity to 50 people and requiring advance ticket purchases to ensure social-distancing.
“I don’t think we would do it if it wasn’t outside. It’s definitely not willy-nilly or thrown together. They have put some thought into it.”
Indeed, the four-concert Friday series at Blandford, 3143 Milo St. NW, requires attendees to wear masks while not seated and puts a maximum of six people in “social distance circles” to meet COVID-19 health guidelines.
Blandford follows up Friday’s show with Kalamazoo hip hop cellist and Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year Jordan Hamilton on Aug. 28, Grand Rapids-area folk group The Blue Water Ramblers on Sept. 4 and Grand Rapids vintage/outlaw country band The Bootstrap Boys on Sept. 11.
“Planning to move forward with the concert series this year has been a roller-coaster,” conceded Katie Clouse, Blandford’s volunteer manager. ” We really wanted to make this concert series work, so we continued to monitor the current pandemic while actively researching ways to still connect and engage with our community in a safe way. We were able to creatively come up with ways to ensure all attendees will be safe and socially distanced.
Get tickets for Friday’s concert — $20 ($15 members), VIP $35 ($30 members) — and more details online at blandfordnaturecenter.org. It’s also Lazy Genius’ first show with new guitarist Tim Warren (from Tokyo Morose and Hollywood Makeout).
Tickets for all concerts in the series are pre-sale only “to limit the amount of people on site as well as to minimize face-to-face contact,” Clouse said, noting concessions will require credit cards only for sales, and attendees are encouraged bring their own low camp chairs or blankets for seating.
And while it seems like summer is winding down, opportunities to experience live music are escalating in West Michigan, starting with tonight’s deck concert by Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Cameron Blake (with guitarist Andrew Saliba) at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck.
Due to COVID-19, it’s been six months since Blake has performed for an audience. Tickets for the 8 p.m. Monday concert are $27 and available online here. The show will also be live-streamed on the center’s Facebook page.
Other notable shows on the docket: Listening Room’s “Listening Lawn” series with Lady Ace Boogie and Lokella outdoors at Grand Rapids’ Studio Park on Thursday (read more about that concert later this week at Local Spins), Lowell’s Camp Clear Sky hosting FlyLiteGemini on Friday and Benton Harbor’s Mendel Center staging its second drive-in concert Saturday with Bryan Lubeck, Sypian Family Band and Dan Maxon.
Those attending in-person concerts are encouraged to wear masks, social-distance, wash their hands and follow guidelines as recommended. If your business or your band has a live, in-person performance to add to this concert listing, email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BIG LIST CONCERT GUIDE (Aug. 17-23)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to changing conditions and unexpected closures, check with the restaurants or venues on this list before you make plans to attend a show to make sure they’re still open.
• Brena outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Monday
• Keys to the Kool playing “Concerts in the Park” at John Collins Park in East Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Monday
• Cameron Blake playing outdoors on the deck at Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St. in Saugatuck, 8 p.m. Monday ($27; get tickets/details here).
• Nicholas James Thomasma and Yoshi Rhythmos playing a backyard show at 924 3rd St. NW in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Tuesday (Details here, donations accepted)
• Strumble Head outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Tuesday
• The New Standard jazz jam at Dee Lite, 24 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 6 p.m. Tuesday
• Jack Leaver playing Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
• West Michigan Opera Project playing the “Driveway Concert Series” in Grand Rapids Township, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Get details, directions and register online here.)
• James Reeser & The Backseat Drivers performing at Bates Alley for “Beats on Bates” in Kalamazoo, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
• Blue Jay Bridge outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Wednesday
• Six Gun Report at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
• The Hacky Turtles playing Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for “Relax at Rosa,” noon Thursday
• CANCELED/CLOSED: My Thin Place playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 5 p.m. Thursday
• Bruce Matthews Band playing the outdoor summer concert series (by Eyes & Beers of Caledonia) at the Caledonia Community Green Space in Caledonia, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Moonshot outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Coty Bouchard playing the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Rusty Pickel playing Third Nature Brewing Co., 7733 Childsdale Ave. NE in Rockford, 7 p.m. Thursday
• Lynn & The Moonshine Runners playing Burl & Sprig, 500 W. Western Ave. Suite 200 in Muskegon, 7 p.m. Thursday
• The Carl Webb band at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Thursday
• Ultimate Taste Band playing the Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion, 100 S. Lake St., Cadillac, 7 p.m. Thursday
• The Silverado Band playing for “Dancing Into the Sunset” at the Pomona Park Bandshell in Fruitport, 7 p.m. Thursday
• Lady Ace Boogie and Lokella playing the “Listening Lawn” series on the piazza at Studio Park outside Listening Room at Oakes Street and Ionia Avenue SW in downtown Grand Rapids, 8 p.m. Thursday, $35. (Get details here.)
• White Elephant Records presents music for the “Pocket Park Music Series” in downtown Big Rapids, noon Friday
• Note: Sandy Point Beach House closed Thursday after a team member tested positive for COVID-19. Call or check the restaurant’s Facebook page for an update. Bryan Scott Hammond playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 5 p.m. Friday
• Grayson Barton playing The B.O.B.’s Beer Garden in downtown Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Friday
• Trilogy outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Friday
• Dave & Connie D playing Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 6 p.m. Friday
• Lazy Genius playing “Bands at Blandford” at Blandford Nature Center, 3145 Milo St. NW, 7 p.m. Friday; $20 ($15 members); VIP $35 ($30 members); get details here.
• FlyLiteGemini playing outdoors at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE, Lowell, 7 p.m. Friday; register here. (Camp Clear Sky also hosts an open-mic session at 5 p.m. Saturday.)
• Two Dudes in Flip Flops at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, 415 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 8 p.m. Friday
• Trapped on Mars playing the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 8:30 p.m. Friday
• Chunk of Funk playing Itty Bitty Bar, 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Holland, 9 p.m. Friday.
• DownRiver Dan playing Fenn Valley Vineyards, 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville, 2 p.m. Saturday ($5)
• Bryan Lubeck, Sypian Family Band and Dan Maxon playing a drive-in concert at The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 1100 Yore Ave., Benton Harbor, $50-$60 per carload, 3 p.m. Saturday (Get details online here.)
• The New Standard playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 5 p.m. Saturday
• Hazy Past outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Saturday
• Rachel Curtis playing Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 6 p.m. Saturday
• Somewhere in Time playing “Good Times at the Gazebo” at the gazebo in downtown Allegan, 7 p.m. Saturday
• John Shea Trio playing Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th St. SE, 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Call for reservations)
• Serita’s Black Rose duo playing Guardian Brewing, 3657 63rd St. in Saugatuck, 7 p.m. Saturday
• DJ Jay Vee playing The B.O.B.’s Beer Garden in downtown Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Saturday
• Emily Joyce at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, 415 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 8 p.m. Saturday
• Pretzel Logic playing the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 8:30 p.m. Saturday
• Rock Shop playing Itty Bitty Bar, 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Holland, 9 p.m. Saturday
• Jim Spalink at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, noon Sunday
• Mark Sala playing “Singer-Songwriter Sundays” at Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 2 p.m. Sunday
• Jake Stevens playing the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 4 p.m. Sunday
• Three’s a Crowd outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Sunday
Have a show to add to The Big List? Email email@example.com.
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