Mid-September and the final week of summer offers intriguing live music options across West Michigan, from outdoor decks to drive-in shows. The concert guide lowdown at Local Spins.
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Football has begun, sort of.
Kids are back in school, sort of.
Concerts are back, sort of.
September boasts some familiar activities taking place in unfamiliar ways, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, West Michigan celebrates the final week of summer (officially) with a fair number of outdoor concerts that cover a lot of musical territory.
There’s the continuation of Grand Rapids’ month-long “The Bridge” celebration continues in earnest this week with swing and line dancing instruction at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Rosa Parks Circle, Heartside artists pop-up performances at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on Wednesday afternoon (and on Friday) followed by a Circle Theatre fundraising concert at Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night, and DJ Ty Beat lighting up the Blue Bridge downtown at 8 p.m. Friday. (DJ Ace returns to the Blue Bridge at 8 p.m. Saturday.)
On Thursday evening, blues-rock guitarist Jake Kershaw fires up the Listening Room’s “Listening Lawn” series outside Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids at 7:30 p.m.
Over the weekend, there are drive-in shows from Benton Harbor to Portage to Manistee.
The Portage District Library rolls out a blues concert featuring Kalamazoo’s Out of Favor Boys at 3 p.m. Saturday; Manistee’s Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts will feature Michigan country singer Sadie Bass and opener Jason Cross at 5 p.m. Saturday, setting up in the old K-Mart parking lot at 1560 U.S. 31; and Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center in Benton Harbor hosts The Resurrection Blues Band, Sankofa and Siusan O’Rourke & Zig Zeitler at 6 p.m. Saturday. (NOTE: The Big Payback originally was scheduled to headline this show, but Mendel Center announced Friday they could no longer appear and would be replacd by The Resurrection Blues Band.)
A couple of interesting new shows: the Schlitz Creek bluegrass band performs outside the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners at 4 p.m. Saturday, part of the museum’s collaboration with Bike Friendly Kalamazoo’s Fall Bike Celebration. Museum entry is $16 adults, $11 youth, and includes the concert. Details here. Flylit Gemini Duo, meanwhile, plays the new “Live from the Marquee” show at Kalamazoo State Theatre at 4 p.m. Friday.
And this year, the live music portion of LowellArts’ Fallasburg Arts Festival takes place at Camp Clear Sky just outside of Lowell, with three sessions of performances by the likes of The Ryne Experience, Hayes Griffin & Jason Wheeler, Josh Rose & Kyle Rasche, Peat in the Creel, Bruce Matthews Band, Benzing-Graves Collective, Adams Family, Hawks & Owls and more. Get info at lowellartsmi.org. (And as if the coronavirus wasn’t enough, this live music had to be rescheduled due to recommendations from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regarding the risks associated with after-dusk activities due to the mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Saturday’s second session has been moved up to 4 p.m. and shortened by an hour.)
The must-see online events of the week? Earthwork Harvest Gathering’s “Harvest at Home” will unfurl four days of video performances by Michigan stars, starting Thursday night. Read more about that later this week at Local Spins. And Grand Rapids’ St. Cecilia Music Center launches its “Virtual Series” with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presenting Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung online at 7 p.m. Thursday.
THE BIG LIST CONCERT GUIDE (Sept. 14-20)
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.
• In Denial outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Monday
• Hazy Past 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
• Swing and Line Dancing Instruction and Dance at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Tuesday (masks, social-distancing required, 100-person maximum)
• Mike Luusua playing at Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 South Harrison St. in Ludington, will now take place on Sept. 16, $5, details here.
• Heartside Artists Pop-Up Performances at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday
• Kanola Band performing at Bates Alley for “Beats on Bates” in Kalamazoo, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
• Oxymorons outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Wednesday
• Evening Jam Session at Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 South Harrison St. in Ludington, 6 p.m. Wednesday
• Jen Chambers at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
• Samuel Nalangira playing Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for “Relax at Rosa,” noon Thursday
• Brena outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Flatland Grip playing the Music in the Garten series at Third Nature Brewing Co., 7733 Childsdale Ave. NE in Rockford, 7 p.m. Friday
• Jake Kershaw wsg Drew Nelson playing Listening Room’s ‘Listening Lawn’ series outside Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, $70 for a pair of tickets online here.
• The Lazy Leprechauns performing for the “Pocket Park Music Series” in downtown Big Rapids, noon Friday
• FlyLite Gemini Duo playing “Live from the Marquee” at Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick Ave. in Kalamazoo, 4 p.m. Saturday
• Randy Johnson playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 5 p.m. Friday
• Moonshot outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Friday
• Edison Kitt & The Strangers playing the Music in the Garten series at Third Nature Brewing Co., 7733 Childsdale Ave. NE in Rockford, 7 p.m. Friday
• Lynn Thompson playing Wicks Park Bar & Grill in Saugatuck, 7 p.m. Friday
• DJ Ty Beat playing “Blue Bridge Lights” on the blue pedestrian bridge over the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids as part of The Bridge, 8 p.m. Friday (details here)
• Kindred at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, 415 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 8 p.m. Friday
• Fallasburg Festival Session 1 with Jerry Carsten Dan, Hayes Griffin/Jason Wheeler, Josh Rose/Kyle Rasche, Eli Roe at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE in Lowell, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, $20 (info here).
• Lynn & the Moonshine Runners playing “Music in the Vineyards” at Fenn Valley Vineyards, 6130 122nd Ave. in Fennville, 2 p.m. Saturday (reservations required, details here)
• Out of Favor Boys playing a drive-in show in the main parking lot of the Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane in Portage, 3 p.m. Saturday, free (get details here)
• Schlitz Creek bluegrass band playing outside Gilmore Car Museum, 6865 Hickory Road in Hickory Corners, 4 p.m. Saturday, $16 adults, $11 youth
• Coty Bouchard playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 4 p.m. Saturday
• Sadie Bass and Jason Cross performing a drive-in show at the old K-Mart parking lot, 1560 U.S. 31 in Manistee, hosted by the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, 5 p.m. Saturday, $50 per vehicle
• The Leprecons playing outdoors for “Irish There Was a Fest Celebration” at Unruly Brewing, 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, 5 p.m. Friday
• Bucket O’ Maybes at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Saturday
• Fallasburg Festival Session 2 with Peat in the Creel, The Bruce Matthews Band, Mac/Mora at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE in Lowell, 4-7 p.m. Saturday, $20 (info here).
• The Barley Saints performing outdoors for “Irish There Was a Fest Celebration” at Unruly Brewing, 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, 5 p.m. Saturday
• The Resurrection Blues Band, Sankofa and Siusan O’Rourke & Zig Zeitler playing a drive-in concert at The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 1100 Yore Ave. in Benton Harbor, 6 p.m. Saturday, $13-$53 per car (based on number of occupants). Details online at themendelcenter.com.
• John Shea Trio playing Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th St. SE, 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Call for reservations)
• Vincent Hayes at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, 415 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 7 p.m. Saturday
• The Jetts Duo playing Wicks Park Bar & Grill in Saugatuck, 7 p.m. Saturday
• DJ Ace playing “Blue Bridge Lights” on the blue pedestrian bridge over the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids as part of The Bridge, 8 p.m. Saturday
• Messin Around Band playing River City Saloon, 1152 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids, 9 p.m. Saturday
• The Sound Still playing Itty Bitty Bar, 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Holland, 9 p.m. Saturday
• Dave Slivinski at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, noon Sunday
• Fallasburg Festival Session 3 with The Ryne Experience, Easy Idle String Band, Hawks & Owls String Band and The Willeys at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE in Lowell, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, $20 (info here).
• Lynn & The Moonshine Runners playing The Underpass at The Pinnacle Center, 3330 Highland Drive in Hudsonville, 4 p.m. Sunday
• Round Brown Suitcase 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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