The first of four early shows starring West Michigan rock bands rolls out at the Grand Rapids club in Eastown today. Get the lineup and details at Local Spins.
Going to see live music at a local club usually means a late start and a late night out.
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In many cases, that also means that young fans – those under the age of 21 – are restricted or prohibited from attending these shows at bars.
Older audiences, meanwhile, frequently grouse about bands who might not even take the stage at some venues until after 9 p.m. or even much later.
Starting today, there’s a new option on West Michigan’s concert calendar.
Welcome to matinees at Billy’s Lounge in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood.
Starting at 2 p.m. today (Nov. 12), Billy’s will host the first of four “All-Age Local Showcases” starring four West Michigan bands playing Saturday afternoon sets at the popular club.
“My ultimate goal is to have a matinee event for music lovers of all ages to enjoy,” said Devilyn Carver, entertainment manager for Mulligan’s Pub in Eastown and organizer of Billy’s All-Age Local Showcase.
“My hope is to open the door for a healthy emotional outlet for all involved, musicians and fans alike. After the last few years, I think that we all need it; personally, I missed live music the most during the (COVID) shutdown.”
Staging the shows on Saturday afternoons offers “the chance for families with younger children to experience live music in a smaller venue setting,” she added.
“I do feel that the timing of this event will also appeal to folks that enjoy doing their activities earlier in the day, or (those who) might have a varied work schedule.”
FOUR ROCK BANDS ON TAP FOR THE INAUGURAL SHOW
The first rock-driven showcase today will feature sets by Stovepipe’s Caravan (2 p.m.), Common Molly (2:45 p.m.), Fathom XIX (3:30 p.m.) and Tombstunner (4:15 p.m.), with doors opening at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for those 21-and-older; $10 for those under 21. A parent or guardian is required for those younger than 17.
“I have been personally reaching out to acts that I feel will go over well with a variety of age groups,” Carver said.
“A few of the acts we will be showcasing also performed during the Eastown Streetfair at either Billy’s Lounge or Mulligan’s Pub this year. If this event gains interest like I hope that it does, I can be reached at Devilyn@BillysLounge.com for booking inquiries.”
Carver noted that the matinee series provides opportunities “to incorporate the next generations of music makers” and give them a chance to “show off their talents,” along with more established acts.
Additional All-Age Local Showcases are planned for Nov. 26, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.
Saturday’s event at Billy’s Lounge isn’t the only afternoon option for live music this weekend in the Grand Rapids area.
At 2 p.m. Sunday at Grand Rapids’ Eastern Avenue Hall, 506 Eastern Ave. SE, Pretzel Logic, Decades and Bimini Brothers will play a “Rockin’ Relief Benefit” for musician Don Bidell, who lost his Florida home and possessions in Hurricane Ian. The show will include raffles, auctions and more. Get details here.
Other afternoon shows this weekend include Toby Bresnahan performing at Cedar Springs Brewing in Cedar Springs at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and Big Band Nouveau playing The Stray Café in Grand Rapids at 5 p.m. Sunday.
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