The Eddy music festival wrapped up with Bradley and his soulful band on Saturday, a day which also saw compelling performances from An Dro and bands playing the Hasting Roots Music Festival.
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The incendiary R&B of Charles Bradley can make you forget all the troubles of the world for a night – maybe even forget where you are.
So despite the ups and downs of the inaugural edition of The Eddy music festival held during ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids, Bradley and His Extraordinaires put all of that in the rearview mirror late Saturday night in unloading a delectable spread of fiery, love-drenched, heart-pounding, hair-raising vintage soul for a few hundred joyful fans gathered in the impressive tented venue.
A magnificent October evening – and rousing opening sets by Vox Vidorra and Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers – greeted those attending The Eddy’s final night of music along the Grand River, and the uber-entertaining Daptone Records singer and his seven-piece band gave them plenty to smile about.
It was a show full of trademark Bradley highlights: classic James Brown-like dance moves and costume changes, horn- and organ-infused, in-the-groove soul from a razor-tight bunch of musicians, and those signature soul-man screams.
“I came here to give you a party and a good time,” Bradley said early on, and that’s just what he did.
With heartfelt renditions of “You Put the Flame On It,” “How Long” and “The World,” the singer and his crew delivered what continues to be one of the best live soul shows in the business – amid the top-notch sound and lighting of The Eddy – even if Bradley hasn’t become a household name.
It was an upbeat ending to a new music festival that never got the traction it was seeking, with turnouts that were disappointing except for a near-capacity concert headlined last weekend by The Avett Brothers. Indeed, the 10-day festival became a nine-day festival: Traverse City-based Porterhouse Presents canceled Sunday night’s 1964: The Tribute show and was instead packing up the tented venue today.
Nevertheless, promoter Sam Porter has said he hopes to build on the first-year event with the possibility of staging the festival in Grand Rapids again in 2016.
Bradley’s show was one of several inspiring weekend music events across West Michigan that spanned a multitude of genres:
• An Dro brought in several special musical guests on Saturday night to present music from its new orchestral album, “The Music of James Spalink,” in the resplendent setting of Grand Rapids’ Fountain Street Church. An audience of 100-plus was treated to a lush presentation of the instrumentally fetching compositions, with videos and photos of Michigan landscapes as a backdrop. (Check out video highlights below.)
• The first-ever Hastings Roots Music Festival showcased 10 Michigan bands on four different stages in downtown Hastings on Saturday. “The event was quite successful,” organizer Tony LaJoye told Local Spins. “We were pleased with the turnout and everything went smoothly. Assuming the Thornapple Arts Council gives us the green light, we’ll be doing it again next year.”
• Kalamazoo’s Bell’s Brewery on Friday hosted the prog-rock/dance/jam band Dopapod, along with West Michigan’s own The Nth Power.
• Beats Antique returned to The Intersection on Saturday with its colorful world fusion and “ethnotronica” spectacle, part of the group’s “Creature Carnival” tour.
LOCAL SPINS WEEKEND PHOTO GALLERY
Charles Bradley, Vox Vidorra, Joe Hertler photos by Anna Sink
An Dro photos by John Sinkevics
Hastings Roots Music Festival photos by Tony LaJoye
Dopapod, Nth Power photos by Derek Ketchum
Beats Antique photos by Anna Sink
VIDEO: An Dro and Friends
Copyright 2015, Spins on Music LLC