From Grand Rapids to the lakeshore, bands and fans celebrated the return of live music to packed venues, many hosting their first concerts in more than a year. Browse all of the images at Local Spins.
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It feels weird to be back, and yet at the same time, it feels like we never left.
That sums up a week that saw the vibrant, welcome return of live music to West Michigan venues such as The Pyramid Scheme, The Intersection, Grand Haven’s Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, Muskegon’s Burl & Sprig, Rake Beer Project and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
As staff at The Pyramid Scheme put it on Saturday night, things went surprisingly smoothly for the first post-pandemic-shutdown show in 16 months at the Grand Rapids venue, which rocked the rafters with sets by the instrumental duo Charles the Osprey, Crooked Heart and Cavalcade.
The crowd grew as the night wore on, with fans clearly thrilled to be back in a venue that’s cultivated a diehard clientele over the past 10 years.
“We’re honored to be here,” Charles the Osprey guitarist Rafael Ohli told fans. “It’s the first show for everyone.”
That feeling was shared across the board, with capacity crowds filling The Intersection indoors and out for shows by Tropidelic on Thursday, country star Chase Rice (with Brenden Monroe) for “Rock the Lot” on Friday, and finally, Blunts & Blondes (with Antiserum, Bawldy, Attack of the Chads) on Saturday. (View a full Local Spins review of the Tropidelic show here, with a Chase Rice photo gallery below. By the way, Old Dominion plays a special show hosted by B93 and The Intersection at Belknap Park on Wednesday.)
It was much the same at Muskegon’s Burl & Sprig Fest on Friday and Saturday, with a long roster of West Michigan favorites performing, including Desmond Jones, Flexadecibel, Earth Radio, Skyking, Trifocal, Benzing Graves Collective, Chirp, Bacano and more.
Photographer Derek Ketchum wrote that “Muskegon came out in force to celebrate” with Saturday’s turnout “probably the largest and most energetic crowed I have seen yet at a live show in this setting. Everyone was dancing and singing along throughout” Flexadecibel’s closing set.
Not far away, Kalamazoo hip hop cellist Jordan Hamilton performed a Saturday set at Muskegon’s Rake Beer Project that included a sneak preview of his new album with Saxsquatch that’s being released next week, with an official release party at Kalamazoo’s Final Gravity Brewing on Saturday.
In Grand Haven, Courtyard Concerts kicked off its first show in the Free Friday Night Summer Concert Series at Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, with gorgeous weather greeting national touring act and soul/funk/Americana band On the Sun, with West Michigan’s own Jeff Armstrong getting the evening started. Next Friday (July 16), the series continues with folk-pop’s The Sea The Sea and Loren Johnson.
PHOTO GALLERY: Charles the Osprey, Crooked Heart, Cavalcade at The Pyramid Scheme
Photos by Anna Sink
PHOTO GALLERY: Burl & Sprig Fest in Muskegon (Day 2)
Benzing Graves Collective, TriFocal, Skyking, Bacano, Chirp, Flexadecibel
Photos by Derek Ketchum
PHOTO GALLERY: Jordan Hamilton at Rake Beer Project
Photos by Derek Ketchum