Holiday shows, tours of different stripes and a bittersweet Go Rounds run unfurled on stages across West Michigan. Check out the concert recaps, photo galleries and a video at Local Spins.
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Talk about holiday shows on different ends of the musical spectrum — and even different sides of the color spectrum.
At Grand Rapids’ Listening Room on Friday it was a two-show evening of jazz-fueled classics ranging from “Christmas Time is Here” to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” served up by singer and Rockford native Bradley Sinclair and The Corey Sound, with the Shades of Blue vocal group pitching in.
The Nashville-based Sinclair and a seven-piece Michigan jazz band — piano, bass, drums and a four-piece horn section — regaled the full house in vintage “Rat Pack” fashion, turning Listening Room into a festive lounge that was missing only a cozy fireplace and olive-filled martini glasses.
Three blocks away, the holiday celebration took a much more raucous and rousing approach.
At Elevation inside The Intersection, Grand Rapids’ Mustard Plug — Michigan’s reigning kings of ska — revved up its annual holiday show and 30th anniversary fling with high-energy, skank-inducing revelry that had musicians and fans alike bouncing, moshing and dashing in every direction.
The operative color wasn’t red or green, but yellow: Mustard Plug yellow. The entire band was clad in flashy new, bright yellow suits. Flanked by inflatable snowmen, frontman David Kirchgessner and the rest of the band unleashed fan-pleasing renditions of everything from “Living in a Box” to “On and On” to “You” and more during what was billed as Mustard Plug’s 1,907th live show.
“We’re very proud that you could join us tonight,” Kirchgessner told fans, who also cheered openings sets by Dance Contraption, Kill Lincoln and Small Foreign Faction.
Another sort of milestone took place in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids over the weekend, with West Michigan rock band The Go Rounds playing their last two concerts for the foreseeable future at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe and The Pyramid Scheme.
“We don’t know what the future holds,” the band had written on Facebook ahead of the shows.
There was plenty of fan fervor on tap for those bittersweet appearances at Bell’s and The Pyramid Scheme, with Earth Radio opening the shows.
At Saturday’s Pyramid Scheme spectacle in particular, The Go Rounds delivered a frenzy of showmanship and musicianship. Frontman Graham Parsons howled under a full moon to the delight of a full crowd of fans, who joyously reveled in a bath of inventive psych-rock.
Also on Saturday: Soul singer Will Downing, with special guest Yancyy, played Kalamazoo’s State Theatre. Earlier in the week:
• The Watkins Family Hour, aka siblings Sara and Sean Watkins (along with special guest Courtney Hartman), enthralled a St. Cecilia Music Center audience on Thursday with instrumental prowess and striking harmonies as part of the tour behind “Brother Sister”;
• Also on Thursday, Connecticut “heavy future groove” trio Lespecial rolled into The Stache at The Intersection.
PHOTO GALLERY: Mustard Plug at Elevation (Friday)
Photos by Eric Stoike and John Sinkevics
PHOTO GALLERY: Bradley Sinclair and The Corey Sound at Listening Room (Friday)
Photos by Anna Sink and John Sinkevics
PHOTO GALLERY: The Go Rounds, Earth Radio at The Pyramid Scheme (Saturday)
Photos by Anna Sink and Katy Batdorff