St. Patrick’s Day celebrations may have been the focus for many, but West Michigan’s live music week also delivered country, indie-pop, metal, alt-country and world music charm. Photos at Local Spins.
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For Celtic-driven West Michigan acts such as the Conklin Ceili Band and Selkie, last week’s all-in revival of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after two years proved to be a welcome blast of Irish music and a step toward pre-COVID revelry.
Conklin Ceili Band was part of Thursday’s traditional merriment at Grand Rapids’ Quinn & Tuite’s Irish Pub, which hosted a day-long party that also featured music from Colin Tobin and Brendan Loughrey.
That same night, Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake celebrated the holiday with a tour stop by The Mastersons, based in Los Angeles, and The Whitmore Sisters.
Meanwhile, Selkie – featuring Jim Spalink, Michele Venegas and Cara Lieurance – played to a capacity crowd of Irish music fans on Wednesday at SpeakEZ Lounge in the first “Local Spins Wednesdays” show since the pandemic shut down the series in March 2020. The trio followed that with a Thursday performance at Holland’s Curragh Irish Pub.
Earlier in the week, New York native and indie-pop songwriter Caroline Rose made a tour stop at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, with Toth getting the night started.
And on Friday, varied acts pumped up stages from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.
Grand Rapids’ Whorled trio – following up on its St. Paddy’s Day performances – uncorked its world music charm to win the third round in The Stray Café’s month-long ‘Battle of the Bands,’ just ahead of Low Phase. Other regional acts performing on Friday were King Ink, Painted Friends and Ficus. The finals featuring Whorled, Epitones and Daisybox will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday (March 25).
At The Intersection, country star Jon Langston brought “Party Boots” to kick up his heels on the “All Good Out Here” tour that also featured Noah Hicks.
In Kalamazoo, it was a hard-rocking affair at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café with Drink Their Blood, Lokella and Lucious Fox rattling the rafters for a show originally slated to take place in November. Photographer Derek Ketchum noted things “got pretty metal,” with Lokella unfurling some new tunes from an upcoming album and Drink Their Blood delivering saxophone-infused prog-metal strains.
Finally, Ann Arbor blues-rock fave Laith Al-Saadi unleashed his guitar-driven magic on Saturday night at Holland’s Park Theatre.
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PHOTO GALLERY: Conklin Ceili Band at Quinn & Tuite’s Irish Pub
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker
PHOTO GALLERY: Selkie at SpeakEZ Lounge
Photos by Anna Sink
PHOTO GALLERY: The Mastersons, Whitmore Sisters at Seven Steps Up
Photos by Bryan Bolea