West Michigan welcomed summer early by turning amps to 11 with surf rock, jazz, metal, blues and a bunch of fun-loving VW bus owners, captured in images at Local Spins.
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The holiday weekend isn’t nearly over, but what an impressive start.
From campers and Volkswagen bus owners cheering West Michigan indie-rock and Americana bands at Camp Blodgett along Lake Michigan (read the story and view more Local Spins photos here) to microbrew-quaffing surf-rock fans bopping to the delectable strains of The Concussions during a guest-laden CD-release show at Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, it was a Memorial Day weekend to remember.
It started with the scary industrial metal of Cleveland’s Mushroomhead tearing up The Intersection stage — sort of like a bizarre blending of GWAR and the Blue Man Group — with help from Lydia Can’t Breathe, Erasing Never and others.
The same night, Nashville singer-songwriter Mark Stuart told engaging tales to introduce compelling songs (including a rousing version of Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”) for a small but approving crowd at One Trick Pony, and Grand Rapids’ own The Weatherheads did much the same at Rockford Brewing.
Things really got rolling on Friday with the aforementioned Buses by the Beach (featuring performances by Nicholas James & The Bandwagon, Loose Meat Sandwich and Roosevelt Diggs), while Grand Rapids hosted French philosopher, guitarist and avant garde electronic rock artist Richard Pinhas and free-flowing New York jazz musicians Adam Caine and Federico Ughi for a singular evening of improvisational music at Hugo Claudin’s Mexicains Sans Frontieres.
On the West Side, Flint’s Rusty Wright Band uncorked tight and inventive blues with a Southern rock flair at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill for a dance-happy crowd.
Of course, the party was just beginning because one of West Michigan’s most lovable party-starters The Concussions celebrated release of their latest surf rock classic, “Break Up with the Concussions” on Saturday night at a bustling Founders Brewing Co.
While The Concussions don’t sing, they brought out some special guest vocalists to spice up the evening: Shirley Bassey (aka Kathy LaMar) to sing “Goldfinger,” Glen Campbells (two of ’em: Johnny HiWatt and Rev Charles Preston Smith) for “Wichita Lineman,” and Mick Jagger (Joshua Burge) to bust out “Paint It Black.” The electric evening also included the first official full performance in about seven years by West Michigan rock band Voda and a furious, night-ending set by the ever-raucous Boss Mustangs. Check out some video highlights below.
Email John Sinkevics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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