Sunday wrapped up West Michigan’s music week with fan-engaging concerts in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, following revelry that got the whole holiday weekend started. The images at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES FEATURING DAVID CROSBY, ‘TIME OUT,’ HANNAH ROSE GRAVES, DESMOND JONES, MELOPHOBIX, GREENSKY BLUEGRASS AND MORE
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David Crosby’s music — and his message — continues to evolve and stay relevant.
Playing in front of a full mezzanine and a balcony that was about a quarter full at the beautiful Kalamazoo State Theatre on Sunday night, the co-founder of both The Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash, apologized early on for breaking the rules and opening the show with a new song.
He then did it again, and again, and again, as he and his Lighthouse Band performed numerous tracks from the October release, “Here if You Listen,” the fourth album Crosby has put out in the past five years.
The band, comprised of Snarky Puppy composer and band leader Michael League on bass, along with talented vocalists Becca Stevens on guitar and Michelle Willis on keys, functioned — as they do in the studio — as much more of a collaborative unit than simply a backing band.
The personable 77-year-old conceded the spotlight to each of them over the course of the night, while riffing between numbers on everything from his “bad reputation for writing science fiction songs,” to performing in front of John Lennon and Mick Jagger in a smoky London pub as a young musician, to his unwavering belief that the United States would be in much better shape if women took over and ran the country.
The two women on stage both shined on new tracks such as Stevens’ “The Muse,” and then Willis on “Glory.” And while the show consisted of mostly newer material, eventually Crosby did make good on his promise to play some of his older tunes, as he closed out the night with “Guinnevere” and a two-song encore featuring “Woodstock” and a chilling “Ohio.”
Indeed, it was the second time in as many nights that “Woodstock” was featured at State Theatre as Lindsay Lou closed out her set with it the night before, opening for Greensky Bluegrass. Browse a photo gallery from that show below.– By Ryan Boldrey
PHOTO GALLERY: David Crosby at Kalamazoo State Theatre
Photos by Derek Ketchum
WEALTHY THEATRE WARMS SOUL WITH STORIES AND SONGS FROM BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN, THE ACCIDENTALS, MAY ERLEWINE
The meaning of a song is not always explicit, leaving space for the curious to interpret the piece however their hearts desire. But some artists don’t mind showing the pieces of their life that created the music.
“Time Out: A powerful Night of Songs and Stories,” was for the curious music fan, linking a powerhouse of four female songwriters for two Sunday shows at Grand Rapids’ Wealthy Theatre.
Beth Nielsen Chapman and May Erlewine joined Katie Larson and Sav Buist of The Accidentals to play original songs, while unfurling serious and hilarious stories of what many music listeners wonder about: how a song or a lyric or a theme came to be, and what it means to its author.
“This fall, we kind of decided in advance that we wanted to do something a little bit different and focus on the songwriting,” said Katie Larson of The Accidentals.
After meeting Erlewine and Nielsen Chapman through the music community, Larson and Buist had an idea different from their normal hectic tour schedule.
“So we asked these women if they were interested in creating a couple shows that were really focused on the writing, the stories behind the songs, getting really vulnerable and just taking a moment to relax,” Larson said. “And they said, ‘Yes.’”
The four songwriters performed their own songs, accompanying each other in harmony only occasionally. For Chapman Nielsen this included tunes she wrote for Faith Hill and her amusing encounters with Willie Nelson; for Erlewine this included a song she wrote directed at the president; and for Larson and Buist it meant sharing new music and discussing nightmares and the news article about a bird that inspired one of Larson’s song.
“The songs often mean something very different to me than what they’re talking about,” said Milton Roecker, a concertgoer from Battle Creek. “It’s always nice to hear some background, where they come from.”
The four closed the evening together with a warm performance of The Accidentals’ ode to the Great Lakes State, “Michigan and Again.”
“I’m very happy to be doing this,” said Nielsen Chapman after the show. “I love all of [The Accidentals] music so much and it’s so much fun to listen to great songs written by young people who are coming into their whole bloom as songwriters or artists.”
“It’s been incredible sharing stories with these incredibly strong women,” added Buist. – By Adrianna Walker
PHOTO GALLERY: Time Out at Wealthy Theatre
Photos by Elle Lively
PHOTO GALLERY: Hannah Rose Graves & Friends at SpeakEZ Lounge (Wednesday)
Photos by Anna Sink