Smiling Acres Music Fest wrapped up three days of live music over the Fourth of July weekend, but there were also crowd-pleasing concerts in Grand Rapids & Kalamazoo. View the photos at Local Spins.
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Some might say the real fireworks came AFTER the pyrotechnics display.
Grand Rapids alt-metal/rock band Deepfall closed out the 2022 edition of Smiling Acres Music Festival on Sunday night with a real bang following the three-day event’s fireworks commemorating the Fourth of July on the 40-acre site outside Trufant.
The groups Bleed the Water and Deepfall followed those colorful in-air explosions with an explosive attack of their own on the main stage, the final salvo for the second-year festival that featured several dozen performances on two stages.
Fans, quite literally, could not smiling, making this a deep fall into Smiling Acres at the end of a busy weekend.
“This festival is a great family place. I’ve got my two girls here and they love it,” said attendee Tynan Calderwood from Howard City.
“Smiling Acres Music Festival has such wonderful people and great food,” raved festivalgoer Amber Bowen from Grand Rapids. “It’s just good vibes all around.”
Good vibes were everywhere during a busy and lengthy weekend of live music, from Trufant to Grand Rapids (Lipstick Jodi, Joshua Powell) to Kalamazoo (Dixon’s Violin). Scroll down for photo galleries and check out a full review with images from Sunday’s Sheryl Crow/Allison Russell concert at Meijer Gardens.
Plus, view first-day Local Spins coverage of Smiling Acres online here. And read highlights from the festival weekend below:
Patty Pershayla – Before Grand Rapids’ Patty Pershayla & The Mayhaps hit Smiling Acres’ Main Stage, Pershayla pumped up the festival’s new second stage on Saturday afternoon for a solo performance. Playing a variety of her discography from “Charmed” to “Little Nesting Doll,” it was an eclectic set of soft rock songs filled with deep meaning. “The festival has a fitting name because people are definitely smiling and everyone is so friendly. It was nice to be able to perform in such a freeing atmosphere,” said PerShayla. – Robert Novak
Djangophonique – After performing on the second stage earlier in the afternoon, Ann Arbor’s Djangophonique took the Main Stage on Saturday for an authentic manouche jazz experience. The completely instrumental, four-piece, hot club jazz band played songs mostly from their first studio album along with a more contemporary piece that resonated with the audience. “We were happy to play for a great crowd and proud to represent hot club jazz in West Michigan,” said Andrew Brown, Djangophonique’s lead guitarist. – Robert Novak
Earth Radio – “Let’s get cosmic baby,” A festival announcer yelled as Grand Rapids’ Earth Radio took the stage. Treating the crowd to a performance filled with luscious jazzy soul music supported by extraterrestrial undertones, Earth Radio found its groove and rode that thing all night. As the set neared its end, a lengthy improvisational piece ensued, allowing each band member to showcase their musicianship. The crowd obviously adored this showcase, thanks to their screeching uproar once Earth Radio had finally finished its galactic journey. – Benjamin Blackburn
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – With Reverend Peyton himself rocking a pair of beautiful maroon overalls, and his wife, Breezy Peyton, equipped with her famous washboard, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band gave the Smiling Acres Music Festival a taste of authentic country blues. With the Indiana-based Reverend Peyton headlining the Saturday festivities, the crowd present for this performance was by far the largest the main stage had seen all day. Although the band is not physically large, sporting only three members, Reverend Peyton and friends manage to conjure up one big damn sound. – Benjamin Blackburn
PHOTO GALLERIES: Smiling Acres Music Festival (Days 2 & 3)
Photos by Anna Sink
VIDEO: Smiling Acres By Day and Night (Days 2 & 3)
PHOTO GALLERY: Joshua Powell, Lipstick Jodi at Listening Room
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker