The liveliest Thanksgiving weekend for live music in three years delivered everything from country to rock to electronic music to jamgrass for West Michigan fans. The photos at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
When Greensky Bluegrass rolled out the first of two Thanksgiving homecoming shows at Kalamazoo State Theatre this weekend, the atmosphere really felt like a long-awaited reunion of beloved band with beloved fans.
“I really missed you the past year, so it’s good to see you — all of you,” mandolinist Paul Hoffman told fans with a grin early on during a Friday night show that unfurled everything from vintage originals to a Talking Heads cover (“Road to Nowhere”).
What transpired over the next couple of hours and the following evening of progressive bluegrass prowess from the Kalamazoo-bred quintet proved to be the sort of jam-propelled magic that keeps devoted fans coming back for this light-festooned experience night after night, tour after tour and festival after festival.
More than two decades into their musical journey, this Southwest Michigan phenomenon continues to display its mushrooming virtuosity while “covering a lot of new ground” in the genre, as Hoffman puts it — from his own blazing solos to those of his bandmates Dave Bruzza, Michael Bont, Anders Beck and Mike Devol.
Of course, when you’re uncorking two long nights of music in a row, there’s plenty of time for on-stage banter, with Beck recalling after a rendition of “Train Junkie” that the band used to compete with passing trains while performing in the past at Bell’s Brewery just down the road — sometimes when playing that particular song.
“That was badass,” he quipped.
The same certainly might be said for this latest edition of this two-night Thanksgiving tradition.
Elsewhere, the long holiday weekend kicked off with another tradition: Grand Rapids jam band Desmond Jones playing an upbeat, celebratory Thanksgiving Eve show at Elevation inside The Intersection, with Patty Pershayla & The Mayhaps and Stormy Chromer also on tap — the same night that dubstep’s Peekaboo revved up The Intersection’s main showroom and Rockford Brewing Co. hosted a jam-packed affair starring Hannah Rose Graves Band and The Gasoline Gypsies. Midtown, meanwhile, rolled out a release show for West Michigan’s Austin Benzing and Grace Theisen.
On Friday, another West Michigan rock/country favorite, Wayland, headlined a roster of regional acts that included Brenden Monroe, Prior Noon and Coldville.
Scroll down to browse all of the photo galleries.
PHOTO GALLERY: Greensky Bluegrass at Kalamazoo State Theatre
Photos by Derek Ketchum
PHOTO GALLERY: Desmond Jones, Patty Pershayla & The Mayhaps, Stormy Chromer
Elevation inside The Intersection
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker
PHOTO GALLERY: Hannah Rose Graves Band, The Gasoline Gypsies at Rockford Brewing
Photos by Anna Sink