Emerging hip hop star Steven Malcolm wrapped up his ‘Long Live the Hype Tour’ at a jam-packed Muse GR Saturday, wrapping up a weekend of diverse live music captured in Local Spins photos, videos.
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Fast-rising Grand Rapids rapper Steven Malcolm was “on fire” in more ways than one on Saturday night.
Wrapping up his U.S. “Long Live the Hype Tour” at a jam-packed Muse GR, the multi-Dove Award nominee and acclaimed wordsmith clearly felt the white-hot passion of his hometown crowd as he rolled out fiery favorites and unreleased tracks, further building excitement for a much-buzzed-about new album, “Tree,” set to drop on April 15.
“I love y’all,” he exclaimed between songs at one point. “It’s a pleasure to be home.”
The pleasure was mutual, with the gleeful, elbow-to-elbow throng chanting familiar lyrics, waving their arms, pumping their fists and otherwise hailing the compelling conscious rapper described by pundits as “Michigan’s best-kept secret” (Dirty-Glove) and “one of the more consistent creators within Christian rap” (Rapzilla).
They did much the same for up-and-coming, special guests on the bill Jude Barclay (from Midland) and Mark the Baddguy (from Grand Rapids), with Barclay even getting down into the thick of the audience to fire up fans with his pop-fused hip hop.
Malcolm’s upcoming full-length album — featuring collaborations with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Shaggy and others — comes after his last two releases soared into the Top 40 of Billboard’s Christian charts.
While Malcolm was heating things up indoors on Saturday, a trio of West Michigan bands did their best to warm things up outside — if you don’t count a massive tent — for the Valent-Ice celebration hosted by City Built Brewing Co. off Monroe Avenue NW in Grand Rapids.
With the temperature dropping to 15 degrees by mid-evening, The Legal Immigrants uncorked their loud brand of rock ‘n’ roll for a chilly-but-spirited crowd to close out a day of winter-defying music that also featured sets by Conrad Shock + The Noise and King Possum.
Meanwhile in Kalamazoo, Lisa Can’t Sing pumped up the “Heartbreakers Ball” at Old Dog Tavern with a mix of ’80s and ’90s covers along with some new originals.
Saturday’s hoopla was just part of the weekend’s varied lineup of live music:
• Baltimore’s psychedelic funksters Pigeons Playing Ping Pong got the weekend started early with TAUK at The Intersection’s main showroom on Thursday, as they prepare to release a new studio album, “Perspective,” in April. At Elevation meanwhile, country singer-songwriter Niko Moon fired up the GR stop on the U.S. tour behind his latest album, “Good Time,” with Kylie Morgan also on board.
• Nashville singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin brought her incisive and clever musical tales to the stage at Listening Room on Friday, with Grand Rapids’ own Ralston Bowles opening the show.
• Also on Friday, Scotty McCreery — who released his fifth studio album, “Same Truck,” last September — trucked into Grand Rapids for a show at The Intersection, while Detroit’s In a Daydream and West Michigan’s Paper Lanterns and Common Nonsense played The DAAC.
PHOTO GALLERY: Steven Malcolm, Jude Barclay at Muse GR (Saturday)
Photos by John Sinkevics
PHOTO GALLERY: King Possum, Conrad Shock + The Noise, The Legal Immigrants
Valent-Ice hosted by City Built Brewing Co. at Canal Park (Saturday)
Photos by Anna Sink and John Sinkevics
PHOTO GALLERY: Lisa Can’t Sing at Old Dog Tavern (Saturday)
Photos by Derek Ketchum