West Michigan’s 2021 Independence Day weekend proved to be far busier music-wise than the pandemic-impaired 2020, and Local Spins was there to capture the concert action in photos.
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Nothing quite like kicking off a long Fourth of July holiday weekend with appropriately Americana-inspired, guitar-driven jams.
Amid bright and clear skies with a gentle breeze — a welcome sight after the rain that plagued West Michigan earlier in the week — a sizable crowd filled the plaza for the sold-out show.
Rinck kicked things off by previewing several unreleased songs, including those co-written with friends such as Jordan Mobley and Joey Frendo, as well as performing a cover of “Safe” by Michigander (who happens to play Studio Park on July 15).
“I just love writing music with other people,” the Grand Rapids artist revealed in between songs.
Brother Elsey followed with an energetic performance that fired up the crowd and got fans out of their seats, with several dancing in front of the stage. The set even impressed those unfamiliar with the band.
“I didn’t know who they were, but I come to all the shows here,” said Daryl Fannigan, a Grand Rapids native. “I’m happy I came. They put on a great show.” – Parker Learman-Blaauw
The same might be said for other performances that followed over the weekend: Benzing Graves Collective and Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish pumped up City Built Brewing’s “Friday Night Live” show along the Grand River north of downtown on Friday, the same night that Stovepipe Stover, Maddie Peters and Evie lit up the stage at Grand Rapids’ Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill.
And one of the first music festivals of the season — the inaugural Smiling Acres Music Festival outside Trufant — revved fans up for two straight days with sets by a who’s who lineup of regional acts. Check out Local Spins’ early coverage of the festival online here, with a second-day photo gallery below.
PHOTO GALLERY: Brother Elsey at Studio Park
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
PHOTO GALLERY: Benzing Graves Collective, Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish
Friday Night Live across from City Built Brewing
Photos by Derek Ketchum
PHOTO GALLERY: Stovepipe Stover, Maddie Peters and Evie at Tip Top Deluxe
Photos by Bryan Bolea