Enthused, happy crowds cheered Friday’s Local Spins 10th anniversary double-header: Jake Kershaw and Hank Mowery at a packed Tip Top Deluxe, Desmond Jones with The Legal Immigrants at Elevation.
TODAY’S LOCAL SPINS FEST: The one-day festival takes place rain or shine outside Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids with DJ SuperDre at 3 p.m., followed by Cabildo at 4 p.m., Hannah Rose Graves at 5 p.m., Full Cord at 6 p.m., Public Access at 7 p.m. and The Accidentals at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at listeningroomgr.com. Some seating will be available and supplied by Studio Park, along with standing room on the piazza. Attendees can also bring their own folding chairs. The show will proceed if it rains, but any severe weather could cause delays or cancellation.
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FRIDAY (EARLY SHOW)
THE SHOW: Hank Mowery & The Hawktones, Jake Kershaw at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
HIGHLIGHTS: It was one of those Tip Top shows lots of fans will be talking about for quite some time: a wall-to-wall crowd reveling in an upbeat night of diverse blues courtesy of Hank Mowery & The Hawktones and Jake Kershaw. By the time Mowery and his talented crew took the stage at 7 p.m., Tip Top was overflowing with jubilant fans who cheered, hooted, danced and otherwise celebrated until the last sizzling note from Kershaw’s guitar shortly before 10 p.m. Mowery not only rolled out an eclectic blend of blues, but also tried to educate the audience on the songs’ origins. Through it all, keyboardist Chris Corey incredibly unfurled stellar bass lines with his left hand (after undergoing surgery on his right). Meanwhile the Kershaw trio — returning to Tip Top for the first time in years — electrified the crowd, led by the young, virtuoso guitarist who only seems to get better with each performance, his blistering leads driving everything from Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan classics to his own catchy material.
PRICELESS WORDS: “Go see music and artists you’ve never heard before. Take a chance for $5 or $10. You might like it.” – Hank Mowery
THE VIBE: Unparalleled energy amid a packed house — something that makes a show at Tip Top Deluxe unlike anything else.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jake Kershaw, Hank Mowery & The Hawktones at Tip Top Deluxe
Photos by Eric Stoike
FRIDAY (LATE SHOW)
THE SHOW: Desmond Jones, The Legal Immigrants at Elevation inside The Intersection
HIGHLIGHTS: After The Legal Immigrants launched the night with their trademark, high-energy rock ‘n’ roll, the uber-resplendent Desmond Jones bought their exuberant jamming to the stage for fans who never stopped bobbing and gyrating. The five-piece ensemble grooved to a colorful rainbow of sounds and outfits, emanating energy and stylized swagger from head to toe. Guitarist Isaac Berkowitz sported flamingo-pink bell-bottoms and gnarly riffs. Drummer John Nowak rocked a pair of billboard-sized sunglasses while racing down a rhythmic freeway of funk. From “Taco Cat” to extended jams, the eclectic collective brought both heat and cool vibes with plenty of band shout-outs to Local Spins.
PRICELESS WORDS: “Are you feeling ‘Elevated’?” – Local Spins’ Enrique Olmos, addressing fans before Desmond Jones’ encore. And yes, they certainly were.
THE VIBE: The gleeful atmosphere in Elevation oozed a festival milieu, making it the perfect kickoff to the upcoming summer festival season and today’s Local Spins Fest in downtown Grand Rapids.
PHOTO GALLERY: Desmond Jones, The Legal Immigrants at Elevation
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker and Nathan Purchase