The 14th festival raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation revved up downtown’s newest venue Friday with lively sets by PototoeBabies, The Autumnatic, Valley Girl and Conrad Shock.
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Cascading streams of toilet paper and oodles of batted beach balls.
Sparkling, lively sets by a varied assortment of Grand Rapids rock bands, some debuting brand new material.
A heaping helping of back-stage camaraderie and a feel-good vibe at an event raising money for a good cause: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
That was just a sampling of Friday night’s edition of Jake’s Music Festival, being held in a brand new location in The Intersection’s subterranean Elevation, which earned high marks from attendees as well as the four featured bands, who were all playing the new Grand Rapids venue for the first time.
“It’s right up there,” gushed John Schaak, frontman for Conrad Shock + The Noise, who now puts Elevation at the top of his list of favorite places to perform. “It was a lot of fun.”
Adding to the excitement: Seven of the eight songs played by the band during its energetic opening set were new tunes that Conrad Shock + The Noise will include in an album the rock group hopes to release this fall.
For some attendees, the wintry outdoor conditions in springtime created the right environment for an indoor festival in a hot new downtown venue, and organizers Tom Scheidel and Clay Grueber were pleased with the move to Elevation for the 14th year of Jake’s Music Festival (held last year at The Orbit Room and for several years at Wealthy Theatre). Final tallies were still being Friday’s event raised about $5,700 for the cause,
Although the turnout of about 300 could have been stronger, DJ Nayytive and the four featured bands – Conrad Shock + The Noise, Valley Girl, The Autumnatic and PotatoeBabies – drew gaggles of ardent fans who cheered their heroes with gusto, especially Reverend Charles Preston Smith and PotatoeBabies, whose boisterous and oft-irreverent rock spectacle knows no bounds (and follows no rules) in terms of wild, entertainment value.
The bold and colorful Grand Rapids ensemble closed out the evening with its usual, fan-interactive hoopla, with toilet paper cannons, beach balls and outlandish goofiness pumping up the show. Smith promised he would get his money’s worth if he had to clean up – or pay to clean up – Elevation of all that T.P. glory afterward and he wasn’t kidding (as the photo gallery and video below demonstrate).
All in all, it was an ear- and eye-pleasing debut for Jake’s in its new setting.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jake’s Music Festival 2018 at Elevation
Photos by Kendra Kamp and Anna Sink
VIDEO: Jake’s Music Festival Highlights
Copyright 2018, Spins on Music LLC