From a homecoming show for alt-country’s Michelle Billingsley to a “Candlelight Concert” tribute to Taylor Swift to a school shootings vigil, West Michigan’s live music covered a lot of bases.
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Alice Cooper’s wildly entertaining nightmare was back in full force in his home state on Friday.
The award-winning shock-rock icon and Detroit native unleashed the first stop on his 2023 “Too Close for Comfort” tour at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, playing “Welcome to My Nightmare” for the first time in six years and regaling a sold-out crowd with classics such as “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out” and “Billion Dollar Babies.”
Garbed in vintage Alice makeup and creepy black attire, the concert kicked off with the live debut of “Lock Me Up” and wrapped up 22 songs later with an encore rendition of “Elected.” (View the set list online here.)
Read a concert review by Gary Graff at Ultimate Classic Rock, and check out a Local Spins review of Graff’s new book “Alice Cooper @ 75.” Browse photos from Friday’s show by Sue Plummer below.
The theatrical rock show was part of a resplendently entertaining weekend of live music across West Michigan – from an unusual “Candlelight Concerts” tribute to Taylor Swift starring KalHaven Strings at Fountain Street Church to the country romp of The Bootstrap Boys celebrating release of their new album, “Hungry & Sober,” at Founders Brewing Co. and Lowell native Michelle Billingsley bringing her Nashville twang to Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids for a homecoming show.
The next Candlelight Concert in Grand Rapids? A tribute to Queen at The Lit (aka, Ladies Literary Club) on May 12 (repeated on July 20). Details here.
‘REMEMBER THE NAMES’ SCHOOL SHOOTING VIGIL & MORE
Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Ralston Bowles, who opened for Joshua Davis and his band at St. Cecilia Music Center on Thursday night (photo gallery below), addressed a much different audience at lunchtime Saturday.
Bowles performed a poignant version of his apropos song, “Remember,” on the Rosa Parks Circle stage in downtown Grand Rapids after various participants read off the names of every person killed in a school shooting since Columbine.
Organizers said the emotional “Remember Their Names” event – which drew some political leaders and area students – was designed to bring awareness to the mounting toll taken on society by the senseless shootings while advocating measures to ensure the safety of schoolchildren.
Meanwhile, Davis’ sojourn from northern Michigan to play St. Cecilia wasn’t the only cross-state performance of note.
Detroit rock band Sponge headlined a Friday show at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, with West Michigan’s The Rockit King and Coldville getting the night started.
That same night, revered guitarist and eclectic songwriter Keller Williams and Steve Poltz brought their “Shut the Folk Up and Listen Tour” to Park Theatre in Holland.
In Kalamazoo, songwriters Eric O’Daly and Kate Pillsbury entertained fans in the cozy confines of The Clover Room on Thursday. On Sunday, The Clover Room was joined by The Crawlspace Theatre to celebrate International Jazz Day in Kalamazoo (and a fundraiser for Edison Jazz Festival), with artists who included Santino Jones, Faith Quashie, Samuel Nalangira, Bill Cessna Trio, Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra, Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Workshop Band, Yoseph Henry and Western Michigan University’s Advanced Jazz Ensemble and Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble.
Scroll down to browse all the galleries and a video.
PHOTO GALLERY: Alice Cooper at Soaring Eagle Casino
Photos by Sue Plummer
PHOTO GALLERY: The Bootstrap Boys, Beth Bombara Band at Founders Brewing
Photos by Anna Sink
PHOTO GALLERY: KalHaven Strings at Fountain Street Church
Candlelight Concert: Tribute to Taylor Swift
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker