The holiday weekend brought fireworks of the musical and pyrotechnic variety to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lowell. Check out images from the West Michigan weekend at Local Spins.
The Pyramid’s Scheme’s Local Showcase series always attracts an intriguing mix of fans.
Boasting a number of fellow local musicians, the crowd on Friday covered the zig-zagged tile of The Pyramid Scheme’s dance floor to watch four bands perform — dancing, singing along, enjoying their musical comrades.
Local Showcase No. 15 in the series opened with the reverb-laden anthems of Parlor Voice, fronted by singer-songwriter Johnson Cochran. Though reclusive, the frontman made two announcements: “We put out an album yesterday” and “Thanks, everyone.” Parlor Voice on a first listen could be dismissed as another four-chord rock band, but they never cease to augment their tried-and-true song structures with elements of noise, creative solos and thoughtful lyrics.
Ty Beat followed up with a rare live performance, complete with drums, bass, guitar and a sampler pad to accompany the live vocals. The stage performance was explosive and tight, filled with quips in between songs and energetic tweaks on the sampler from Ty. Though further from the surface than some may prefer, this performance from Ty Beat is a reminder of the thriving hip-hop and electronica scene in Grand Rapids.
Flushed brought punk to the Local Showcase, with the all-female band driving home rhythms with minimal, guitar-bass-drums instrumentation. With driving beats and catchy guitar solos, Grand Rapids’ own Flushed got feet tapping and heads nodding along to its tunes.
The Extra Texture closed out the night driving home downbeats that everyone could (and did) dance to. With conversational vocals by Justin Robert Golinski, the band’s songs floated through the PA’s and into the crowd with an ease a lot of acts could envy. This band also featured keys and saxophone by Brandon Copeland adding a layer to this band’s tunes that make them that much more emphatic and exciting. – Schyler Perkins
PHOTO GALLERY: Local Showcase No. 15 at The Pyramid Scheme (Friday)
Photos by Schyler Perkins and Katy Batdorff
JANIS JOPLIN TRIBUTE
Dying 47 years ago at age 27, singer Janis Joplin has had a remarkable, lasting impact on generations of rock singers who’ve followed. For an example of that, look no further than Friday’s Janis Joplin Tribute at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo with West Michigan singers Yolonda Lavender, Kaitlin Rose, Hannah Rose Graves and Molly Bouwsma Schultz paying tribute to the icon.
As Local Spins photographer Derek Ketchum put it, “it was a great turnout and each of the bands played short sets comprised of classic Janis along with some originals both receiving great reaction from the crowd. People were singing along and dancing all night long. Kaitlin Rose had her mom join her on stage for a few songs, too, and the crowd loved it.” It was “a magical night” organized by Yolanda Lavender after she watched a documentary about Joplin.
PHOTO GALLERY: Janis Joplin Tribute at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo (Friday)
Photos by Derek Ketchum
JUNEGRASS IN LOWELL AND AMWAY FAMILY FIREWORKS IN GRAND RAPIDS
Those sticking around West Michigan for the holiday weekend could have reveled in a wide swath of live music — from the West Michigan Bluegrass Association’s annual JuneGrass festival at the Kent County Fairgrounds in Lowell (including sets by BlueTown, the Trinity River Family Band and many more) to the Amway Family Fireworks on Saturday at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids, with performances by DJ Composition, Hey Marco! and more.
PHOTO GALLERY: JuneGrass and Amway Family Fireworks (Saturday)
Photos by Schyler Perkins