A year ago this week, country, pop, jam band and folk fans were in the thick of West Michigan performances and events — oblivious to the approaching COVID pandemic. Relive the week in words and photos.
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Today, the Folk Alliance Region Midwest continues its “virtual” online conference for 2020 with a keynote address by John McCutcheon and the group’s annual general meeting at 2 p.m. (Register for that here.)
FARM also plans a “Late Night Song Squares” song swap and a Sunday evening “Virtual Performance Lane” to wrap things up.
It’s a far cry from the in-person, late-night showcases, workshops, speeches and other activities that lit up Grand Rapids’ Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel & Conference Center in 2018 and 2019, but necessary due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that continues to shutter live music events of all stripes.
Local Spins was there to capture the FARM action in October 2019, from an opening night concert at Listening Room to those evening showcases in various hotel rooms. Revisit the folk fun here: Getting folked up in Grand Rapids: Folk Alliance strums up late-night magic
That was just part of a late October blitz of West Michigan concerts and tour stops that captivated music fans in 2019:
Country star Luke Bryan made a successful second attempt for a “Farm Tour” show on a Richland farm; Ben Folds was his usual witty self at Kalamazoo State Theatre; and San Fermin, Andy Grammer, Ben Rector, Trey Anastasio, TAUK, Mungion and Borr McFerrin revved up stages big and small in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
Those venues are mostly silent this year, so relive those special moments from 2019 courtesy of Local Spins Rewind.
(Local Spins also posted a story last October about entries being sought for the Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival Play-In Contest that usually takes place in January with the Fretboard Festival staged in March. For 2021, the festival will go virtual due to COVID and won’t stage a play-in contest at all — hoping to revive that event in 2022.)
Check out the concert recaps and photo galleries here:
• LUKE BRYAN – Luke Bryan triumphs in second attempt at West Michigan ‘Farm Tour’ stop (Oct. 25)
• BEN FOLDS – Ben Folds gets snarky, fun, fan-involving and profane in Kalamazoo (Oct. 24, 2019)
• TREY ANASTASIO, SAN FERMIN, ANDY GRAMMER, TAUK – Scary-good music: San Fermin, Monsters Ball, Trey Anastasio, Andy Grammer, TAUK and more pump up West Michigan venues
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