The opening-day salvo of Michigan artists performing for the live-streamed Spread the Music Festival attracted thousands of viewers for compelling sets. Check out some highlights and photos.
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On Wednesday, the second annual Spread the Music Festival kicked things off in epic, virtual fashion.
The five-day festival curated by the Michigan Music Alliance on its Facebook page aims to raise money for the Michigan Music Artist Relief Fund, a lifeline for artists around the state.
With a vast musical lineup, 200-plus artists are streaming sets from around the state, both in their respective homes and live from venues such as Seven Steps Up, 20 Front Street, Crooked Tree Arts Center and Listening Room. Here are some highlights from Wednesday’s performances, with can’t-miss picks for Thursday.
Donation Link: https://www.michiganmusicalliance.org/artist-relief-fund
WEDNESDAY (OPENING DAY) HIGHLIGHTS
Jessi Phillips – Jesse Phillips (of Kalamazoo’s Eight Bells) performed a delicately beautiful acoustic set from the stage at Listening Room in Grand Rapids (after some technical issues delayed the start of the songwriters’ showcase). Her story-driven songs were aptly accompanied by lush instrumentation.
Political Lizard – Rocking out on acoustic guitar and ukulele, the Grand Rapids indie-rock band adjusted their usually electrically charged set to a captivating stripped-back duo rendition at Listening Room. Their songs included “Buttercup Bloodroot,” a wistful tune. During the song “Old Scratch,” Caleb Waldvogel fought valiantly against a feisty out-of-tune guitar, but overcame the small hiccup to play the thought-invoking number.
Lokella – Following the sets by five songwriters, the Grand Rapids rock band performed an engaging late-night set with hilariously playful banter. Instrumentation featured acoustic guitar and an adeptly played cajon.
THURSDAY’S CAN’T MISS PICKS
Scroll down for the full Thursday schedule of live-stream performances.
• Benzing Graves Collective – 10 a.m.
• Danielle Cosby and Max Brown – 6 p.m.
• Charlie Millard – 7 p.m. (Part of the “Blissfest Presents” lineup of northern Michigan artists at Crooked Tree Arts Center.)
Read more about Spread the Music Festival and see the full Thursday-Sunday schedule at Local Spins here.
STILL TO COME:
• Traverse City’s The Accidentals headline Friday’s lineup with a set at 9 p.m. that will include the debut of a new music video, immediately following sets by Mike Ward, Tom Alter, Jill Jack and Kat Steih at Lake Orion’s 20 Front Street.
• The festival will air a performance by Detroit’s Jackson Smith and Vin Dombroski (Sponge) at 10 p.m. Saturday, following a live-stream from Spring Lake’s Seven Steps Up that will feature singer-songwriters Megan Dooley, Nicholas James Thomasma, Carrie McFerrin, Kaitlin Rose and Nathan Walton.
• Spread the Music wraps up at 9 p.m. Sunday with a set by headliner Brian Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe.
PHOTO GALLERY: Spread the Music Festival at Listening Room
(Jessi Phillips, Kyle Rasche, Caitlin Cusack, Political Lizard, Audrey Pearson)
Photos by Kendra Petersen-Kamp