Revisit more than a half-dozen live shows in vibrant images at Local Spins, including Joe Hertler, Overdrive Orchestra, DJ Mel V, Melvins, Lipstick Jodi and more.
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Mike Savino readily admitted from the stage at Grand Rapids’ Listening Room on Saturday night that it’s taken a long time for psychedelic banjo players to be considered “essential workers.”
But the virtuoso New York musician who performs under the Tall Tall Trees moniker as a “one-man psychedelic indie-folk orchestra” closed out the 2022 edition of the Confluence Festival at Studio Park with the sort of innovation and cutting-edge spirit that reflected the theme of the technology-propelled two-day event.
“This seems like a place where people have ideas for stuff. The thing about ideas is you have to keep chasing them,” he told the small-but-attentive audience. “I love discovering all these wonderful sounds.”
Indeed, Savino did that with an ear-pleasing night of looping, effects-laden banjo playing, audience participation and the addition of a cheap-but-fetching Casio keyboard to unleash music that ranged from metal-like shredding to haunting retro-folk. (Scroll down for video.)
The final flourish of Confluence Festival’s multi-dimensional showcase of robotics, gaming, digital art and DIY experimentation was just a small part of a hyper-active week of entertainment from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.
Crowds — which packed downtown Grand Rapids over the weekend for events related to ArtPrize, The B.O.B., GLC Live at 20 Monroe and The Intersection, among other places — had a lot to embrace. Some highlights:
• Canadian indie-pop/rock band Peach Pit, touring behind its latest album, “From 2 to 3,” engaged a big crowd at The Intersection on Saturday night, with Old 97’s delivering their Texas-bred Americana/alt-country’s for fans at Elevation the same evening.
• Grand Rapids’ Overdrive Orchestra played the first indoor rock show in more than two years at Rockford Brewing Co. in Rockford on Saturday, part of the city’s Harvest Festival celebration.
• After uncorking a solo show for Grand Rapids’ Confluence Festival on Friday, Lansing’s Joe Hertler brought his resplendent Rainbow Seekers to a sold-out Bell’s Beer Garden in Kalamazoo on Saturday, unfurling new and familiar tunes for an exuberant crowd of fans.
• Washington’s The Melvins brought their distinctive experimental metal to The Pyramid Scheme on Saturday.
• From show opener “It’s Too Late” to covers by Waylon Jennings, Allman Brothers and Leon Russell, the Marcus King Band returned to Grand Rapids on Friday to regale fans at GLC Live at 20 Monroe.
• Lipstick Jodi delivered its indie-pop at Sullivan Field in Grand Rapids on Friday night, the latest in a series of 2022 outdoor concerts at the West Side ballfield.
Also, Kalamazoo State Theatre hosted the final “State on the Street” concert featuring DJ Mel V on Friday, with Americana legend Lucinda Williams and her band making a Wednesday tour stop at the historic venue.
Browse photo galleries from all of these shows below.
PHOTO GALLERY: Tall Tall Trees at Listening Room
Photos by Elle Lively
PHOTO GALLERY: Peach Pit at The Intersection
Photos by Eric Stoike
PHOTO GALLERY: Old 97’s at Elevation inside The Intersection
Photos by Eric Stoike