Charlie Worsham, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, The Sam Roberts Band, Cherub, A.B! and Hawks & Owls also make an appearance in this week’s collection of live music images.
Some evenings just ooze an electric vibe, when you know you’re witnessing something special, a once-in-a-blue-moon display of live music.
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Such was the case when Baltimore synthpop band Future Islands rolled into Grand Rapids’ The Pyramid Scheme on Tuesday, sparking a real buzz among fans in the sold-out house. (Check out the Local Spins review and photos.)
And then there was Traverse City’s Billy Strings and Don Julin playing Rockford Brewing Co. on Friday night. This unusual bluegrass duo — a 21-year-old guitar and banjo phenom pairing up with a veteran mandolinist — has created a real stir with its ultra-energetic, almost frenetic assault of high-speed roots music, both traditional and original.
Need proof of the band’s fast-growing popularity? Rockford Brewing has never been so packed or so lively as it was for the duo’s second appearance at the brew pub, with fans pressed up close to the stage, cheering, dancing and taking photos. And many of those ogling the show were musicians — Randy Marsh, Junior Valentine, Adam Balcer and more — which is a true indication of a band’s mettle.
At one point, the sweat-drenched Billy Strings (aka William Apostol) even invited his guitar-playing dad to join him on a stage, turning the evening into a real family-and-friends affair. Watch some video highlights below to see what’s creating the buzz. And if this has whet your appetite to see these guys, they perform tonight (7 p.m. Sunday) at Salt of the Earth in Fennville. Details online at the Salt of the Earth website.
Of course, that was just the tip of the musical iceberg (which thankfully is finally starting to melt) covered by the Local Spins Weekend Photo Gallery:
• Speaking of special evenings, Mustard Plug revved up The Pyramid Scheme with a hometown show celebrating the Grand Rapids ska band’s brand new album, with The Campanellis and The Koffin Kats also performing peppy sets for the sold-out crowd. At one point, Julius Hayes from hip hop’s Convotronics joined Mustard Plug to rap, then dove into the audience;
• Country’s Charlie Worsham (with Steve Rivers and Grand Rapids’ own Kari Lynch Band) rolled into The Stache, which also hosted electro-pop’s Cherub the same night in the main showroom;
• The Sam Roberts Band brought its Canadian-bred rock to The Stache;
• Jimmie Stagger and Weezil Malone unearthed blues gems in an intimate show at Fricano’s Pizza, representing the conclusion of the Winter Music Scene concert series at the restaurant;
• Grand Rapids hip hop artist A.B! uncorked his new E.P. for a crowd at Billy’s Lounge in Eastown, joined by Dante Cope and several other West Michigan rappers;
• Fresh from appearances at South by Southwest in Austin, Michigan’s Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers once again brought their colorful musical approach to the Founders Brewing stage, with Chemical Edge opening the evening.
Email John Sinkevics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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