A guitar icon (Leo Kottke), a regional pop fave (Matt Giraud), heavy rock album-release (Tiny Tree) and more were part of West Michigan’s concert mix this weekend. Browse the photos at Local Spins.
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West Michigan's music scene
As busy as some concert venues have become this fall, West Michigan’s live music scene continues to be a work in progress.
Cancellations due to COVID continue to pop up — especially as coronavirus cases rise again — and many smaller venues still haven’t brought back live music, or are hosting only a limited number of performances as they wrestle with staffing shortages, financial concerns and other issues.
But one popular hot spot has returned to the fold: Creston Brewery on Plainfield Avenue in Grand Rapids recently reopened its doors under new ownership (Saugatuck Brewing) and has once again started booking live music on Thursday and Friday nights.
Talented Grand Rapids keyboardist Sean Jackson regaled patrons this past Friday, with Creston touting a lively post-Thanksgiving show this coming week: Full Cord Bluegrass hits the stage at 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 26).
Mid-November also has delivered a diverse offering of national tour stops and crowd-pleasing local shows:
• Legendary acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke returned yet again to St. Cecilia Music Center on Friday;
• The same night, Southern rock’s The Cadillac Three pumped up Elevation inside Grand Rapids’ The Intersection, with Muskegon rock band Tiny Tree hosting an album-release show at The Pyramid Scheme, along with sets by JD Pinkus, BoneHawk and The War Between;
• In Kalamazoo, two Michigan jam band favorites — Desmond Jones and Stormy Chromer — fired things up at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo.
• Highly acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard unfolded his wizardry during two shows Saturday at Grand Rapids’ Listening Room;
• New York’s Donna the Buffalo brought back its rootsy charm for a WYCE-sponsored show at Elevation inside The Intersection to the delight of fans known as “The Herd.”
• Also on Saturday, Matt Giraud joined the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock at Kalamazoo’s State Theatre. Local Spins photographer Derek Ketchum writes:
Kalamazoo Academy of Rock had a full day showcasing their talents on Kalamazoo’s biggest stage, proving that the future of live music in Kalamazoo is in good hands, namely middle and high schoolers from the academy. Soulful pop singer and Michigan native Matt Giraud closed out the show, not with his normal backing band, but with academy musicians and singers, The set included favorites from Giraud’s 2009 run on “American Idol.”
Scroll down for photo galleries from all of these shows.
PHOTO GALLERY: The Cadillac Three at Elevation (Friday)
Photos by Eric Stoike
PHOTO GALLERY: Sean Jackson at Creston Brewing (Friday)
Photos by John Sinkevics
PHOTO GALLERY: Tiny Tree, JD Pinkus, The War Between, BoneHawk
The Pyramid Scheme (Friday)
Photos by Katy Batdorff