After the 2022 event was canceled, the outdoor mini-fest and 5K run aims to rock Comstock Park again while raising funds for Kids’ Food Basket. The lowdown and a playlist at Local Spins.
Performers Austin Benzing and Eric Engblade plan to bring all-star bands to join them on stage, while Low Phase already oozes an all-star cast of West Michigan musicians.
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The return of Perrin Brewing’s Ice Jam in Comstock Park this weekend after a lengthy COVID hiatus may not boast as many bands in the lineup as past year, but those acts heating up the outdoor festival certainly ooze some impressive resumes.
Kicking off as is tradition with the Frostbite 5K Run at 2 p.m., music will begin with LiveSpace at 3 p.m. followed by stage performances from Low Phase at 4 p.m., Eric Engblade at 5:30 p.m. and Austin Benzing at 7 p.m.
The sets will take place outside Perrin, 5910 Comstock Park Dr. NW, in a large heated tent.
“We scaled down the music performances to allow each band more time on stage, and also to focus our money efforts on the charity, which is what this event is all about,” said Josh Hallwachs, general manager and event manager for Perrin.
The event – a fundraiser for Kids’ Food Basket – was canceled last year due to a COVID upsurge and hasn’t taken place since 2020, when about 1,000 people attended the event.
“Perrin always throws a banger of a party and to be giving proceeds to such a good cause only sweetens the experience,” said Benzing, a Grand Rapids guitarist who recently released his “Live from Dogtown” EP and who played Ice Jam with the band The Turnips several years ago.
“I will have my all-star band featuring Devin Anderson on bass, Jeremiah Wenger on guitar and Evan Folmar on drums. We’ll be performing tracks off my latest EP as well as some brand new unreleased songs that will be on my next full-length album release.”
‘LIKE THE AVENGERS ASSEMBLING’ AND MORE
Veteran West Michigan singer-songwriter Eric Engblade, meanwhile, plans to showcase his own crew of talented musicians who are familiar to fans of the region’s music scene.
Bassist Justin Avdek (Earth Radio), violinist Ezekiel Kinney and guitarist/pedal steel player Justin Wierenga will help Engblade “keep the set upbeat with originals and a couple new covers.”
While it’s the first time Engblade has played Ice Jam, he said he’s happy to support Kids’ Food Basket and thrilled to be playing with his band again.
“We do not get to do a full band often, so it’s sort of like the Avengers assembling,” he quipped.
Low Phase, Benzing and Engblade all were recently nominated for “Artist of the Year” by WYCE for the community radio station’s upcoming Jammie Awards at The Intersection on Feb. 24.
Pulling from musicians in a variety of well-known area bands, indie-rock’s Low Phase features Caleb Waldvogel, Marley Ferguson, John Bomer and Miles Ferguson.
Admission to Ice Jam is $10 or a food donation to Kids’ Food Basket. Runners can sign up for the Frostbite 5K online here. The 5K entry fee is $40.
PERRING BREWING ICE JAM 2023: The Local Spins Playlist
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