Check out photo galleries and show recaps from a week of punk, funk, pop and more across West Michigan, from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.
It was a week to celebrate musical heroes: local rock heroes, Celtic punk heroes, EDM heroes, funk heroes and more.
Bands with avid followings pumped up their West Michigan fan bases, including Pop Evil, Lettuce, Dropkick Murphys, Big Gigantic, Melophobix and more — captured in Local Spins images. And scroll down for some video highlights, too.
Drop by any of its boisterous live shows, and it’s easy to see why Boston’s Dropkick Murphys have cultivated such a fiercely devoted, exuberant following — disciples who shout out lyrics to the Celtic punk band’s songs, smash violently and happily into one another in moshpits, and generally, party as hard as any fan base for any U.S. rock group.
Combining an in-your-face punk-rock attitude with bagpipes, tin whistles and an accordion — along with impressive stage backdrops and lighting — Dropkick Murphys made their debut at Grand Rapids’ new 20 Monroe Live on Thursday a rollicking success, judging by the reaction of their fervid West Michigan fans, many of whom were clad in leather, black T-shirts or kilts (or all of the above).
Touring behind their latest album, “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory,” Dropkick Murphys may have said it best with a line from that CD’s first single, “Blood.” “We’re taking over this town,” roared lead vocalist Al Barr, a sentiment enthusiastically seconded by the sold-out Grand Rapids crowd of 2,600.
Beyond their own passionate, fist-pumping anthems — from “The Warrior’s Code” to “First-Class Loser” — Dropkick Murphys unleashed a fun cover of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” and a life-affirming punk rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Browse the photo gallery featuring images of Dropkick Murphys — and openers The Interrupters and Blood or Whiskey — by Local Spins photographer Anthony Norkus.
PHOTO GALLERY: Dropkick Murphys at 20 Monroe Live
Photos by Anthony Norkus
There’s no homecoming quite like a Pop Evil homecoming, so when the popular West Michigan hard rockers lit up 20 Monroe Live for the first time on Saturday, there were plenty of rowdy hometown fans ready to welcome them back.
Leigh Kakaty and crew continue to tour behind their latest album, “UP,” with Badflower and Kaleido opening the show and helping heat things up.
PHOTO GALLERY: Pop Evil, Kaleido, Badflower at 20 Monroe Live
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
The rest of Grand Rapids’ week of live music hoopla featured Melophobix bringing the funk, soul, rock and reggae to a capacity crowd at SpeakEZ Lounge for Local Spins Wednesdays; Lettuce bringing even more funk for ebullient fans at The Intersection on Thursday; Tired Blood, Elroy Meltzer, Red Rio and The Quirk playing The Pyramid Scheme’s Local Showcase No. 12 on Friday, and Fauxgrass, The Mainstays and DJ Snax helping warm up the beer quaffers at Fifth Third Ballpark for the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival.
On Saturday night, EDM’s Big Gigantic staged a big, gigantic show at The Intersection for an “absolutely insane” crowd, according to photographer Eric Stoike.
And finally, to close out the weekend with a real bang, The Concussions brought their masked, surf-rock glory to Creston Brewery on Sunday afternoon, unleashing a crowd-pleasing set for fans who surrounded the band in the unique stage setting. Watch a video below. (It was the second such show hosted by Creston Brewery, which is now eyeing the idea of hosting live music every Sunday afternoon starting this spring.)
PHOTO GALLERY: Grand Rapids
Melophobix, Lettuce photos by Anna Sink
Local Showcase, Winter Beer Festival photos by Katy Batdorff