On a weekend with resplendent spring weather, West Michiganders couldn’t go far without bumping into live music of all varieties — documented in images at Local Spins.
“Best Record Store Day ever.”
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Those sentiments expressed by one of many who turned out on a gorgeous Saturday across West Michigan to celebrate independent record stores from Grand Rapids to the lakeshore to Kalamazoo accurately reflected the mood of vinyl buyers, live music lovers and, of course, record shop owners, who saw droves of shoppers and browsers throughout the day.
A jam-packed Vertigo Music on S. Division Avenue in Grand Rapids not only had music devotees lined up most of the day to snag special releases and classic LPs, but also to revel in beverages and music from DJs and sets by wide-ranging local acts ranging from Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish to Vox Vidorra to Zen Star Beat Cult.
On the city’s West Side, Dodds Record Shop heated up its new location on Bridge Street NW with a street party: a full day of sidewalk performances by a host of bands and a .65-mile parade to Harmony Hall and back (representing the 65 years that Dodds has been open in Grand Rapids). The Dodds Record Store Day party — led by ebullient owner and PotatoeBabies frontman Rev Charles Preston Smith — continued deep into the evening at Flamingo Lounge just down the street.
The same lively attitude was evident at record stores elsewhere across the region, including Corner Record Shop in Grandville and Green Light Music in Kalamazoo. Check out the photo gallery here.
PHOTO GALLERY: Record Store Day 2016
Photos by Anthony Norkus, Anna Sink and Derek Ketchum
The weekend started early and was jam-packed with intrigue, musically speaking:
• Actor Kiefer Sutherland brought the tour in support of his upcoming new country/Americana album to The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, packing — though not selling out — the nightclub on Saturday. The raspy-voiced guy better known to most as the intrepid Jack Bauer from the popular “24” TV series delivered an appropriately twangy set.
PHOTO GALLERY: Kiefer Sutherland photos by Katy Batdorff
The “Band VS Food” toured kicked off in the main showroom at the Intersection Friday night featuring We Came As Romans, Miss May I, Wilson and Sworn In. While the show started relatively early, those that showed up were treated to a raucous set from Wilson, who wasted no time in warming the crowd up with their high-energy live set, inspiring raised fists and sing-alongs.
Miss May I came out to a roaring ovation from the mostly filled room with singer Levi Benton quickly getting the crowd off their feet and inciting a mosh pit that stayed active for most of the band’s set.
Fans stormed the stage as soon as the lights went down for We Came As Romans, who were greeted by a sea of bobbing heads and arms. Despite a troubling sound mix for Miss May I and WCAR, the headliners took advantage of the non-stop energy created by their unique dynamic of having two vocalists. One highlight: singer Kyle Pavone climbing up into the rafters above the stage, inducing fans to capture the moment with cellphone cameras.
The same night, The Stache (front lounge) was hopping with a collection of area musicians covering hits from Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots – recreating the bands’ songs with stunning precision. – Jonathan Beatty
• Flint Eastwood, AOK and Alexander Lynch powered up a pop-fueled night of Michigan music on Friday at The Pyramid Scheme (with Lynch’s mother even making the long drive down to Grand Rapids from the Upper Peninsula).
• The annual Local Blues Matters benefit in support of blues programming on WGVU 88.5/95.3 FM kept a packed house happy at Billy’s Lounge on Saturday with a bevy of Michigan blues artists including Detroit’s Larry McCray, Grand Rapids’ Jimmie Stagger & Hank Mowery and Hannah Rose & The GravesTones, not to mention an appearance by the Blues Brothers.
• The Kalamazoo Downtown Music Jam, a monthly “pop up” showcase of local musicians, rolled out cover bands on Thursday at The Park Trade Center in Kalamazoo, an event headlined by Lisa Can’t Sing.
WEEKEND PHOTO GALLERY: April 14-16
We Came as Romans, Miss May I, Wilson photos by Anthony Norkus
Flint Eastwood, AOK, Alexander Lynch, Rival Summers photos by Taylor Mansen
Local Blues Matters photos by Anthony Norkus
Kalamazoo Downtown Music Jam photos by Derek Ketchum