The Bellaire brewery is hosting a two-month-long band battle leading up to its 14th anniversary party in April, which is expected to attract 3,000 revelers.
Steppin’ In It, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys and the Detroit Party Marching Band will power up the Short’s Brewing 14th anniversary celebration in Bellaire on April 28.
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Another Michigan band will join these headliners for the big party that draws 3,000 people to the streets of Bellaire, but it will take several weeks of competition to determine just which one.
For the second year, Short’s Brewing is staging a weekly “battle of the bands” to determine the final performance slot for the spring anniversary party.
“It’s almost a hometown show,” said Dino Goss, guitarist and founding member for Graves Crossing, a hard rock band from East Jordan playing this Sunday’s band battle at Short’s Brewing, facing off against Americana group Shawn Butzin & The Buskers.
Goss noted the band – which is working on its second full-length album, slated for release this summer – has built its fan base over the years, playing several shows at Traverse City’s Ground Zero and opening for national touring acts such as Pop Evil, Theory of a Deadman and Red Sun Rising.
But powering up a short set during the band battle in Bellaire gives them “the ability to play in front of a hometown crowd.”
In the competition – which began last weekend with Ann Arbor funk/rock band Chirp and Walled Lake psychobilly outfit SpokeDrunkie Band – groups face off at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday at Short’s through March 18, followed by semi-final rounds and the championship on April 8.
Each band plays three songs in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges, including representatives from the Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and the Earthwork Music Collective. The judges will evaluate competitors on their stage presence, “tightness,” their original song and overall “party fit.” The band earning the highest scores from the six Sunday sessions move on to the semi-finals.
Traverse City’s Benjaman James won last year’s battle, which allowed the funk/soul group to kick off the 2017 anniversary party held on the streets of Bellaire, with about 3,000 people attending the event.
The band battle lineup has Graves Crossing and Shawn Butzin & The Buskers performing this weekend, Jonathan Timm and Red Herring on Feb. 25, Tribe of Chiefs and Leaving Lifted on March 4, All Good Things Band and Hazard on March 11, and E.Z. Duhzit & The Soul Jar, Off the Wall and Neshama on March 18.
The semi-finals will be March 25 and April 1, with the finals on April 8. See the full schedule online here.
As for the main acts, Short’s has once again lined up popular Michigan bands for its anniversary party, this time with rootsy and eclectic longtime favorite Steppin’ In It – featuring Traverse City’s own Joshua Davis – headlining the event, and bluegrass act Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys and the 17-piece Detroit Party Marching Band also performing. (Watch videos below.)
Ticket sales for Short’s 14th anniversary party go on sale Monday (Feb. 19) and, if past years are any indication, they will sell out. Get updates online at shortsbrewing.com.
VIDEO: Steppin’ In It (BackStage Pass)
VIDEO: Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, “The River Jordan” (Live)
VIDEO: Detroit Party Marching Band (Live)
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