From dream pop to piano-driven rock to prog-pop to metalcore mania, it was another rousing week of live music in the Grand Rapids area. Local Spins was there to recap the action in words, photos and video.
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LOW CUT CONNIE AT THE STACHE (Thursday)
Philadelphia-based Low Cut Connie oozes vintage rock energy.
Led by dynamic, ebullient, audience-involving piano-pounder Adam Weiner, the six-piece troupe electrified The Stache inside The Intersection on Thursday with an over-the-top, uber-exuberant and sweaty display of good-time, retro rock ‘n’ roll.
Insanely, fewer than 100 people were on hand, but every one one of these fans got caught up in the contagious, upbeat and joyful ferocity of this outfit, led by the Jerry Lee Lewis- and early Elton John-channeling Weiner. The showman hammered on “Nellie,” his little upright piano, from every possible position — standing, sitting, kneeling — while often clambering atop the instrument to implore the crowd to get crazy, high-fiving fans and even jumping into the audience for hugs and back pats.
The band churned out sing-along classics from the band’s entire catalog, including “Rio,” “Revolution Rock n Roll,” “Shake It Little Tina,” “Dirty Water” and “All These Kids Are Way Too High,” with the top-flight musicians criss-crossing the stage, joking and trading riffs with each other, and generally just having a rollicking time of it all.
The audience ate it all up with delicious verve, reflecting the words Weiner crooned during “Revolution Rock n Roll”: “Come on children, lift it up/Let the jerk-offs do their stuff/Touch my body, touch my soul/Revolution rock n roll.” Let’s keep this revolution rolling. – John Sinkevics
VIDEO: Low Cut Connie @ The Stache inside The Intersection (Thursday)
PHOTO GALLERY: Low Cut Connie in Grand Rapids (Thursday)
Photos by John Sinkevics
STYX AT MEIJER GARDENS (Friday)
Consider this: Styx first assembled as a rock band 47 years ago and scored its first monster hit, “Lady,” in 1975.
And as one of rock history’s most popular prog-pop bands ever, it’s no surprise that Styx has consistently sold out every appearance the band has made at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids Township.
Friday’s return to the outdoor amphitheater amid stellar summer weather was no exception and, once again, proved the band’s musical mettle for its devoted fans.
With a wailing “Crystal Ball,” Styx reached deep into the vault on Friday, and the crowd adored every vintage note.
“We’re going to do some millennium jumping tonight,” singer-guitarist James “JY” Young declared at one point.
Playing a vintage 12-string guitar, Tommy Shaw anchored an ethereal rendering of “Suite Madame Blue,” buoyed by the dynamic drumming of Todd Sucherman, who recently was voted the No. 1 classic rock drummer in the world in the Modern Drummer magazine readers’ poll.
Other crowd-pleasers included “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Mr. Roboto” and “Renegade.” – Lorilee Craker
Read the Local Spins interview with Styx keyboardist Lawrence Gowan: Styx still ‘having a ball’ and ‘getting better’ with classic sound, new songs, live moxie
PHOTO GALLERY: Styx at Meijer Gardens (Friday)
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
I PREVAIL AT 20 MONROE LIVE (Friday)
PHOTO GALLERY: I Prevail, Issues, Justin Stone at 20 Monroe Live (Friday)
Photos by Anthony Norkus