We recap the Michigan string duo’s kickoff to its farewell shows, plus premiere new music by several other Michigan artists, from LVRS to John Sanger to Big Fun.
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As fiddler Diana Ladio put it from the outset of The Moxie Strings’ five-concert farewell tour, “Yes, it’s really happening.”
And as bittersweet as closing out a 17-year career might be, Ladio and duo partner/electric cellist Alison Lynn were all smiles and more than upbeat as they kicked off their “That’s a Wrap” jaunt through four Michigan cities, starting with a packed house at Midtown in Grand Rapids on Wednesday.
“It’s a Wednesday night and you guys all chose to be here, and that means the world to us,” Ladio proclaimed. “This is it, and we’re going to keep it celebratory tonight.”
Indeed, they did, cranking out “Day of the Donut,” “Smile On,” “3 Ft. Deep,” various Irish jigs and reels, and rollicking covers of songs such as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” amid looping and special effects, all while telling goofy jokes and regaling the gleeful audience with comical tales from the road.
“We’re going to tell the same jokes we’ve told for 17.5 years,” Lynn said. “We just like to trick you into clapping for us because it makes us feel good.”
The “feel good” vibe came as The Moxie Strings unleashed what they called “all our favorite tunes” performed “in an order that we don’t normally play them” – an approach they’ll repeat in their return to Midtown for a sold-out show at 7:30 p.m. today (Nov. 17), followed by concerts Saturday at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey and Sunday at the Old Art Building in Leland.
Read more about The Moxie Strings and their final soiree in this Local Spins Artist Spotlight, and listen to our interview with the duo as part of this week’s Local Spins on WYCE radio show in the podcast below.
This week’s episode of Local Spins on WYCE — which spotlights Michigan music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org — also featured new music from LVRS, Second Hand Mojo, Big Fun, Desmond Jones, King Possum, John Sanger, Izubel and Roosevelt Diggs, as well as a track by Jamie Sue-Seal (this week’s musicians’ pick by The Moxie Strings). Listen to the podcast here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (11/17/23)
VIDEO: The Moxie Strings at Midtown
PHOTO GALLERY: The Moxie Strings at Midtown
Photos by Joshua Tufts & John Sinkevics
Copyright 2023, Spins on Music LLC