Thursday was jam-packed with fan-rousing concerts (Ashley McBryde, Young the Giant, Conrad Shock, Ashley Daneman), followed by Halloween bashes galore across West Michigan. Images at Local Spins.
Halloween has become a week-long excuse to celebrate in macabre, musical fashion.
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But this year, in West Michigan’s case, that week actually launched on Thursday night with several attention-getting concerts, including tour stops by California indie-alt-rock-pop’s Young the Giant (20 Monroe Live) and emerging country star Ashley McBryde (Elevation inside The Intersection).
That same night boasted an album-release show starring Grand Rapids rock faves Conrad Shock + The Noise (The Pyramid Scheme) and an album-preview show by Kalamazoo’s Ashley Daneman (Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe).
The weekend that followed, of course, was mostly about Halloween madness. Check out photo galleries and a recap of Young the Giant exclusively at Local Spins. And check out Local Spins coverage of the Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference and performance showcases.
YOUNG THE GIANT (20 Monroe Live)
Young the Giant possesses a kind of breezy coolness by even the most suave, rock-star standards. Having ridden the tide of 2011’s wildly successful self-titled album, the group has garnered critical acclaim, graced the world’s biggest stages and achieved undeniable stardom from adoring fans.
With a fresh album “Mirror Master” (its fourth), the California band kicked off its national tour in Grand Rapids at 20 Monroe Live on Thursday night. The evening began with a grooving, energetic performance by Lights, the indie-pop moniker of Canadian artist Lights Poxleitner-Bokan. Backed by a full-band and toggling between keys and guitar, Lights performed radiantly, spurring an electric anticipation through the packed crowd in the early moments of the night.
Taking the stage in a flash of blinding light, Young the Giant emerged like towering, immortal beings christened with musical powers from the indie-rock heavens. Although material from its newest album lacks some of the lyrical and musical depth achieved in earlier releases, the collective brought a transcendent energy to its vibrant, career-spanning live performance.
Leading with title track “Mirror Master,” a shimmery and surfy pop tune, frontman Sameer Gadhia wielded a signature tambourine and his unmistakably silky voice. One of the band’s most notable songs, “Apartment,” an indie-alternative radio darling, was fleshed into a perfect live rendition, with the band performing the longstanding track as if it were the very first time.
Other standout numbers included the striking disco vibes of “Tightrope,” and the sentimental storytelling and crescendo of “Titus Was Born.” The show proved to be a groove-getting, dance-delivering spectacle, providing every bit of buzz, energy and freshness that comes with a first tour stop – and setting an absolutely exhilarating tone, both for the band and fans alike. – Ricky Olmos
PHOTO GALLERY: Young the Giant, Lights at 20 Monroe Live
Photos by Anthony Norkus
ASHLEY MCBRYDE (Elevation inside The Intersection)
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos Eric Stoike (On the Run Photography)
CONRAD SHOCK + THE NOISE (The Pyramid Scheme)
PHOTO GALLERY: Conrad Shock + The Noise, The Legal Immigrants at The Pyramid Scheme
Photos by Anna Sink