Celebrations leading up to New Year’s Day covered the gamut, from a delayed ‘Christmas at Critter’s’ to a birthday bash, Beatles salute and New Year’s Eve revelry. Videos and photos at Local Spins.
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Perhaps nothing illustrated the joy, revelry and communal vibe of a New Year’s Eve celebration than the sold-out, jam-packed shows hosted by Michigan bands at intimate West Michigan venues on Saturday night.
Take Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers’ final flourish during a two-night “residency” at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, where flower-waving devotees sang along to the band’s funkiest, most upbeat tunes in an ebullient display of musical camaraderie.
Less than two miles away on the city’s West Side, the scene was much the same as a gleeful, capacity crowd cheered Grand Rapids jam band Desmond Jones and soulful rock ensemble Nathan Walton & The Remedy, filling the dance floor with bobbing, swaying bodies.
And on the lakeshore in Holland, Park Theatre went wall-to-wall with a sold-out bluegrass and rootsy Americana theme, led by West Michigan’s award-winning Full Cord and Roosevelt Diggs.
Just a short jaunt down U.S. 131 to Kalamazoo, meanwhile, found the city’s annual New Year’s Fest rolling out numerous performances by a host of bands, comedians and other performers at several different downtown venues.
Local Spins photographer Derek Ketchum called it “a fun event geared toward the whole family” with Kathleen & The Bridge Street Band playing blues outdoors on the Rotary Stage at Bronson Park, the Samuel Nalangira “trio” performing as a five-piece at First Congregational Church and sets by the likes of Ada LeAnn, Tyler Roy, Hired Hands and Dylan Tolbert. A heated tent even had folks dancing until nearly midnight, with a fireworks display to cap things off.
Back in Grand Rapids, That Beatles Thing — the region’s most popular Beatles tribute outfit — toasted the New Year and the final show with renowned guitarist Pete Bardolph at a dance-happy Eastern Avenue Hall.
Of course, what would the end of December be without Grand Rapids ska powerhouse Mustard Plug’s annual holiday party at Elevation inside The Intersection? Friday’s hyper-energetic 20th annual holiday show also featured sets by The Koffin Kats, Dance Contraption and Big Timmy & The Heavy Chevys.
The night before that, Elevation hosted the annual “Christmas at Critter’s” all-star extravaganza (hosted by Melophobix, Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys and The Legal Immigrants, benefiting Toys for Tots) which had been postponed from the week before due to the nasty Christmas weekend storm.
And just down the street at Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids singer Hannah Rose Graves led her own impressive lineup of musicians to celebrate the return of her annual birthday show.
Local Spins was there at all of these shows to capture the action via videos and photos. Scroll down to browse all of the galleries.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
PHOTO GALLERY: Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, Au Gres at The Pyramid Scheme
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker
PHOTO GALLERY: Desmond Jones, Nathan Walton & The Remedy at Tip Top Deluxe
Photos by Nathan Purchase and John Sinkevics
PHOTO GALLERY: Kalamazoo New Year’s Fest in downtown Kalamazoo
Photos by Derek Ketchum