The Kalamazoo brewery’s booking/marketing team reminisced about the most compelling performances by artists pre-COVID at Bell’s, from Kurt Vile to Joe Hertler. Check out the Top 10 playlist and videos.
EDITOR’S NOTE: With its weekly playlists, Local Spins has regularly showcased West Michigan concert venues whose live music has been silenced due to COVID-19. We wrapped up 2020 with a Founders Brewing soundtrack and kick off 2021 with this playlist submitted by Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo. Scroll down to listen to the playlist on Spotify.
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Hello, from the Bell’s Eccentric Café booking and marketing team! This playlist reflects who have played the Back Room and Beer Garden over the last couple of years. There are artists on this list who have performed at Bell’s too many times to count, along with a few first-time performers.
Creating this list really made us realize how much we miss the experience of drinking a cold beer and listening to music live. While live music at Bell’s is currently on pause, we look forward to the day we open the Back Room and Beer Garden stage again.
Currently, our Beer Garden is open for food and beverage service Thursday through Sunday, and we offer our menu to go as well. You can find more information on that online here.
TUESDAY SOUNDTRACK: The Bell’s Eccentric Café Top 10 Playlist
1. May Erlewine, “Come On In” (2019) – May & The Motivations usually open their holiday dance party set with this tune and the vibration in the room is high, there are chills, there is movement and the worries of the world disappear. You are in musical church and May & The Motivations will lead you through the next 90-plus minutes of soul music as you dance, sweat and revel in a weightlessness that only comes with the freedom of an amazing musical experience.
2. Kurt Vile, “Baby’s Arms” (2019) – Kurt & The Violators played a sweltering set, both in performance and the July Michigan heat. Toward the end of the show, he pulled out this sweet, gentle tune and a train rolled by directly behind the band on stage. It was the railroad kismet we all look forward to, a sign, a signal that this is truly a special moment.
3. Over The Rhine, “If We Make It Through December” (2019) – This Ohio duo always puts on an incredible performance with harmonies that send chills up your spine. This song has a dual meaning these days; a powerful piece of art.
4. Built To Spill, “You Were Right” (2019) – In their long and illustrious career Built To Spill had never played Kalamazoo. There are few bands that were more beloved in the music community prior to them gracing a stage and this show reflected that energy. As they came to this song in their set the audience was singing along, mouthing, shouting the words.
5. Of Montreal, “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” (2018) – Of Montreal is an act that transforms the performance space into their own mythical land for the evening. This tune is a hit and you cannot help but shake a shoulder and dance along.
6. Todd Snider, “Conservative, Christian, Right Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males” (2019) – Todd is a traditional singer-songwriter, known for his stories and songs. The lyrics are the star on this one, always leaving the audience questioning and pondering after a performance, stirring conversation, like a true artist does.
7. Trampled By Turtles, “Where is My Mind” (2019) – The day of this performance was marred with potential weather issues, but the spirits were high. There is always a special excitement that comes with an artist performing in your city for the first time: It’s like a first date. Let me show you how great Kalamazoo is, then in turn, Trampled By Turtles wow you by putting on a blazing performance, closing with this Pixies tune.
8. Steppin In It, “Give My Regards to Miss Moline” (2019) – We were so excited to have Steppin’ In It, a band with a long history at Bell’s, open the Beer Garden in 2019 on an absolutely gorgeous Michigan day. The crowd was moving and shaking to this incredible tune. A truly sweet summer memory we hold onto.
9. The Accidentals, “How Many Hands” (2020) – A newer song from The Accidentals, one of the last bands to play the Back Room prior to the shutdown and a band that has really been able to create amazing content remotely during the pause in live music – something to aspire to.
10. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, “Evening Coffee” (2019) – “Fake New Years” is so much better than Real New Year’s Eve. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers put on two nights of a wild musical experience that was fun for all. Here is a tune from that actual performance.
Check out previous Local Spins playlists online here.
TUESDAY PLAYLIST: The Bell’s Brewery Top 10 on Spotify
Copyright 2021, Spins on Music LLC