It was another week of concerts that appealed to fans from different musical quarters in West Michigan, while showcasing local favorites, too. The photo galleries at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
If they ever write the history of West Michigan’s music scene in the New Millennium, it might not reference the third week in January 2023 as a significant milestone.
But for those fans who invested energy into the week’s multifaceted concert lineup, it was another memorable series of shows boasting everything from under-the-radar artists to national touring acts to local heroes.
It started Tuesday at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, when Montreal-raised singer-songwriter Kaia Kater –– accompanied by Andrew Ryan on upright bass –– took the stage at Covenant Fine Arts Center.
Kater’s strong voice and clawhammer banjo playing were consistent throughout her six-song set, which included Appalachian traditional tune “Little Pink” and the vampire film-inspired “The Right One.” One highlight was “Nine Pin,” an original song inspired by W.B. Yeats’ “Sailing to Byzantium” –– “the first poem that gave me the courage to try and write something,” Kater told the audience.
On the flip side of that intimate show was the action-packed, multi-set mini-festival of Christian music’s Winter Jam which returned to Van Andel Arena on Thursday with genre stars We the Kingdom, Jeremy Camp, Anne Wilson, NewSong, Austin French, Andy Mineo and Disciple.
It proved to be an arena-sized spectacle captured in dynamic images by photographer Jamie Geysbeek. (Check out the Local Spins interview with Wilson.)
That same night, Grand Rapids’ American Hotel System, August and Darling Suns pumped up The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids while The Honeytones played their first show at Rockford Brewing Co. in Rockford in more than five years.
In Kalamazoo, Peoria roots-pop band The Way Down Wanderers brought on-stage energy to Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe with help from Joshua Powell.
The weekend continued with country singer Spencer Crandall making a Grand Rapids stop on his “The Western Tour” at The Intersection on Friday, the same night that GR’s Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish revved up rockabilly revelry at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo.
On Saturday, a troika of uber-talented female singer-songwriters — Kari Lynch, Kate Pillsbury and Olivia Vargas — shared the stage for the first time at The Stray Music & Arts Cafe in Grand Rapids.
Fan and photographer Carlton Macksam described it as “a stunning ticket” while Vargas called it an “incredible” sold-out show “that reignites every dream and passion to play, write and release music.” (Read more about the three songwriters in this Local Spins Artist Spotlight.)
Saturday night in Kalamazoo was a celebration of the ’80s, with Starfarm playing a sold-out show of popular covers at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe. And at Old Dog Tavern, The Incantations were joined by Kitten & The Tonics.
Scroll down to browse photo galleries from all of these shows.
PHOTO GALLERY: Kaia Kater at Covenant Fine Arts Center
Photos by Adrian Van Stee
PHOTO GALLERY: Winter Jam at Van Andel Arena
We the Kingdom, Jeremy Camp, Anne Wilson, NewSong, Austin French, Andy Mineo, Disciple
Photos by Jamie Geybeek
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker