20 Monroe just announced six new shows, one of which features classical/pop artist Ben Folds in Ben Folds Five, who will perform on October, 29. His solo career has seen multiple studio albums, a remix collection, music for film and TV, an all acapella record along with numerous collaborations with a wide spectrum of artists.
It’s clear from the first moments of the opening number, “I Never Wanted This,” the Michigan premiere of Broadway’s 2015 musical wedding farce It Shoulda Been You at Farmers Alley Theatre is atypical. A Rubenesque young woman dressed in a bathrobe and veil reveals in song that she’s Jewish, “32ish,” and never wanted to get married. “All of this for a steady lay?” she sings, presumably regarding the drama of her wedding day.
Festivals and summer go hand-in-hand -- no other season can you spend hours in the hot sun with a corn dog (or two) in one hand and a craft beer in the other, listening to a local band jam out while you browse some arts and crafts. And if that’s not up your alley, we have all kinds of festivals; film, cultural, food, sandcastles, art, and so much more.
This year's Music Issue profiles of some of our favorite bands on the come up in West Michigan, from lesbian indie rockers to an ever-shifting urban collective of skilled rappers, singers and instrumentalists. Also: Our guide to scores of festivals to check out this summer.
As any musician will tell you, buying an instrument is definitely something to be done in person, because you have to hear and feel the damn thing. So whether you’re a seasoned vet, a rookie or even just looking to get started, pay a visit to one of these local musical instrument shops and let their expertise guide your important investment.
There’s no doubt that West Michigan is home to a rich music scene. Yet even with no shortage of traditional venues hosting some of the best in local and touring talent, sometimes it’s the places that may be off the radar, or perhaps boast another claim to fame, that are offering up some of the best shows this side of The Mitten. Here’s a list of some true West Michigan standouts.
Digging deep into its place within the West Michigan music scene, The Intersection plans to expand its current location by renovating its lower level.
Aiming to start work in the very near future, The Intersection will open two new venue spaces underneath its existing building. The conversion is taking place sometime this summer, with plans to open both new venues by fall.
“This building is poised for a big comeback,” Melanie Dorshimer-Lewis said. “I’ve been told by several sound engineers that our sound is better than any room in the area, and our sight lines are phenomenal. That hasn’t changed. And that we would not mess with. You don’t mess with magic when you’ve got that.”
At 24 years old, The Autumnatic’s Nick Arthur might seem young to some, but he’s an old-soul veteran when it comes to the local music scene.
The founder, lead vocalist and rhythm/lead guitarist for one of Grand Rapids’ newest and most exciting bands, Arthur grew up on the tried and true grit of Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Neil Young. Taking a cue from such self-made legends, the Cascade native started writing his own songs at a young age and by 16 got his first break when he performed on television.
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