Photo Gallery & Review: Monkees Swing Into Meijer Gardens

Written by Rich Tupica, photos by Nicole Rico | Friday, 10 June 2016 08:37 |

Photos and a recap of The Monkees show at Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on June 8.

On their newest hit song, Fitz & the Tantrums wants to make your hands clap. And your feet move. And, most importantly, your heart beat.

The appropriately titled “HandClap” is more than just the lead-off single for the neo-soul/new-wave band’s new self-titled album, due out June 10. It’s an 808-fueled, four-on-the-floor frenzy that serves as something of a testament to the band’s onstage connection with their fans. 

In an era when most rock acts eschew theatrics to focus all too seriously on “the music,” Ghost proves to be a throwback to a time when bands could do both. 

The Swedish band’s evil aesthetic is unmistakable. Fronted by Papa Emeritus III — the third iteration of the anti-Pope vocalist — and backed by a five-piece band of masked Nameless Ghouls, Ghost often causes a stir with its image before ever playing a note. 

No Boundaries: Alejandro Escovedo Heads to St. Cecilia Music Center

Written by Dwayne Hoover | Tuesday, 03 May 2016 17:59 |

To describe Alejandro Escovedo's career may take some time, and not just due to its lengthy history, but because the guy's been all over the place. 

He comes from a wildly musical family, which includes his niece, Sheila E – the former collaborator and finance of the late Prince.

Baroness’ New LP Reflects the Band’s Horrific 2012 Bus Accident

Written by Eric Mitts | Monday, 02 May 2016 14:23 |

Baroness vocalist/guitarist John Baizley is a survivor, pure and simple. He just doesn’t want that to define him forever. 

Making international news in 2012, his Georgia metal band endured a horrifying bus crash while on tour in England, less than a month after the release of their colossal double-LP Yellow & Green. Baizley himself suffered a broken leg and a broken arm. The injuries were so severe it was uncertain if he’d be able play guitar again, or even be able to keep his arm.

Meanwhile the band’s former drummer Allen Bickle and bassist Matt Maggioni both endured serious vertebrae injuries from the wreck. The physical damages were so traumatic they parted ways with the group, leaving the band’s lineup shattered and its future uncertain. 

What began as a way to honor local philanthropist Irving S. Gilmore’s tremendous love for music, specifically the piano, has grown immensely, now boasting more than 100 concerts at various venues across West Michigan. 

Since 1991, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival has hosted world-class music in the Kalamazoo area. But it’s not just concerts. You’ll also find master classes, a film series and a musical play throughout the 19-day festival, all of which focus on some element of keyboard music. 

Underoath Reunion Tour Stops at Orbit Room

Written by Eric Mitts | Tuesday, 05 April 2016 10:14 |

When metalcore megastars Underoath disbanded in 2013, frontman Spencer Chamberlain honestly felt like it was the end of an era.

“I never thought in a million years that we’d ever play another show,” Chamberlain told Revue in anticipation of the band’s reunion tour coming to the Orbit Room this month. “It was a brutal breakup.”

Chronicled in the 2015 documentary film Tired Violence, the band’s demise after nearly 14 years and seven LPs came as a crushing blow to the young singer. He came into Underoath midway on — replacing original vocalist Dallas Taylor in 2003 — as they sped down a path toward mainstream success and internal tension.

Memphis Roots: Lucero Headlines at Bell’s Brewery

Written by Eric Mitts | Tuesday, 05 April 2016 10:02 |

Although the road has become their home over the last 18 years, hard-touring alt-country-rockers Lucero are still rooted in the musical legacy of their hometown of Memphis.

“We are stewards of Memphis and Memphis music no matter where we go,” bassist John C. Stubblefield told Revue. “It’s who we are and it’s definitely what we represent. Our stage show is sort of a sovereign travelling state of Memphis, Tenn.”

In the words of Dante Hicks, tortured convenience store jockey called into work on his day off, “I’m not even supposed to be here today!” 

In fact, the last time this writer booked multiple shows for a touring musician was probably over three years ago. The last time I wrote for an entertainment publication was 2007. But here we are — for one very important, very inimitable and very legendary reason: Victor Villarreal.

I have briefly come out of my retirement from booking shows (and writing about them, apparently) to set up dates with Villarreal at Camp H Skate Park on March 25 with Charles Rogers and Momentai and on March 26 in Hamtramck, with Bars of Gold and Mountain Club.

Sail On: AWOLNATION Opens Fall Out Boy Show at Van Andel

Written by Eric Mitts | Tuesday, 01 March 2016 13:17 |

Way before the massive, multiplatinum success of the megahit single “Sail,” AWOLNATION mastermind Aaron Bruno could feel like a king for a day in only one place: Grand Rapids.

The reason: Our fair city actually heard his previous band, Under The Influence of Giants, on the radio when almost no one else in the country had.

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