Friday, 03 June 2016 17:07

Best Bets: What's going on in June

Written by  Josh Veal
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Thursday 6/2

Royce Da 5'9"

The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
June 2, 7 p.m., $20 advance, $23 day of, (616) 451-8232

With 20 years of hip-hop under the belt, Royce has become known for his ghostwriting, freestyle battle skills, and a long-running collaboration with Eminem known as Bad Meets Evil. The Detroit rapper is headed to our side of the state in support of his new mixtape, Tabernacle: Trust the Shooter, featuring the single “Tabernacle,” which is making waves in the underground rap scene and on the Billboard charts. 


Friday 6/3 and Friday 6/17

Movies in the Park

Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
June 3 and June 17, 7 p.m., FREE, (616) 719-4610

Hey y’all! It’s back. Voters have officially decided on the lineup for this year’s Movies in the Park series, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. June 3 is Wizard of Oz, the musical about a girl who leaves behind her horrible life in rural America, traveling to a far-off magical land and making some amazing friends along the way, and then deciding to go home for some reason. June 17 is Men in Black, a sci-fi comedy film truly representative of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones at the peak of their careers. The best part: Bring your own beer, snacks, blankets, or whatever.


Saturday 6/4

Local First Street Party
Outside Bistro Bella Vita, 44 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
June 4, 3 p.m.–midnight, FREE,

For the 13th year, Local First is bringing together the city’s finest businesses with an all-day family-friendly party. A wide variety of performers take the stage, from Lady Ace Boogie to The Crane Wives to the 61Syx Teknique Street Dance Academy. Founders will be pouring the drinks, while a fleet of food trucks offers barbecue, tacos, pizza and more. Plus, there are plenty of activities for the kids. 


Twenty One Pilots

Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids
June 4, 7 p.m., $25–45, (616) 742-6600

The genre-bending Twenty One Pilots are bringing their EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW world tour to Grand Rapids, one year after the release of the duo’s most recent album, Blurryface. Synth, drums and ukulele all come together behind singer Tyler Joseph’s unique vocals, often jumping from pop to reggae to Eminem-esque hip hop in just one song.


Thursday 6/9

The Moth Mainstage

Wharton Center for Performing Arts, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing
June 9, 7:30 p.m., $32, (517) 353-1982

No other storytelling organization can even hold a candle to The Moth. That’s in part because a moth would fly directly into the candle’s flame and burn alive, but also because it’s just the best. People from around the world take the stage and tell one true story each, without notes, to a captive audience. Some stories are heartbreaking, while others are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Many manage to do both. 


Friday 6/10

Verve Pipe Villains 20th Anniversary Concert

River Rock Concert, Adado Riverfront Park, 300 N. Grand Ave., Lansing
June 10, $15 adv., $25 at gate 

In 1996, East Lansing’s own The Verve Pipe released its Platinum-selling alt-rock record, “Villains.” The disc produced radio hits like “The Freshman,” “Photograph” and “Cup Of Tea.” In celebration of this landmark anniversary, the band will perform the two-decade old record in its entirety, for the first time ever, at the River Rock Concert. The outdoor show is Friday, June 10 at Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing. Warming up the stage is ’90s anti-folk-rocker Wally Pleasant. The legendary songwriter, who also got his start in East Lansing, will perform his acclaimed debut record, 1992’s Songs About Stuff LP, in its entirety.


Thursday 6/16–Saturday 6/18

Grand Rapids Pride Festival

Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids
June 16–18, $20 for concert, (616) 458-3511

For the 28th year, Grand Rapids is showing its pride and support for the LGBTQ community. The weekend kicks off Thursday with a discussion at the GRAM on creating safe spaces for youth in the marginalized community. Friday is a party at Rumors from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. But the real event takes place Saturday with the day-long street fair and the inaugural Pride Concert, starring Alex Newell of Glee and multi-platinum R&B-star Deborah Cox. With these headliners in tow, this should be the biggest Pride Fest in GR history.


Friday 6/17

Hazy Past

River City Saloon, 1152 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
June 17, 9 p.m., FREE, (616) 451-0044

Known for comprehensive tribute shows (the band covered The Rolling Stones’ amazing Exile On Main Street LP in its entirety), Hazy Past is all about the nostalgia. The band always tries to offer something new, focusing especially on classic rock’s deep cuts rather than the hits. And with over 100 songs in their toolbelt, it’s easy to make the setlist something new every time.


Wednesday 6/22

Yonder Mountain String Band

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
June 22, 7 p.m., $25 advance, $30 day of, (269) 382-2332

Head outside to the luscious green pastures of Bell’s Beer Garden for the rustic Appalachian tunes of progressive-bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band. Defined by its unique improvisational approach to the genre, Yonder lives for live performances, purportedly honing their craft “in real time.” Rain or shine, the show is going on either way, so be sure to bring a pint-sized umbrella for your Oberon.


Thursday 6/23–Sunday 6/26

Electric Forest

Double JJ Resort, 7100 South Water Rd., Rothbury
June 23–26, $229.75

This is one of those festivals that’s become as much a phenomenon as it is an event (see also: Burning Man, The Gathering of the Juggalos). Electric Forest has developed quite a reputation as the Midwest’s largest weekend of bright lights, camping, electronic music and other super legal activities. Tickets always sell out well ahead of time, but there’s a good chance that The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar and Major Lazer will be headlining next year too if you missed your chance. Also, it’s a literal forest. You can probably just toss on a Sasquatch costume and walk in. 



Summerland Tour

Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Dr., Kalamazoo
July 27, 7:30 p.m., $11–40, (269) 345-1125

Want to go back in time for an evening? It’s easy — just snag some tickets to this blockbuster concert. Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit and Sponge all share one bill … what more do you need to know? It’s the ’90s alt-pop-rock nostalgia reunion of the year and it’s headed to Kalamazoo. Gen Xers will be delighted by the number of recognizable throwback hits. Check out the VIP Packages, too, for a chance to meet the bands.


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