Sunday, 05 February 2017 13:03

Best Bets: What's going on in February

Written by  Nicole Rico and Revue staff
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Foreign Policy Discussions

Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids
Mondays, 6-7:15 p.m.
$10 members, $15 non-members, (616)776-1721

If you’re concerned about the state of politics, you might want to check out these discussions presented by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. This nonprofit, non-advocacy organization is educating local residents with the help of national experts on U.S. foreign policy and international issues one discussion at a time. Feb. 6 is all about Rx: Prescription for Latin America; Feb. 13 is Choke Points: The World’s Water, Food, and Energy Crises; Feb. 20 discusses Nuclear Proliferation. Nuclear Insecurity?; and Feb. 27 brings South China Sea: Clash of Strategies. For more information about the events and guest speakers, visit


AJJ + Joyce Manor

The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave., Grand Rapids
7 p.m., $20, (616) 272-3758

AJJ and Joyce Manor are both powerhouses in the modern punk-rock scene, even if they take the genre in fairly different directions. AJJ, with its strong leanings toward folk, released The Bible 2 in fall of last year. Even at just 30 minutes long, the record is dense with memorable lyrics and lo-fi melodies. A few months later came Joyce Manor’s even shorter release, Cody, rife with catchy choruses and guitars reminiscent of golden-age ’90s emo. Mannequin Pussy also joins as a special guest.


Taj Weekes and Adowa

Founders, 235 Grandville Ave., Grand Rapids
9:30 p.m., $5, 21 and up, (616) 776-2182

Taj Weekes and Adowa stop by Founders this month to bring their Caribbean grooves to the stage. Weekes — a self-described musician, poet and humanitarian — has released five acclaimed reggae albums, the latest being Love, Herb & Reggae. Also making an appearance is Grand Rapids’ beloved Vox Vidorra.


Michigin Release Party

Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
4 p.m.-12 a.m.

Long Road Distillers will be releasing its (and maybe anyone’s) first-ever All-Michigan gin. The red winter wheat comes from Heffron Farms and the juniper was hand-picked by Long Road staff on Beaver Island. Throw in some Michigan hops and you’ve got yourself Michigin. Bottles of the homegrown libation obviously will be for sale, while gin cocktails and Michigin pours are half-off (yes, 50-percent) all night.


Dita Von Teese: The Art of the Teese

20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
7:30 p.m., $20, 18 and up, (844) 678-5483

Dubbed a “burlesque superheroine” by Vanity Fair, Dita Von Teese has toured the world with her unique strip tease performances. This tour includes new costumes, new numbers, special guests, and an all-new male “Vontourage” to accompany Von Teese.



The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
5:30-11:30 p.m., $5, (616) 451-8232

WYCE’s annual music awards party is back again, this year with 25 bands performing across two stages at The Intersection. Old-timers like The Go Rounds and Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish join Jammies newcomers like Heaters and Emma Loo. Throughout the night, awards will be presented for various categories including Best New Artist and Song of the Year. An afterparty hosted by Seth Bernard follows.

The Verve Pipe

20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
7 p.m., $15-$35, All ages, 1-844-678-5483

The Verve Pipe has continued to bring textured tunes to fans ever since its genesis in East Lansing in the early ’90s. Songs like “The Freshmen” and “Photograph” quickly put them on the map as they climbed up the charts. Now, the band is prepping a new acoustic “Villains” LP. Opening the show is Papa Vegas.


Frontier Ruckus

Old Dog Tavern, 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
9 p.m., $12, (269) 381-5677

Praised by everyone from Rolling Stone to Ryan Adams, Frontier Ruckus is a poetic fixture in the Michigan folk-rock scene. The band is known for its lyrically layered and musically expansive sound. Check it out at Old Dog Tavern on Feb. 17 at the band’s CD release party for its fourth LP, Enter The Kingdom.


Geek Chic: The Evolution of Comics

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
6:30-9 p.m., $50, (616) 808-3600

A collaboration between Vault of Midnight and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park brings Charley Tucker, a self-proclaimed “ambassador for all things geeky,” to give an insider’s look into the world of comic books. Tucker has given talks like this before, including at the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival. She’ll discuss how the world of comic books has grown into what is are today, taking over movie theaters, television and pop culture in general. Plus, there will be hors d’oeuvres and beverages for all.



Old Dog Tavern, 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
FREE! 9 p.m., (269) 381-5677

Valentiger’s latest album, Stray Animals, pairs pensive melodies with pop confections and cemented the band as a West Michigan favorite. Also performing, Samantha Cooper is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and educator who honed her craft working alongside Maraj and Chris Bathgate, among others. Breathe Owl Breathe opens.

Chippendales 2017: Best. Night. Ever. Tour

20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
8 p.m., $20, 18 and up, 1-844-678-5483

In the midst of their Best. Night. Ever. Tour, the notorious Chippendales performs for 2 million people annually and regularly tours the globe. Check it out if you’re seeking your own Magic Mike experience.



Echoes of Pink Floyd

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
8 p.m., $25, (269) 382-2332

Diehard Pink Floyd enthusiasts will want to check out Echoes of Pink Floyd playing at Bell’s Eccentric Café this month. The show includes a massive, colorful laser show and has been a staple for Pink Floyd fans for over a decade.

Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza

Seven Steps Up, 116 S. Jackson St., Spring Lake
8:30 p.m., $18, (616) 678-3618

The bearded Mark Lavengood is unforgettable, a multi-instrumentalist performing with multiple bands across Grand Rapids. Catch Lavengood with his guitar, suspenders and signature big ol’ smile onstage at Seven Steps Up in this standing room-only show. It’s not just bluegrass — it’s a bluegrass bonanza, with enough charisma, energy and talent to fill the room.



Seth Bernard

Salt of the Earth, 114 E. Main St., Fennville
7 p.m., $15

Seth Bernard has been a notable folk troubadour since the early 2000s. This long-time Earthwork Music artist is touring in support of his album, Reconciliation and Beyond the Beyonda, an album that “captures the essence of life and the eternal flow of the circle in which all life resides,” according to musician Mark Lavengood.


The Classic Rock Show

DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

8 p.m., $34.50-39.50, (616) 742-6500

The Classic Rock Show is bringing its new show — The Alphabet of Rock — to Grand Rapids, performing hits from AC/DC, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meatloaf, Queen, The Who, ZZ Top and many more. All of that builds up to a guitar duel at the end as a grand finale. It’s two-and-a-half hours, so not only do you know you’re getting your money’s worth, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear your favorite classic anthems.


Pierce the Veil

The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
6 p.m., $29.50-35, (616) 451-8232

Post-hardcore legends Pierce the Veil return to Grand Rapids not long after the release of Misadventures, the band’s fourth full-length. This record has all of the band’s signature moves, with frantic guitar riffs, an even combo of smooth singing and intense screaming, and a touch of Latin influence. Special guests include Falling In Reverse and Crown The Empire.




20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
March 3, 7 p.m., $30-$50, (844) 678-5483

Atlanta-native Jeezy is hitting the stage at 20 Monroe Live this March, bringing his southern-rap sound to Grand Rapids’ newest venue. His latest album, 2016’s Trap or Die 3, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and produced the singles “Let Em Know” and “All There.”


Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo
March 14, 6 p.m., $50, (269) 345-6500

Touring in support of the new album, Schmilco, Wilco’s sound is a little quieter these days, especially in comparison to 2015’s surprise album, Star Wars. According to The Chicago Tribune, “As comforting as this album can sometimes sound on the surface, it’s also strange and unsettling.” Tickets are going fast — reserve them now at


For more events, see

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