This time last year, Jake Kiszka had no idea what was about to happen for him or his band, Greta Van Fleet.
Yet, in just the past 12 months, the band went from the relative obscurity of its Michigan hometown of Frankenmuth to one of the hottest acts in the country — selling out two headlining tours in advance and having its debut single, Highway Tune, top both the Billboard Mainstream and Active Rock charts.
There’s nothing quite like Kalamashoegazer. The festival feels like a celebration in more ways than one — an honoring of its host city’s diverse yet devoted music scene, and of the beloved cult subgenres of shoegaze, twee and dreampop first popularized by such iconic bands as My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Slowdive in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Undergoing something of a musical transformation, Bigfoot Buffalo has changed with the cycles of the moon.
Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, the inaugural Great Lakes Music Camp welcomes students and music lovers to learn about and enjoy the many styles and sounds of traditional Americana, roots and folk music.
The three-day acoustic music camp, running Oct. 6-8, includes small, personalized group sessions and two benefit concerts at Camp Blodgett. The instructors are some of the finest acoustic musicians in the country, and the camp is open to all skill levels, ages 12 and up.
One heavily packed Kia Soul, two best friends and a destination across the country began the journey that helped cultivate a career for Afterglow. Featuring lead singer and guitarist Adrian Mitchell, and backup vocalist and keyboardist Jackson Simmons, the Michigan-made alternative rock band left the Mitten for the promises and potential of the L.A. music industry in 2016. And now, almost a year later, the band is returning for its first Michigan show since.
When the members of Grand Rapids’ The Zannies found out they would get to play as part of this summer’s Tuesday Evening Music Club at Frederik Meijer Gardens, the show came as a complete surprise.
“We’re more used to playing venues like Mulligan’s,” vocalist/bassist Ben Steer said, of course referring to the legendary Eastown pub known for its hard-hitting drinks and even harder-hitting music.
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.
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