One listen to American Authors’ smash hit single, “Best Day of My Life,” and it’s easy to think the band has only seen sunshine and good times. But talk to lead singer Zac Barnett about his band’s road to success and a deeper different story unfolds.
With this year marking Aerosmith’s 45th year together, the “Bad Boys from Boston” will bring this summer’s Blue Army Tour to a triumphant close with their August 4 return to Grand Rapids. “Grand Rapids is part of the section of the country where we first made it,” Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told Revue. “When we’re playing in a city like that we know we’re going to have a great time."
People often say no music is truly original. That’s probably true given songwriters openly cite their musical influences while occasionally suing each other for copyright infringement. Garrett Dutton, better known as G. Love, understands nobody is reinventing the harmonious wheel.
Even though the members of Gaslight Anthem proudly wear their hearts on their tattooed sleeves via the band’s gritty and honest punk-fueled songs – offstage they’re not the sappiest bunch of dudes. “You’re probably talking to the most sentimental guy in the band,” said drummer Benny Horowitz, while discussing the band’s upcoming 10-year anniversary.
Singer/songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy (aka actor Will Oldham) is one man with two names and his own sense of reality. Oldham, 45, has learned to merge his own world with ours on record, stage and screen. July 16 he delivers his mythical musical vision at Bell’s Brewery.
New Pornographers leader/songwriter A.C. Newman vividly remembers the last time his band was supposed to play in Grand Rapids. It was fall 2010 and the critically-adored indie-rock group had just released its Together LP. The band was scheduled to perform at Calvin College until protests came over the band’s name. Ultimately the show was cancelled.
Crooked Doors, the sophomore release from Atlanta-based rock connossieurs Royal Thunder, has been making quite a stir in the hard rock scene. Garnering the band comparisons to Led Zeppelin and being labeled a major step forward in their musical evolution, this album is sure to pique the interest of many; but to judge them based on their studio recordings alone wouldn't be fair. According to guitarist Josh Weaver, where they really find themselves at home is not the studio, but on stage.
Before he finished in the final four last month on NBC’s The Voice, Joshua Davis’ soothing, soulful voice was electrifying Michigan audiences as the lead singer of the roots rock ensemble Steppin’ In It and as a member of the bands Starlight Six and Shout Sister Shout. He’s flying solo this month on a victory lap, of sorts, and he settles into a July 8 gig at Bell’s Eccentric Café for an evening of covers and original tunes.
Pop icon Janet Jackson announced this morning the dates of The Unbreakable World Tour. The shows are in support of her upcoming album. One of the 36 stops is a Sept. 11 show at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, where the show starts at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $99.50 and go on sale to the general public Monday, June 22 at 10 a.m.
Sometimes when a band takes on an outsize personal importance — like Grand Funk Railroad did for me as a teenager — the passage of time carries the inevitability of disappointment, perhaps brought on by misplaced expectations.
That thought passed through my mind at Meijer Gardens Wednesday night as I watched a conga line erupt in the middle of Grand Funk's ultra-hokey rendition of "The Loco-Motion." Sure, the band sounded good — just like the records — and people were having a high time. But…
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