Revue Magazine, June 2017 - The Music Issue

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Best of the West Vote today in our 2017 Readers Poll!

June 2017

Arts / Dining / Beer / Free!

Lipstick Jodi

The Music Issue Also inside

Summer Festival Guide


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What’s Inside

June 2017 | Volume 29, Issue 6


What’s Going on this Month


Biz Beat

Revue Arts 1A


An exploration of West Michigan’s cultural arts scene and the people who drive it. (See the center of this issue)


The Music Issue


Ten Local Bands to Watch


Vox Vidorra


Lipstick Jodi


Last Gasp Collective


The Autumnatic


Music Venue News

36 Non-traditional Venues 38

Music Instrument Shops


WYCE’s Songs We Like


Festival Guide

SightS: 51

Style Notes


Comedy: W. Kamau Bell



Butcher’s Union




Restaurant Guide


Outdoor Dining


Dining Review: Butcher’s Union


Beer Trend: New England IPAs


Last Call: Sidebar

Letter from the Editor


ay what you will about West Michigan — the one thing we’ve never lacked is a killer music scene. From the legendary days of Skelletones and the DAAC (plus venues that I’m sure predated myself) to the recent opening of 20 Monroe Live and the region’s growing house show scene, it’s clear we love our bops, bangers and tunes. And with technology making it easier not only to make music but share it as well — along with multiple venues expanding, building and renovating — there’s never been a better time to be a part of the local music scene (probably, I don’t actually know. I’m young). On top of that, our society’s slow, sporadic lurches toward social progress have changed the face of music for the better. Our cover this month features Lipstick Jodi, Grand Rapids’ rising-star indie/alt/pop/punk/etc. quartet. The band’s newest single, That’s so Great, is unabashedly lesbian and downright infectious, throwing back to the candid lyrics and anthemic hooks of mid-2000s pop-punk. We also spoke with Vox Vidorra — who could’ve guessed that Grand Rapids would be blessed with such a talented, relevant soul quartet? You can catch the band at just about any major event in the

Vote Today! Shout out your favorite local people, places and things to do.

city, tearing up the stage with tight instrumentals designed to let Molly Bouwsma Schultz’s lyrics shine. Not that it’s needed; give Bouwsma Schultz a microphone and her voice could cut through the most opaque wall of sound. That’s just a sampling of the many local bands we shine a spotlight on in the pages ahead, not to mention our massive guide to the region’s upcoming festivals of all kinds: music, barbecue, beer, art, you name it. And don’t flip past our manual for outdoor dining, an increasingly must-have option for local eateries in the summer. It’s times like these — when summer rolls around and West Michigan brings out the best it has to offer — it’s easy to be proud of our home.

’Til next time,

Josh Veal, Managing Editor

Upcoming issues July: The REVUE Guide to Pets

August: Best of the West Winners Issue

Results from our second annual reader poll to crown the best of West Michigan — music venues, restaurants, bars, shops, and more. To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email

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Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Josh Veal / Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Contributing Writers Missy Black Samara Napolitan Dana Casadei Troy Reimink Dwayne Hoover Nicole Rico Nick Macksood Jane Simons Marla R. Miller Kayla Tucker Eric Mitts Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff, Jeff Hage, Michelle Smith, Seth Thompson Advertising / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Joe Langlois / Digital EditorS Kim Kibby, Josh Veal

Revue is going to the dogs. (And cats.) West Michigan is a great place to enjoy with our four-legged companions. We explore the best shops for products to spoil your pets, locally made pet items, and where you and your pets can spend time together.

W est M ic h iga n ’ s E n tertai n me n t G uide

Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.

Find us online! Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2017, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

On the cover: Grand Rapids band Lipstick Jodi, photographed by Seth Thompson. See page 26.






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/// best bets

what’s Going on this month |  Compiled by Nicole Rico and Revue staff


The Hard Cider Run Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill 8540 2 Mile Rd., Ada June 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., $45

Enjoy the idyllic countryside of an apple orchard while burning those doughnuts off in this unique 5K. With the ticket, you get one free hard cider at the end of the run, along with a medal, shirt, commemorative glass and race photos. And for just $12 more, you get to throw three housemade doughnuts in the mix! Nice.

2017 Beach Jam West Michigan

Pere Marquette Beach June 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Beach Jam brings the party to the beach, with live music all afternoon, open surf sessions and a big ol’ co-ed volleyball tournament. The family-friendly event is open to all and free to attend, but if you want to get in on some of that bump-set-spike action, your four-person team will have to pay a small entry fee. The event is hosted by Kleen Sl8, a rock band of brothers from Shelbyville.



Steve Everett

Seven Steps Up 116 S Jackson St., Spring Lake June 7, 8 p.m., $20-$30, (616) 678-3618 Straight from Nashville, singer-songwriter Steve Everett has been nominated for “Album Of The Year” twice by the Independent Music Awards. He’s toured with acts like Sister Hazel and Michael Tolcher. This month he brings his “Pop ‘N’ Roll” style music to Seven Steps Up.


Jamnesty 2017

Wealthy Theatre 1110 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids June 9, 6:30-11 p.m., free If you want to support Amnesty International and hear some amazing local music at the same time, this is the event for you. The event is free, but donations are requested (otherwise it wouldn’t be a benefit show, would it?). Artists like Emily Chilvers Killvers and Luna Designs will be there, along with bands like Blanca Luz, KFG Poetry, Lipstick Jodi and more.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

David Sedaris Book Signing

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6/10 Linc Up Rock the

obscure couture vintage dress or a hand painted vintage item.

1167 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids June 10, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Green Door Distilling Co. 429 E. North St., Kalamazoo June 11, 12-3 p.m., $35


This annual event has evolved into a large street fair with vendors, resources and entertainment where residents can enjoy local bands and food, connect with non-profits and businesses and take in Madison Square’s rich cultural history.

Schuler Books 2660 28th St., Grand Rapids June 5, 6-9 p.m., (616) 942-2651

Author, comedian, radio host, humorist — it’s hard to pin down what David Sedaris does in one word. It’s easier to describe what he’s like: funny, thoughtful, poignant, witty, incisive, next-level. And he’s coming to Grand Rapids, with a book in tow. Theft by Finding is his latest work, while at the same time being one of his oldest, as it’s made up of diary entries from 1977-2002. For fans of memoirs, personal secrets and Sedaris himself, this discussion and book signing is the place to be.

Brian Koenigsknecht at Arcadia Ales Riversedge Summer Music Series


Vintage Street Market

Grand Rapids Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids June 11, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Lindsey Kaye at Linc Up Rock The Block

This monthly market occurs the second Sunday through September. Shop for that

Cocktails & Crafts

If you’re into craft cocktails and crafts themselves, you’ll want to head to Green Door for an afternoon of both. With the ticket, you’ll choose from one wood art template and then be given free reign with various wood stain options and all kinds of colored paints, allowing you to create your own custom piece of wood art to hang in the home or give as a gift. The price includes one complimentary beverage as well!


Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce St., Grand Rapids June 11, 7:30 p.m. $20-$23, All ages, (616) 272-3758

Treat yourself to a night of empowerment and all-around good vibes with Lizzo when she stops into Pyramid Scheme. Known for her songs “Scuse Me,” “Good As Hell” and “Ride,” Lizzo provides an infectiously fun soundtrack filled with girl power, old school soul and Missy Elliott style flows.


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: Soul2Soul World Tour 2017

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids June 15, 7:30 p.m., $69.50-$109.50, (616) 742-6600

When Faith Hill and Tim McGraw embarked on their 2007 Soul2Soul II Tour, they broke the record for the highest-grossing country music tour of all time. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of that tour, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are hitting the road again — this also marks the first time Faith Hill has

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


/// best bets Find more events toured in 10 years. Opening the show is High Valley.

6/16 Bone


20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapid June 16, 8 p.m. $25-$45, 18 and up, (844) 678-LIVE Signed by the legendary Eazy-E back in 1993, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony hit its zenith in the mid ’90s with hits like “Tha Crossroads,” “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” and “1st of tha Month.” Since then, the group has collaborated with everyone from Phil Collins and Mariah Carey to Machine Gun Kelly and The Game.


Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids June 16, 8 p.m., $36-$76, (616) 742-6600 This purveyor of Neo Soul has garnered accolades from Rolling Stone, Spin, Complex and NPR. He’s also won several Grammys

in the Revue Arts and an NA ACP Image June 18, 7 p.m. Award. Last year, he $23-$25, 21 and up section and at released his newest,! bum, blackSUMMERS’night, (616) 272-3758 and toured alongside Mary According to his bio: “Pokey J. Blige on their The King and LaFarge tries to make sense of Queen of Hearts World Tour. trouble he’s seen and trouble he’s been in. Catch him this summer at Van This is the Great Why of his unending pasAndel. Supporting acts are Ledisi and sion for songwriting.” Fans of Americana Leela James. and Honky Tonk will want to check out his haunting melodies and earnest songwritThe Sea The Sea ing. Opening the show is Lillie Mae. Seven Steps Up 116 S Jackson St., Spring Lake June 16, 8:30 p.m., $20-$30, (616) 678-3618


The Sea The Sea is an indie folk-pop duo from Upstate New York. Huffington Post called their voices lovely, and both NPR and American Songwriter championed the band’s 2014 release Love We Are We Love. The newest release, 2016’s In the Altogether, was featured on Apple Music as a Best of the Week.


Pokey LaFarge

Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce St., Grand Rapids

Arcadia Ales Riversedge Summer Music Series

Arcadia Ales 701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo June 24, 3 p.m.-midnight, $10, (269) 276-0458

Once a month this summer, Arcadia Ales is bringing all kinds of bands to its riverfront beer garden for an entire day of drinking, listening and eating. In June, you’ll see the jazz/pop Retro Pop Shuffle, the old-school country Mechele Peters & ‘Til The Cowboys Come Home, the hip-hop and soul DC &

Yolanda Lavender, and more, playing long after the sun sets.

Sebastian Bach

20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids June 24, 7 p.m. $9-$49, All ages, (844) 678-LIVE Sebastian Bach has achieved a lot of things in his life. Not only was he the frontman for hair metal band Skid Row, but he’s performed on Broadway (in Jekyll & Hyde, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Superstar) and has added TV to his resume with Gilmore Girls, Trailer Park Boys and VH1 reality show Supergroup. His last album, Give ‘Em Hell, has a ridiculously metal album cover.

6/25 Red Hot Chili Peppers

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids June 25, 8 p.m., $52-$102, (616) 742-6600

Touring in support of the band’s new album, The Getaway, Red Hot Chili Peppers has

Pokey LaFarge at The Pyramid Scheme been largely successful throughout its career. The band has sold more than 60 million albums, won six Grammy Awards, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. That winning streak is continuing with The Getaway debuting at #1 on the Billboard Album Sales Chart in several countries. Opening the show is Deerhoof. n

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/// news

west Michigan

biz beat

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

San Chez is opening a second restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids. Roam by San Chez (250 Monroe Ave. NW) is yet another effort to bring something new to the city, this time taking inspiration from street food all around the globe, with items from Canada, Turkey, Sri Lanka and many, many more.

OPENING: Pho On The Block (1301 Portage St., Kalamazoo) is bringing Vietnamese, Korean and other Asian cuisine to Kalamazoo — more specifically the Washington Square area. You can probably guess one of the menu items, but you’ll also find Banh Mi, bulgogi beef, Vietnamese

chicken wings, and Kimchi Fries, something I never knew I needed until right now. Russo’s International Market (a.k.a. G.B. Russo & Son) is taking over the recently shuttered downtown Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern at 241 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. The grocery store has been around for more than 100 years at its original location and now hopes to serve all the new apartments and whatnot popping up all over the city. Expect delivery, curbside pickup and even a restaurant, on top of all your specialty grocery needs. Rower’s Club (616 Fulton St. SW) just opened on Grand Rapids’ west side, across the street from Adobe. The new concept from Rowster Coffee is pretty similar to the original store, offering specialty coffee, Fast Coffee (which is what it sounds like), and some snacks. But

Now Open: City Built Brewing the centerpiece of the cafe is a large table made out of a chunk of the Mackinac Bridge, which is pretty neat. Green Well Rockford (8 E. Bridge St. NE, Rockford) opened doors last month. The restaurant, originally from Eastown, is serving up hearty sandwiches, BBQ Pork and Polenta, housemade fries, and much more food, along with specialty cocktails and craft beer. Enjoy a view right on the river, by Rockford Brewing Co. At long last, City Built Brewing (820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids) was finally approved to open over Memorial Day Weekend. The brewery has had plenty of time to perfect its craft already, and is hitting the ground

running with beers like Amore Estivo, a lemon basil saison; TKBY, a kettle sour saison; and Flower Power, a green tea chamomile pale ale. The food is not your typical brewery fare, being inspired by cofounder Edwin Collazo’s Puerto Rican heritage. You’ll find tacos, tortas, bori balls (rice and beef croquettes with peppers and onions, deep fried and served with sofrito cream sauce) and much more. n —Compiled by Josh Veal

If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


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/// Special Feature

The Music Issue W e s t M i c h i g a n M u s i c a n d fe s t i v a l g u i d e


usic and festivals have at least one thing in common: They bring people together. The more obvious connection is that a vast majority of festivals feature some sort of live music, but they pair well for a reason. The very concept of festivals and concerts both rely on people coming together for one specific interest, despite whatever differences they may have. In the pages ahead, you’ll find our directory to dozens of festivals uniting strangers in the coming months. You’ll also find 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. We also have 10 musicians to keep an eye on as they rise the ranks, all artists that could easily be on the cover of Revue next year, along with our guide to local instrument stores and unconventional venues. It’s a celebration of all things harmony — both in the musical sense and the communal sense. Grab your headphones and listen along.

Lipstick Jodi Photo: Seth Thompson

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


/// Music Issue

Ten Bands to Watch

Oliver Houston

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

After touring down to South By Southwest (SXSW) last year and gigging across the Midwest and East Coast, this Grand Rapids trio finally released its fantastic full-length debut this past January. Loaded with mathy guitar arrangements and an air of wistful yet winsome lyrical yearning, the 10-song Whatever Works LP stands as a mission statement from a band dead set on elevating Grand Rapids’ strong underground DIY/DIT house scene any way it can.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Beach-punk/ emo-revival Recommended If You Like: Modern Baseball, Cap’n Jazz Listen: oliverhouston.

Slim Gypsy Baggage From the popular BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Fest to the jammy Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois and the family-friendly Buttermilk Jamboree in Delton, this genre-hopping outfit has a hot summer ahead of it. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Morgan Ingle and featuring the eclectic licks of lead guitarist Cam Mammina, the band brings together touches of countryswing, surf, trip-hop, funk and more with a unique charm welcome in just about any setting.

Hometown: St. Joseph Genre: Blues-rock/ Roots-Americana RIYL: Hiatus Kaiyote, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals Listen:

Photo: Elise Kutt of Mod Bettie

Blanca Luz Translated from Spanish, Blanca Luz means white light, and honestly this four-piece couldn’t shine any brighter. The band has a high-energy pulse running through its jangly guitar melodies and two-part harmonies, courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Luke Shoemaker and bassist/vocalist Olivia Rivera. The carefree video for single Now That We’re Old (off the band’s debut EP, Be Serious) captures both the measured musicality and joyous fun that makes this band one to watch.

20 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Indie-pop/ post-wave RIYL: The Strokes, Two Door Cinema Club Listen: blancaluz.

Lokella When Jennifer and Evan Bartlett ended their popular post-hardcore band Fine Fine Titans last year, they went on a hiatus of hibernation, emerging from a self-imposed cocoon as a new band, with a new lineup and a more melodic sound. Lokella came to life fully-formed via a spellbinding visual EP and a handful of shows. Now, fresh off recording a follow-up, the band has ramped up its schedule and looks ready for a full-blown return.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Alternative/metal RIYL: In This Moment, AFI Listen: thebandlokella. com

For this year’s music issue, we went just below the radar to find some of West Michigan’s boldest and brightest musicians ready to breakthrough in 2017. Check ‘em out! by Eric Mitts

Conrad Shock + the Noise Born out of a record created almost entirely alone by frontman/songwriter John Conrad Schaak, this young band made up of several Aquinas College students has already generated a lot of attention in the area. After making its debut early this year, the Noise has completely dismantled rock, R&B and blues, only to reassemble it with the friendly hum of something familiar and the gritty buzz of something new.

Despite the attention it’s received in recent years, Grand Rapids’ growing hip-hop scene continues to go underappreciated. Female MCs in particular have to fight extra hard just to get heard, with the likes of Lady Ace Boogie leading the way, and talented lyricists like Sarge Tha Dame helping to ignite that fire. With an ambitiously aggressive yet personal flow, this city needs to hear more of her voice right now.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Rap/Hip-hop RIYL: Angel Haze, Jean Grae Listen: sargethadame

PRIM Anyone ignoring the EDM scene in West Michigan doesn’t even know the depth of talent our part of the state brings to the turntables. Standing out at the top right now is Andrea Pawlak, aka PRIM. Hailing from Muskegon, she’s already brought the bass to venues all around the state, from Detroit up to Traverse City, with regular residencies in her hometown where she simply slays behind the decks.

Sleep Waker Over the past two years, the members of this rising GR hardcore outfit have started living out their dreams. The dynamic five-piece released its second EP earlier this spring and has continued to help awaken the immortal, if slightly slumbering, heavy music scene here in West Michigan. The band’s raw riffs and even rawer emotional intensity can’t go overlooked much longer, so definitely do not sleep on this band.

Hometown: Muskegon Genre: Deep House/Trap RIYL: Grimes, Jauz Listen: borninthewrongtime

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Dark Hardcore/ Nu-metalcore RIYL: The Plot In You, Currents Listen: sleepwaker.

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Sarge Tha Dame

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Garage-rock/ fuzz-folk RIYL: The Arcs, The Revivalists Listen:


Circle Pines Center

/// Music Issue


b uttermilk j amboree

Ten Bands to Watch, continued

June 16 - 18


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

• The Slambovian Circus of Dreams • • Anne Weiss • B-Side Growlers • BenJammin • Bigfoot Buffalo • Britt Kusserow • Brotha James • Cabildo • Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer • Chameleon Culture • Channing & Quinn • Claudia Schmidt & Sally Rogers • Conklin Ceili Band • Cooperfly Puppet Troup • Corn Fed Girls • Cousin Avery • Dede & The Dreamers • Detroit Pleasure Society • Diff & Dudley • Eric Engblade • Fable the Poet • Hannah Rose & the GravesTones • Gordon Henry • Hawks & Owls • Jill Jack • Jive at Five • Jordan Hamilton Trio • K. Jones & the Benzie Playboys • Lac La Belle • Less Is More • Libby DeCamp • May Erlewine • Megan Dooley • Northern Fires • Peter Madcat Ruth • Red Sea Pedestrians • Roberta Lee & Denny G. • Robin Connell & Kathy Lamar • Shari Kane & Dave Steele • Slim Gypsy Baggage • The Change • The Mainstays • The Mickeys • The Moxie Strings • The Porters • The Shrock Brothers • The Weatherheads • Thunderbolt & Lightfoot • Tia Imani Hanna •

Four Stages of Music • Kid’s Commons • Folk School Michigan Beer, Mead, & Wine • Delicious Food Beautiful Camping, Nature Trails & Swimming

22 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

The Class Acts With a solid groove all its own, this well-polished band has steadily graduated from opening slots for the likes of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and Flint Eastwood to completely holding its own in the buoyant Kzoo music scene. Earlier this spring, the band released its first full-length LP Gone, Missing after nearly eight years together.

Hometown: Kalamazoo Genre: College-rock/ piano-core RIYL: Dr. Dog, The Police Listen: theclassacts.

B_80 One of the biggest viral stars out of West Michigan over the past year, B_80, aka Brad Dowdy, has taken his impressive beatboxing skills to the next level — by combining them with parenting. For those who haven’t seen his popular “Baby Bass” clip online, it’s super adorable. Dowdy has honed his beatbox abilities at open mics and other gigs around the area for years, and could easily break out given the right opportunity.

Hometown: Muskegon Genre: Beat-box RIYL: Rahzel, Rockapella Listen: B80BBX


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REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

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/// Music Issue

24 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

Music With A Message

Vox Vidorra readies for hot summer ahead of politically heated new LP by Eric Mitts / photo by Seth Thompson


Although there’s no set date yet for the new album, Vox Vidorra aims to release the LP sometime later this summer. Earlier this spring, the group released the album’s first single, Makin’ Me Wonder, via a 360-degree video. The band also plans to tease a few more tracks in the coming months as the record nears completion. “It’s sounding amazing,” Schultz said of the new LP. “It’s bigger and even more diverse than Promise Land. I think our songwriting has become more confident and refined. We’ve gotten better at our instruments, at challenging ourselves and challenging each other. Our world has changed and we’re responding to it — from the Flint water crisis to all the police shootings of unarmed black men and boys, to our current political climate.” Known for switching up instruments onstage, the members of Vox Vidorra have also worked a lot on their live show, making sure the sets flow together nicely while meeting the challenges of playing in front of diverse and different audiences in a wide variety of venues all over Michigan. Centered a round voca l v ir t uoso Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, Vox Vidorra began in early 2014. Bouwsma-Schultz had just won her category during Artprize 2013 for the song In My Heart (To the Moon) when she decided she wanted to do more musically than just perform cover songs with other local bands. Together with her husband, Scott Schultz, the pair began playing shows with multi-instrumentalist Ryan Wilson before later meeting multi-instrumentalist Theo Ndawillie II at that year’s Lamp Light Music Festival. Assembled, the group pulled in influences ranging from jazz to indie-rock and immediately earned well-deserved attention within the West Michigan music scene.

In just three years since, Vox Vidorra has played hundreds of shows, from bars and breweries to festivals, libraries and even the illustrious Frederik Meijer Gardens, where the band was joined onstage by a string quartet. “We are living in the best time for music in Grand Rapids, ever,” Schultz said. “It’s happening right now, everywhere. And it’s only getting better with more venues and more artists playing more and more diverse music. It’s absolutely inspiring.” Adding that he’s constantly blown away by the “preciously wild energy” of Kalamazoo’s The Go Rounds, Schultz explained that Vox Vidorra is just trying to connect more and more dots musically. The band’s name translates to “Voice of the life you’re meant to lead.” Taken from both Spanish and Latin, the phrase has become the band’s mission statement, driving its members to push themselves and their audience to do more, live with purpose, and rise together. “It’s our goal as Vox Vidorra to be an influence on following the voice of the life you’re meant to live,” Schultz said. “When you connect with our music, we hope to be a light that helps guide that path.” n

Here’s a small selection of Vox Vidorra’s summer shows: Electric Forest Festival, Rothbury, Mich. — June 24 Farm Block Festival Allouez, Mich. — July 28-30 Short’s Fest, Elk Rapids, Mich. — Aug. 5 Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF), Grand Rapids, Mich. — Aug. 17

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

ver since its inception, Vox Vidorra has set out to engage audiences’ minds, bodies and souls. On the indie-soul group’s debut LP, 2015’s Promise Land, Vox Vidorra got into important issues like racial inequality, religious intolerance and more, while keeping its feet firmly planted in the harmonic beauty of the bygone days of Motown. With such a strong sense of civic responsibility and rich musical history, it only felt right that the Grand Rapids band get together to begin recording its second album on the day after the presidential election last November. “We captured a lot of the energy that infested our lives at that time and we tried our damnedest to create something beautiful out of it,” said multiinstrumentalist Scott Schultz. “It felt like an absolute necessity to get these songs off our chests when we found out that we officially had to say the words ‘President’ and ‘Trump’ together.” Vox Vidorra had an explosion of songwriting during the two years since Promise Land, penning 19 songs together that the band set about recording with coproducer/engineer Tommy Schichtel at Goon Lagoon Studios in Grand Rapids. Currently, the band is editing and mixing the album at Stone House Recording in Grand Rapids with Josh Kaufman and Peter Fox. “We’re diagnosing problems with our society and putting ourselves and our relationships in the conversation,” Schultz said about Vox Vidorra’s socially conscious songwriting. “It’s damn near impossible to write about your world without confronting its problems. A lot of songs on the next record are directed at particular moments we’ve experienced in the last couple years and trying to make sense out of it.”


/// Music Issue

26 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

Kiss and Tell A conversation with Lipstick Jodi by Eric Mitts / photo by Seth Thompson


Studios with producer Austin Ruhstorfer. Lipstick Jodi plans to release the 12-song, self-titled debut LP this September and has previewed the album with the band’s first-ever music video for “That’s So Great (She Likes Boys).” “That was such a dream of mine; you have no idea,” Morehouse said. “I’ve always been super into music videos. Ever since I was a little kid, I was always dressing up as things and acting, and making my friends do music videos with me. So it was really cool to watch that come to life.” Shortly after the video shoot, Morehouse chatted with Revue. Here’s what else she had to say:

program, and the other girl was straight. Just bringing a lot more representation is a big goal of ours, getting everybody talking about it. What does it mean to you personally to be a voice for the LGBTQ community in the scene? For me personally, being a voice for the LGBTQ community means the world to me. I can remember being a little gay kid — unknowingly — and not having a band that I could ever completely relate to. Most of them were boys, and some of them were bands with a “token” girl. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that, but it never fit me right. All four of us have this understanding, and we all love Lipstick Jodi for the representation that we bring to the table.

What impact do you hope you’ve already had on the Grand Rapids music scene? Your songs are clearly very personal, but do you Diversity for sure. Not to be too narcissistic, but hope they help open up a wider dialogue among there’s not another band that sounds like us around people as well? here. We kind of create a bridge. We fit on a lot of bills My songs are personal, and I have a story behind with a lot of different genres. And that’s something them, but I write vaguely enough where other people that I like to do when I’m putting together bills, just can take it where they need to. I can put different kinds of people on it, remember right now sitting in a car, different kinds of music and get evsinging somebody else’s song and erybody holding hands. … I don’t Lipstick Jodi having my own story to it, and just strictly like one genre, and I don’t Founders Taproom yelling along to it, because I’m upset think anybody truly does. And I like 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids and I’m thinking about something to help that if I can. June 3, 9:30 p.m., $5 in my life. And I want somebody to, (616) 776-1195 take our music and be able to do the Do you think the voice you’re proGrand Rapids Pride Festival exact same thing. n viding isn’t heard often enough in June 17, West Michigan? Yeah, and not only a female voice, but a queer voice. We’re playing a bunch of Pride shows this summer all across Michigan because we need more representation in this field. I went to (Grand Rapids Community College) and I was one of two girls in my (recording technology)

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

f there’s one thing that would make Karli Morehouse’s whole summer, it would be getting the opportunity to open for Canadian indiepop sister-duo Tegan & Sara at Frederik Meijer Gardens this August. “I get mocked for it all the time, but I love Tegan & Sara,” the 22-year-old lead vocalist/guitarist for Lipstick Jodi told Revue. “They’ve been such a huge influence for me. I don’t know how, but I’m going to find a way to open for them.” A rare female voice in the West Michigan indierock scene, Morehouse started out much like Tegan & Sara, playing mostly acoustic shows as a teenager, gigging all over Grand Rapids at folksy, singer-songwriter events around the area. At 16, she met drummer Luke Rockhold via Craigslist and the two became longtime collaborators, sharing stages in different projects over the years before deciding to turn up the volume together two years ago. “I just realized that all the songs I had been writing for like a year or two were a lot more suited for electric guitar,” Morehouse said of Lipstick Jodi’s beginning back in the summer of 2014. The band broke out when it took top honors at a battle of the bands competition hosted by Gorilla Music and in 2015 recorded its debut EP, Good Not Great, with fellow GR musician Andrew “Wunder” Dornoff of The Outer Vibe. During those sessions, Rockhold coined what has become the band’s calling card, describing the band’s sound as “the lesbian lovechild of St. Vincent and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.” Since then, the band’s lineup has expanded to include new members Camille Hoorn on bass and Jamie Baarman on keyboards and backup vocals. This past January, the four-piece headed into River City


/// Music Issue

Fresh Air

Last Gasp Collective breathes new life into the Kalamazoo music scene by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


Bonner, bassist Joel Pixley-Fink, vocalists efore starting the genre-defying Ashley Hicks and Lakeshore Drew, sound Last Gasp Collective, guitarist/ engineer Joe Lucas, and percussionists vocalist Justin Jay Jackson had Terrence Smith and Matt Smalligan, Last an epiphany. Gasp has gone through a few different He had just read an article in phases and rosters since starting in 2015. a religious publication that challenged his The core of the group met at open reality by posing one important question mic events around Kalamazoo, including about his very existence: What would you one called Put Up or Shut Up. Several jam do if you only had your last gasp left? sessions and impromptu collaborations For him the answer was simple: Make followed where the group mixed classical music. instruments with R&B, hip-hop, gospel and “That question is what empowered me soul, before deciding upon an open, collecto devote everything to my craft,” Jackson tive structure to the work. told Revue about the origins of the now Comparable to genre-bending groups 10-member ensemble. “Naming the band like The Roots, Arrested Development, Last Gasp was us challenging everyone to The Internet, 9th Wonder, Con Brio, and ask themselves the same question, and to Earth, Wind and Fire, the members of Last motivate them to have the courage to chase Gasp use words like “gumbo” and “melting that with every breath, not just their last.” pot” for describing the rich mix of sounds A full-time artist and father, Jackson, in their music. 25, wanted to create an entre“I think Last Gasp is a preneurial entity that would Last Gasp Collective true example of Neo-Soul help enable artists to chase music,” Last Gasp bassist their dreams. Growing up in June Events Joel Pixley-Fink said. “We relatively rural Cassopolis Sounds and Sights Festival, certainly take elements we in Southwest Michigan, he Chelsea, Mich.: June 8 like from a lot of different understood the hurdles placed Founders Brewing Co., styles, which is what Neoin front of those chasing down Grand Rapids: June 10 Soul does. Jazz musicians, their passions in small town Short Film Release at The hip-hop beats, soul chords, America, and he wanted to start Epic Center, Kalamazoo: R&B lyrics, rock guitar — our something that would allow for June 23 music incorporates all of a collective effort to overcome Night Market at Kalamazoo these things and more.” those obstacles together. Farmers’ Market: June 28 As it continues to expand Currently made up its roster of musicians, Last of Jack son, cellist Jorda n For more show dates, check out Gasp has potential plans to Hamilton, keyboardist Jon become a production compaBoyd, sa xophonist Xavier

28 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

ny, capable of handling everything from live event performances to studio production. “The idea of the collective seems to be very fluid,” Pixley-Fink said. “Its meaning doesn’t seem entirely clear; there is some ambiguity there. I think we still hope to expand the collective into something much larger than just a band.” Earlier this year, Last Gasp released its first full-length LP, Agape. Recorded between October and February, the album leans heavier on the group’s hip-hop side, recalling early Kanye West and the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. “I feel like our live shows are much different than our recorded material because of the force and energy given from the audience,” Last Gasp vocalist Ashley Hicks said. “When we have live shows, it’s raw and uncut. Sometimes we shift our groove based on the crowd, or add a twist to a song that you wouldn’t hear on our recorded material.” Last Gasp has gained a lot of attention in just two years for its thought-provoking, groove-laden live shows. The collective has performed mostly around Kalamazoo,

opening for the likes of hip-hop heavyweights like Nappy Roots and Bus Driver, as well as winning over new audiences at events as diverse as the Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival and the Black Arts Festival. “Of all the shows we’ve played, the memory that constantly come back to me is the first ‘festival’ we played,” Jackson said. A few years back, the group played the Lamplight Festival in Grand Rapids alongside GR rap duo Rosewood 2055. The show was so packed and energized, the band was asked to stop playing so more eager listeners could squeeze in and hear them play. “It was that moment I experienced what seemed to be an out-of-body experience, and all I could hear was the crowd screaming,” Jackson said. “(In) that moment, I knew we could really do this.” n


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/// Music Issue

Ready For Takeoff

Mix of formal training, self-taught savvy fuels rising act The Autumnatic by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


t 24 years old, The Autumnatic’s Nick Arthur might seem young to some, but he’s an old-soul veteran when it comes to the local music scene. Currently the founder, lead vocalist and rhythm/lead guitarist for one of Grand Rapids’ newest and most exciting bands, Arthur grew up on the tried and true grit of Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Neil Young. Taking a cue from such selfmade legends, the Cascade native started writing his own songs at a young age and by 16 got his first break when he performed on television. Throughout his teens, he played in several area bands before deciding to attend the revered Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2013. There he studied guitar and vocal performance and songwriting, then gigged under the name Nick Arthur & the Habitat. Upon returning to Grand Rapids two years ago, Arthur assembled a new band with a clearer vision and some refined skills. “I had been in bands within the Grand Rapids scene for years and was always impressed by how it kept developing,” Arthur said. “The scene here was amazing before I left and got even better by the time I came back. We are all so blessed to be in a scene where there is so much appreciation for the arts. We all help each other out and are truly

30 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017


stoked for any opportunity our fellow musicians get.” With a batch of songs under his belt from his time in Boston, Arthur quickly teamed up with drummer Scott Tabor, now 20. Born and raised in Byron Center, Tabor brought a pop-punk punch to Arthur’s rich, R&B-influenced vocals and bluesy, singersongwriter sound. The duo then auditioned two dozen different bassists before teaming with Chicago native Caleb Denman, who Arthur had actually met more than five years earlier through longtime friend and fellow Grand Rapids musician Jesse Ray (of Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish). “Caleb probably has the most diverse taste of just about anyone I’ve ever met,” Arthur said, citing a recent playlist of Denman’s that included the likes of Chance The Rapper, The 1975, U2, Fleetwood Mac and Blink-182. Throughout the rest of 2015, the threepiece toured as Nick Arthur & the Habitat, with Denman eventually recording the band’s debut EP. Still, Arthur felt something missing from the band’s songwriting hooks, and they continued to audition more than 45 guitarists before meeting Aladin Kadic last year. Born in Bosnia, Kadic has classical training as a violinist, but was equally raised

by the “gods of rock ‘n’ roll” – bands like Guns N Roses, AC/DC and Muse. At 35, he’s the oldest member of the band, bringing his two decades of playing experience to the unique lead guitar work in The Autumnatic. “We were originally calling our genre a ‘bastardized blend of pop-rock, blues and R&B’ because we all draw influence from so many different artists,” Arthur said. “All of our musical influences somehow seem to mesh together really well and give us a ‘different’ kind of sound that we’re so grateful people have been digging.” With all four members now contributing to the songwriting, the band decided to change its name last year and start a new adventure. “As soon as we started writing songs together, I had a mini panic-attack and wanted to get my name off of the (band),” Arthur said. “We were bouncing a ton of possible band names off of each other and were having no luck. We had just got back from a couple shows we had on Mackinac Island … when Scott suggested something with the word ‘autumn.’ I then thought of the name ‘The Autumn Attic,’ because my favorite season is autumn, and I lived in an attic space at the time. I believe it was Aladin who then melded the words together and made it the play-on-words that it is now.”

Earlier this year, The Autumnatic released its first single, “Taking Flight,” which has already lifted the band onto the airwaves, compliments of community radio station 88.1 WYCE-FM, and brought Arthur back onto TV, via WZZM13, who invited the band to perform this spring. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have some awesome opportunities in the 10 months we’ve been a full band,” Arthur said of all the buzz that’s already surrounding The Autumnatic. Most recently, The Autumnatic performed at the Orbit Room as part of this year’s Jake’s Music Festival. The band also has plans to record an EP at StoneHouse Recordings later this year. “We’re currently working on preproduction, as well as nailing down a week to spend at the StoneHouse tracking,” Arthur said. “Our goal is to never lose momentum and work toward making our dreams a reality.” n

The Autumnatic

wsg. The 10X, Miss Atomic, Lydia Kelly The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids June 16, 8 p.m., $10-12, (616) 272-3758



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Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office, or 877.FKC.8777.



Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.

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5/17/17 10:33 AM REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 | 31

/// Music Issue

Full Circle

How The Orbit Room is making a comeback / by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


hen former Orbit Room ow ner a nd long t ime concert promoter Don Dorshimer passed away in 2013, he left behind a massive musical legacy. Known to many as West Michigan’s “Godfather of rock,” Dorshimer ran The Orbit Room since its early days back in the late ’80s when it was called Club Eastbrook. Dorshimer transformed the venue, and the music scene in West Michigan, through his work with Belkin Productions, outdoor music venue Val-Du-Lakes, and his personal passion for putting on phenomenal live concerts across our area. A true visionary, he even helped devise plans for what has since become the new 20 Monroe Live. So when Dorshimer died suddenly at just 56, things changed at his beloved Orbit Room. The venue legally went into the hands of his then 19-year-old son, Nicholas, who turned to his mother, Melanie Dorshimer-Lewis. Together, the family has struggled to reclaim the legendary status the venue once had as one of the pioneering locations in West Michigan’s growing music scene. “This is an American story, because we (as a country) are going away from familyowned businesses that have been in families for generations (to companies) that have been swallowed up by not only national, but international companies,” Dorshimer-Lewis said of the changes in the concert promotion industry over the last decade. Fighting back against such trends, the still 100-percent family-owned Orbit Room has survived. The venue has more shows booked this year than last. And although some of the biggest names remain in its

32 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

history — bands like Buddy Guy, Tool and Insane Clown Posse — some of the venue’s best bookings have come more recently. Swedish heavy metal band Ghost put on an unforgettable performance there just last spring, while in 2014 a then up-and-coming Twenty One Pilots sold out the venue. “Everybody thought since we wouldn’t do shows with LiveNation, that was going to be the end of us, and in fact it’s doing anything but that,” Dorshimer-Lewis said. “We’re getting more creative shows, more interactive shows, and just a huge variety.” Now partnering on certain concerts with independent promoter Fusion Shows (out of Lansing), The Orbit Room has hosted a wide variety of events, including the recent Pottercon. The venue has a full slate of even more concerts and other events planned all the way into December, including a recently announced Rise Against show on Sept. 26. “This building is poised for a big comeback,” Dorshimer-Lewis said. “I’ve been told by several sound engineers that our sound is better than any room in the area, and our sight lines are phenomenal. That hasn’t changed. And that we would not mess with. You don’t mess with magic when you’ve got that.” Right now, Dorshimer-Lewis said they have plans to redo the venue’s front, as well as bring in new lighting and refrigeration. Repairs are also planned for damaged tiles and balcony seating, while new furniture and artwork, including some collaborations with local artists, are set to arrive in the near future. The venue has also worked to expand its drink selection, adding select craft beers and single-serve wines to its menu.

Five Finger Death Punch at The Orbit Room pHOTO: Amber Stokosa

Currently listed at a 1,800-person capacity, The Orbit Room plans to return to a larger capacity with additional renovations. “Our original capacity was 2,300 and there’s only small tweaks I have to make to get it back up to that,” Dorshimer-Lewis said. Look ing to dispel some r umors, Dorshimer-Lewis, who acts as The Orbit Room’s chief financial officer and treasurer, admits she did have to let some people go during these recent changes. But she did not fire everyone, and made it clear she retained as many longtime employees as possible. Through this process of renovation, she hopes to return The Orbit Room to its former glory with an audience-centered approach.

“We don’t want people to have to pay for parking and we don’t want them to break the bank when they come out to see a show,” she said of keeping costs low for concertgoers at The Orbit Room. “Especially being a family-owned company, we don’t have to answer to shareholders to continually increase profits. “You can only do that for so long until you eventually diminish what you’re giving back to your public. We’re more about giving the public a good product.” n

The Orbit Room

2525 Lake Eastbrook SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 942-1328


Rendering of a new performance space at The Intersection

Going Underground

The Intersection expands, downward |  by Eric Mitts



REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

venue spaces will be built from scratch in iggi ng dee p i n to i ts terms of décor, design and more. The converp l ace w i t h i n the West sion construction will not affect any of the Michiga n music scene, The current venue spaces, nor interfere with The Intersection plans to expand its Intersection’s busy schedule of events this current location by renovating its summer. lower level. “Right off the bat there will be another Aiming to start work in the very near 60 to 80 shows that maybe have skipped future, The Intersection will open two new Grand Rapids (in the past) or had to wait venue spaces underneath its existing building. for right time to play one of our rooms,” The conversion is taking place sometime this Hammontree said. “This naturally will also summer, with plans to open both new venues provide more opportunities for local acts to by fall. be on those shows. We think there are some Intersection co-owners Joel Langlois and specific genres that we could serve better in Scott Hammontree want to convert one of the 800-capacity room.” the rooms into a 200-capacity venue geared Not a believer in “scaling” a larger room more toward VIP events and private parties. to fit a smaller-scale concert, Hammontree The other room will be a brand-new added that he believes the new spaces will 800-capacity concert space to help add to give The Intersection greater flexibility in the slate of diverse touring, local and regional both booking and implementation of shows. artists already making The Intersection one The venue already has future plans for of the top-selling music clubs in the nation. utilizing all four venues within its building “We’ve almost doubled our business in for larger, multi-room genre-based events, in The Stache in comparison to the previous the vein of a music festival entirely indoors. year and this year looks like it will be even “It gives us the unique ability to grow better,” Hammontree said. “In addition with an act as they develop and to be able to we’ve become a bit more aggressive in lookoffer them a venue that is ing at special events, but our appropriate for their audishowroom is typically not ence,” Hammontree said. available. All things seemed The Intersection “The right room and energy to point to developing both 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand can make the entire event new spaces.” Rapids that much more exciting for Previously used, (616) 723-8080 the artist and the crowd.” n ily for storage, the two new


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June 2017

TYING THE KNOT (OR NOT?) The story of the hit new musical, It Shoulda Been You, taking West Michigan theaters by storm. SEE PAGE 4A. Story by Jane Simons. Photo by Katherine Nfos.



NATIVE TALENT Kay WalkingStick at the KIA



MUSICAL MEMORIES KSO’s director looks back



FROM SCREEN TO STAGE Father Knows Best heads to theater

2A | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

[BEST BETS] Loving Day Celebration Every June, people all over the world celebrate Loving Day, a celebration of the 1967 United States Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage. West Michigan’s black theater company, Ebony Road Players, hosts an annual event celebrating the case. “The community is invited to this event because it is a community celebration of inclusion … and the diversity in our community,” said Ebony Road Executive Director Edye Evans Hyde. This year, The West Michigan Loving Day Celebration: The 50th Anniversary will take place June 9-11 and consist of a concert, an outdoor community celebration and film festival, and a film viewing of the HBO documentary The Loving Story, with lunch. —Kayla Tucker


Giving Voice to Love: A multi-media/multiracial concert Ladies Literary Club 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE June 9, 7:30 p.m., $10

Taste of White Lake Looking for a way to kickstart summer? Head north to Whitehall and help preserve a historic theater at the 9th Taste of White Lake, a Michiganthemed street fair with food, music, art and more. An eclectic mix of businesses will offer food samples, Michigan beer and wines, a silent auction and fun, all benefitting Howmet Playhouse. The festivities take place outdoors on Mears Avenue, in front of the playhouse, which has served the small resort community since 1916. It’s the home of summer theater and movies and concerts during the fall and spring. Ticket price covers admission and food; beverages sold separately. Bonus: Save your ticket and return over the weekend for free admission to White River Light Station on June 2 or 3. —Marla Miller


Taste of White Lake Whitehall June 1, 5-8 p.m. $15 in advance and $20 at the gate, 7 and under free

A Loving Family community celebration and film festival Park Church, 10 E Park Place NE Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Free

Film viewing of The Loving Story Park Church, 10 E Park Place NE Sunday, June 11 Lunch at 11:45 a.m., film at noon. Free for community. Donations are accepted.


Michael Perlongo as the groom Brian Howard and Missy Karle as the bride Rebecca Steinberg.

(Clockwise from bottom): Ben Zylman, Zoe Vonder Haar, Whitney Weiner, Missy Karle, Michael Perlongo and Laurie Rose. photos: Katherine Nfos

Tying the Knot (Or Not?) The merry matrimony of It Shoulda Been You by Jane Simons

Weddings are a production fraught with unpredictability. And as wedding season ramps up, Farmer’s Alley Theatre is giving audiences a uniquely funny, unpredictable insight into one couple’s impending nuptials as it debuts It Shoulda Been You on June 9 at the Little Theatre on Western Michigan University’s campus. The musical farce made its Broadway debut in March 2015, but had a short run and never got the accolades it deserved, according to Adam Weiner, executive director of Farmer’s Alley. He said Kathy Mulay, who directs the local production, believes the show to be one of the funniest Broadway productions she has ever seen. “We are the first theater company in Michigan to stage It Shoulda Been You,” Weiner said. “It’s done in traditional musical theater style and it has a really good sound to it.” The musical is centered around the wedding of Rebecca Steinberg, who is Jewish, to her Catholic fiancé Brian Howard. The bride’s mother, Judy Steinberg, is

4A | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

a force of nature who isn’t convinced that marrying Brian is the best choice or her daughter. Meanwhile, Jenny, Rebecca’s sister, has to plan the wedding and hold it all together, while Marty, Rebecca’s ex, decides to throw a wrench in the works. When he arrives, Rebecca’s family tells him, “It shoulda been you,” hence the title. From there, the whole play spirals hilariously out of control (and then back under control) in a way we can’t explain here without spoiling anything. The cast includes actors from Chicago, New York and St. Louis, in addition to local talent including Whitney Weiner, Gina Chimner and Ben Zylman. Adam Weiner said the Internet has made it easier to draw

It Shoulda Been You

Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo June 9-25, (269) 343-2727

“We are the first theater company in Michigan to stage It Shoulda Been You. It’s done in traditional musical theater style and it has a really good sound to it.”

talent from throughout the United States — auditions via Facetime and Skype are common now. Weiner said he doesn’t have difficulty getting actors to come to Kalamazoo to perform. In fact, It Shoulda Been You has the largest number of out-of-town actors ever to perform at Farmer’s Alley. “Over the years, we’ve developed a reputation and a rapport,” Weiner said of Farmer’s Alley. “The acting community is

very small and people talk to each other. Our patrons have told us they hear about Farmer’s Alley when they attend theater performances in New York City. “The actors we work with all love Kalamazoo. It’s especially appealing to working actors from Los Angeles or New York, because they can work in a smaller community with a very vibrant art scene.” Weiner said his theater contributes to that art scene by offering an eclectic mix of productions. “Crafting a season is an art unto itself,” Weiner said. “Our goal and mission has always been to provide an eclectic mix with old and new challenges.” With June being the traditional wedding month, Weiner said It Shoulda Been You makes sense. “It’s something new and it’s a fun show that people can enjoy,” he said. “I know the area and most people in general are titleconscious, but they have to trust us and come to the theater because we know they’ll have a great time and enjoy it.” In addition to Farmer’s Alley, It Shoulda Been You also will be performed at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts in August and at The Circle Theatre in Grand Rapids in September. ■

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On the Cusp of Creativity UICA’s The Jump Off explores the moment when artists make a change by Marla R. Miller

Many artists experience a turning point — a personal crisis or epiphany, learning a new technique or taking a class, or reflecting on a negative critique or rejection — that propels them in a new direction. The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is exploring that jump off, that catalyst for change, in a special summer exhibit that also celebrates 40 years of experimentation and growth at the Grand Rapids arts institute. The Jump Off, on display June 2 to Aug. 26, features more than 30 emerging and established artists working in a variety of mediums including painting, textiles, photography, sculpture, collage, video and mixed media.

Artists were selected from a national call for work, and the result is a unique, diverse and interesting mix of local, regional and national talent. “I think people can expect to see a really big show. It’s going to take up a lot of space,” said UICA’s Exhibitions Curator Heather Duffy. “It is a show that is really intentionally designed to be part of our 40th year. The Jump Off is an exhibition that celebrates growth and evolution through the artistic process.” Outside of studio visits and artist’s statements, most people do not see the creative process and what goes into making art, including the mistakes, trying new techniques, discovering a whole new medium and changes — both intentional and unintentional — that encourage growth. “The Jump Off is an exhibition that looks at works that artists see as their signature style, but also works they don’t frequently show that demonstrate a change or shift in process for those artists,” Duffy said. The exhibit includes two or more pieces from every artist, installed in a way that illustrates the evolution from earlier work to their current practice and highlights the pivotal piece or pieces that served as the spark for working with new materials, concepts and colors.

The Jump Off

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids June 2-Aug. 26, (616) 454-7000

"In some cases, it’s an easily discernable evolution, but still recognizable as work from the same artist,” Duffy said. “In other cases, the point of departure caused a really huge shift.” The artists also explain, in their own words, what prompted or inspired the new direction. “There are so many different experiences described,” Duffy said. “That was interpreted pretty differently across the board by the different artists.” For painter Laurel Dugan of Grand Rapids, that came in the way of asking herself, “Can I express space with color?” This is her first time showing in a UICA exhibition, and the opportunity came at a serendipitous juncture in her painting

Before and After: Laurel Dugan's original painting (left) and a new iteration of the painting with different uses of color. courtesy photos

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life, she said. This marks her 10th year of serious studio practice, and she said she is starting to find her voice and see the fruition of having longstanding questions answered. Dugan considers herself a full-time artist and also teaches at Sacred Heart Academy. One of the works she submitted uses the same composition as a previous piece, but with very different uses and shades of color. “For years, I’ve wanted to express space as color, and that is what is happening now,” she said. “In the last three months, suddenly there has been a radical shift in direction. There’s an element of experimentation, always; I don’t know if there can be real growth without some risk. I’m always looking for ways to stretch myself and grow.” Maggie Bandstra, a potter and painter from Grand Haven, said a series of life events prompted her to take up painting, including getting married, moving and being without a pottery studio for some time. For one piece, she submitted a painting of her son looking at the Grand Haven channel — her first painting after she stepped away from the pottery wheel. Another piece is done as cuerda seca pot, which incorporates drawing and painting into the pottery. She also took a couple of classes at OxBow School of Art, which pushed her to experiment with color. “I wanted to push my paintings to a stronger level and started playing around with abstraction and using dyes in my canvasses,” she said. “My work has significantly changed over the past 10 years. It’s been very experimental and just playing in mediums and materials and subjects.” An elementary art teacher in Hudsonville, Bandstra said it’s a “hobby gone wild,” yet she considers herself a professional artist. Her work is represented in the Richard App Gallery and Art Cats Gallery in Muskegon, and she recently opened her own studio in Grand Haven, Seventh Street Gallery. “The UICA is just a wonderful organization. It shows great work,” she said. “It’s just kind of fun to share that development and process of the road that I took to get where I’m at.” ■

10 BOOKS & 28 EVENTS sburg Ski Area

nnon JULY 13 -AUGUS T 5 • Ca





Monday, June 19, 2017, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

July 13-14

CHASING WINDS: A BREEZY HISTORY OF STORM CHASING CULTURE Thursday, June 22, 2017, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

JAPANESE GARDEN TOUR AT FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCUPTURE PARK Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 6:00 pm & 7:00 pm Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – 1000 East Beltline Ave NE

July 20-21

RUN AWAY TO THE CIRCUS WITH CIRCUS AMOUNGUS Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 6:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE


July 27-28

Thursday, June 29, 2017, 7:00 pm Grand Rapids Art Museum – 101 Monroe Center


To see all ten book selections, more events, and details, visit

Fireworks Sponsor:

August 3



Series Sponsor:

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MEDIA SPONSORS: Tickets as low low






[VISUAL ARTS] Kay WalkingStick, Venere Alpina, 1997, oil on canvas (left), steel mesh over acrylic and wax, plastic stones (right). Photo: Lee Stalsworth, Fine Art through Photography, LLC. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

Below: Kay WalkingStick in her studio. Photo: Julia Maloof Verderosa

Kay WalkingStick Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo June 17-Sept. 10, (269) 349-7775

American Artistry by Jane Simons

Kay WalkingStick honors her Native American roots each time she strokes paint across a canvas. A major exhibit of WalkingStick’s work will be held at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art beginning on June 14 with a Community Welcome that is free and open to the public. Belinda Tate, executive director of the KIA, said even though WalkingStick is of Cherokee heritage, she also borrows stories, patterns and traditions from other Native American cultures to create her “incredibly rich” art. “It’s a unique opportunity to see important contributions made to the realm of contemporary art by artists of Native American heritage,” Tate said. “This show is somewhat revisionist in that way because she has had a very long and fruitful career and is a well-known artist. She has worked in many different aesthetic styles. She’s done some beautiful abstractions. Many were inspired by historic encounters and others are more overtly related to Native American cultures.” WalkingStick has become best known for the abstract/ landscape diptychs, two-paneled works of art, she began making in 1985. She typically makes an abstract work on one panel and a representational or realistic image on the

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other, such as landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, the Alps and ancient southwestern sites. Tate said the KIA always seeks out exhibitions that offer a high level of community engagement and a substantial amount of educational value. “We use these exhibitions to educate the public about aesthetic movements, arts or culture they may not be familiar with,” Tate said. WalkingStick said her diptychs are an especially powerful metaphor to express the beauty and power of uniting the disparate, and this makes it particularly attractive to people like her who are biracial. WalkingStick’s mother was of Scottish-Irish origin and her father was a member of the Cherokee nation. “I do not see my paintings as landscapes, per se, but rather as paintings that describe two kinds of perceptions of the earth,” WalkingStick said in a press release. “One

view is visual and fleeting and the other is abstract and everlasting. These paintings are my attempt to express the mythically inexpressible and to unify the present with eternity.” Although the KIA has several pieces in its collection by Native American artists and has shown the work of these artists in the past, Tate said it has never been of the magnitude of the WalkingStick exhibit. She said it’s rare for the KIA to do a show that takes up all four of its upper galleries and rarer still to be able to do it for a woman and Native American artist. WalkingStick’s work warrants a large investment of the time to mount the exhibit and the space to showcase her talent, Tate said. The exhibit will feature 65 of WalkingStick’s most notable paintings, drawings, small sculptures, notebooks, and the diptychs for which she is best known. The exhibition traces her career over more than four decades and culminates with her recent paintings of monumental landscapes and Native places. “Outside of her Native American heritage, she’s just a very important landscape painter. She brings a certain talent, beauty and grace to her work,” Tate said. “Here’s a woman who’s a gift to our nation and has so much to offer to the art world. Her Native American heritage is an additional bonus that we get.” Tate said visitors to the exhibit should come with an open mind and be prepared to learn something new. She said they will transported on a journey through more than four decades of WalkingStick’s work, showing her changing artistic styles. “Our mission is to really use the show as a way to bring our community members together and engage them in meaningful conversation about art and culture and the Native American heritage that exists in our community, and to facilitate meaningful conversation that extends beyond art,” Tate said. ■


PREVIEW June has all kinds of exhibitions, from a celebration of the Great Lakes to a mobile exhibit featured on the curator’s arm — yes, you read that right. Summer is a great time to get out and soak up some art, so get to it. by Dana Casadei

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (888) 957-1580 Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens: Natural State Through Aug. 20 District Rose Show June 17-18 If roses are your favorite flowers — or if you just like to look at flowers in general — stop by this month’s District Rose Show. The show features hybrid teas, miniatures, floribundas and more. Guests will also be able to vote for the most fragrant rose, view creative arrangements, and talk to members of the Grand Valley Rose Society.

Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, (616) 831-1000 Prints and Processes Through June 25 Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Leo Zulueta Through Aug. 27 The Art of Rube Goldberg Through Aug. 27

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775 Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking Through July 2 Impressions: Printmaking in Japan Through July 23 Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

June 17-Sept. 10

LaFontsee Galleries 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 451-9820

Everyone in the Pool June 10-July 15 Before you get too excited: no, there isn’t an actual pool involved with this exhibit. But kicking off the 2017 Douglas Summer Exhibition Series is the collective group show, Everyone in the Pool, which will feature local art across a span of media at the gallery’s Douglas location. Everyone’s welcome and dress is casual.

LowellArts 223 W. Main St., Lowell, (616) 897-8545

Who’s Who? LowellArts Members Exhibition Through June 3 Janet Y. Johnson: A Tribute Exhibition Through June 3

Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon, (231) 720-2570 Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian Through Sept. 10 Pictures of the Best Kind Through Oct. 8 Celebrating more than 100 years of art acquisition, Pictures of the Best Kind will highlight the museum’s permanent collection, putting more than 70 pieces on display that define the collection. Fun fact: In 1905, Charles H. Hackley bequeathed $150,000 in his will to the Muskegon Public Schools Board of Education so it could purchase “pictures of the best kind”

(note the exhibit’s title) for the Hackley Public Library. The board did just that in 1910 with the purchase of a Tonalist landscape painting by Dwight Tryon.

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 454-7000 MEGA 2017 Through July 31

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399

Fresh Pick: Eana Agopian Through Aug. 6

Water Wonderland: Works by Alex Yanes June 9-Sept. 3 Inspired by the water, beaches and people of the Great Lakes, Alex Yanes has created a three-dimensional installation featuring his wood, acrylic, resin and enamel works. Yanes, a Miami native, will have pieces ranging from three-dimensional objects to oversized paintings. Artist in Residence: Rubén Aguirre June 9-Sept. 3 This summer, Chicago-based artist Rubén Aguirre will be the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Artist in Residence for 2017. Aguirre, who has gone from graffiti artist to abstract painter/ contemporary muralist, will be participating in a variety of activities with the center throughout the summer, including painting a mural on the side of the building. He also will have his own exhibit on display throughout the summer.

The Jump Off June 2-Aug. 26 This group exhibit features works by local, regional, and national artists while celebrating the UICA’s 40 years of experimentation and growth. Dozens of artists will reveal the evolution of their creative process by showcasing artwork that defines their current work paired with earlier pieces. Flex Gallery: A Public Art Project by Zachary Johnson June 2-Aug. 4 Located on curator’s Zachary Johnson’s left arm, this mobile exhibit (because it was literally on a real person’s arm) has shown off 12 custom armbands over the past 24 weeks. The UICA’s exhibit now showcases these armbands all in one place — not on an arm. They were all created by local, regional and international artists, and include a diverse range of media. The artists were given no limitations at all, other than the dimensions.

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Local for over 117 years, We offer a wide variety of Art Supplies, Framing and Matting, along with Gifts and Souvenirs all at competitive prices. We carry Montana Gold Spray Paint 30 West 8th Street Holland, MI 49423

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Movies in the Park

Downtown Grand Rapids Ah-Nab-Awen Park


June 2

July 7

August 4

7:00 pm Zootopia (PG)

7:00 pm Mrs. Doubtfire (PG-13)

7:00 pm Selena (PG)

9:30 pm Star Trek (PG-13)

9:30 pm Forrest Gump (PG-13)

9:30 pm The Bodyguard (R)

(Spanish subtitles)

(Spanish subtitles)

(Spanish subtitles)

June 16

July 21

August 18

7:00 pm Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (G)

7:00 pm The Book of Life (PG)

7:00 pm Remember the Titans (PG)

9:30 pm Jaws (PG)

9:30 pm Pitch Perfect (PG-13)

(English subtitles)

(English subtitles)

9:30 pm Pan’s Labyrinth (R) (English subtitles)

Films are Free Pre-movie entertainment at 6 pm. Bring your blanket, chairs, beer, wine & snacks. Local food vendors on site.


Symphonic Sanctuaries Orchestra Rouh helps refugees feel they belong by Jane Simons

KALAMAZOO — Cellos and violins have become instrumental in the creation of a safe harbor for the children of refugees who have relocated here from countries like Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.


Since April, about 19 of these children have been meeting several times each week inside a room at the Suzuki Academy to receive musical instruction from the coordinators of “Orchestra Rouh.” But the experience goes well beyond notes on a page. Rouh means both “hope” and “spirit” in Arabic, and the program is designed to nurture the emotional well-being of children through music instruction, led by



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Refugee children practice at Orchestra Rouh, a program meant to help them feel part of a community. Courtesy Photo

teachers who are bilingual in English and Arabic, and including music from Arabic traditions. “Most of the kids when they come here don’t know English. When they start school they can’t communicate or talk because they don’t know any English words,” said Ahmed Tofiq, a founder of Orchestra Rouh and one of its musical instructors. “Me and my wife were thinking why not make an orchestra for them, because music is a universal language.” For many of these children, having access to a place where they can be themselves and participate in an activity together gives them a sense of normalcy and belonging. Tofiq said the opportunities for them to fully participate in schoolrelated music classes or extracurricular programs are limited because of language barriers. “They can’t sing because they don’t understand English and the teachers don’t understand Arabic,” Tofiq said. Orchestra Rouh is offered under the umbrella of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Education Programs in partnership with the Suzuki Academy of Kalamazoo. The program was founded and is led by Tofiq, a violinist, cellist Bashdar Sdiq and Arabic instructor Hend Ezzat Hegab, who is also Tofiq’s wife. The couple has been involved with refugee relief work in Kalamazoo for the past year and recognized the immediate need for positive social/learning activities to help reduce isolation for families and speed up children’s English language acquisition. Tofiq and Sdiq, who are from Iraqi Kurdistan, recently completed master’s degrees in music at Western Michigan University, and have previously taught and toured with the Youth Orchestra of Iraq.

Orchestra Rouh organizers are intimately aware of the many basic services refugee families in Kalamazoo need, and they see access to the arts as a way to address some of those needs. “Obviously, we’re not trained therapists and we know that these folks have been through a lot of difficulty with resettling and learning a new language, and music can address a lot of those social and emotional needs,” said Elizabeth Youker, vice president of education and community partnership for the KSO. “Music can bring kids together in a fun and productive activity that will create a brighter outlook and open their minds to new experiences.” Tofiq and Sdiq said feelings of isolation and frustration are not uncommon among their students. “Sometimes these kids are mad or sad and they go through bouts of rough times,” Sdiq said. “Sometimes we have a group teaching another group and they learn how to play for each other and to each other. They learn trust and respect and if they make a mistake, they know they can follow a friend.” Jacob Olbrot, executive director of the Suzuki Academy, said he is hoping to grow the program. On June 10, Orchestra Rouh members will join with Suzuki students in a performance. “This was not meant to be Syrian-specific,” Olbrot said of Orchestra Rouh. “Our dream is to grow it into a wider refugee program.” Based on what she’s already seen, Youker said she thinks Orchestra Rouh is helping the children to adjust to their new community. “We want to use this program to bring kids together from different cultural backgrounds in a way that honors everyone,” Youker said. ■


A Conductor’s Coda Raymond Harvey reflects on 18 years of leading the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra By Samara Napolitan

Years ago, conductors were aloof, intimidating figures on their onstage platforms. But when Raymond Harvey became the music director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra 18 years ago, he knew his role required more and embraced the position as a community resource. “If you love music, you want other people to love it, too,” said Harvey. “You want to spread that joy.” It is fitting then that many of the memories he highlights from his tenure concern sharing music with the community. Harvey announced in September 2016 that he would be stepping down this summer in order to fully shift his focus to being the associate professor and music director for the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. From the beginning of his time as the KSO’s music director, Harvey has appreciated the low-key intellectualism of the community surrounding the orchestra. Having worked with leading orchestras all over the world, including those of Philadelphia, Atlanta and St. Louis, Harvey will especially miss the warmth and generosity of the peo-

“If you love music, you want other people to love it, too. You want to spread that joy.”

One of Harvey’s initiatives that has connected with audiences the most is his “The World Of…” series. During these multimedia concerts, Harvey examined the inspiration, influences and life events of composers and their most famous works. In his final season with the KSO, Harvey introduced the work of Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini and Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. One of Harvey’s greatest joys was presenting concerts with world-renowned artists, including collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma during the orchestra’s 90th anniversary season and pianist Lang Lang in 2012. A rare skill that Harvey brought to the KSO was his ability to conduct from the piano. He called the opportunity to perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of

Paganini alongside the orchestra a “once-ina-lifetime evening.” He also reflects fondly on the many large-scale choral pieces and the semi-staged operas he’s led over the years. “Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and some of the large oratorios like Mendelssohn’s Elijah are wonderful works of art on their own,” he says. “To perform them with great players and great artists is a real dream.” Now, Harvey will make the move to opera, full-time. Coincidentally (and unintentionally, since concert programs can be planned years in advance), Harvey’s final concert as the KSO Music Director was an opera, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, this past May. Harvey’s colleague, Moores Opera Center Director Buck Ross, acted as stage director of the production. Harvey began his career as a choral conductor, so he finds this transition to be a felicitous way to close this chapter and begin another. As Music Director of Emeritus at the KSO, Harvey will return to West Michigan once a year to conduct. “Being a musician is a lifetime of growing and learning,” he said. “There are always ways of improving your art.” ■

—raymond Harvey ple he’s encountered while in Kalamazoo. “I’m in an odd profession where there aren’t many conducting jobs available,” he says. “I am very blessed to have worked with a high-caliber organization with quality musicians and supportive patrons who want to continue to make Kalamazoo a wonderful place to live.”







JUNE 5 Raymond Harvey with Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra photo: John Lacko/Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra




CIRCLETHEATRE.ORG | 616 456 6656 | 1703 ROBINSON ROAD SE REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


[classical MUSIC]

PREVIEW This month has just a handful of classical music performances, but remember, it only takes five to make a quintet. by Dana Casadei

Grand Rapids Symphony 300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-9451

Blandford Enchanted June 2-4, 10 a.m. $10 The annual fundraiser — created by the Friends of the Grand Rapids Symphony (formerly known as the Grand Rapids Symphony Women’s Committee) — will benefit the orchestra’s education programs. Three days at the Blandford Nature Center will be full of activities, including fairy storytelling, a twilight lantern garden walk, build-it-yourself house

making, a special “Fairy Boutique,” and orchestra members performing. The 143-acre wildlife and nature preserve also is housing more than 25 fairy houses created by local artists and craftspeople. If you want to fund the future of the arts, this is the place to be.

Holland Symphony Orchestra 96 W. 15th St., Suite 201, Holland, (616) 796-6780

Pops at the Pier: Diane Penning & Paul Langford

June 15, 7:30 p.m., $20+ The orchestra will be performing with coloratura (which basically means colorful) soprano Diane Penning and singer, arranger, keyboardist, producer, and conductor Paul Langford in a tribute to … well, here are some clues: 1. She starred in the Broadway version of My Fair Lady but not the film. 2. She won an Oscar for her feature film debut in 1964 with Mary Poppins. 3. She’s also starred in more recent films like The Sound of Music and The Princess Diaries. Yes, it’s Julie Andrews! The HSO League also is holding an “Our Favorite Things” auction.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra 359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7759

Opera Grand Rapids 1320 E. Fulton, Grand Rapids, (616) 451-2741

Ballads & Brews June 1, 5:30 p.m., $125 Want to dress in costume like famous British people? Check. Drink some craft beer? Check. Enjoy a special opera fusion performance from Opera Grand Rapids Emerging Artists? Check to that too. Ballads & Brews has a whole lot going for it, obviously, and the returning event supports the opera’s productions and year-round programs. This would be an excellent time to break out your Elton John or David Bowie costume. Maybe leave the accent at home though.

Opera Fusion

Gourmet Classics KSO BurdickThorne String Quartet June 4, 12:30 p.m., $100 This sounds like a great excuse to do some day-drinking. Guests will enjoy a threecourse meal — paired with wine — as the KSO’s Burdick-Thorne String Quartet performs. Seating is super, super limited, so get those tickets ASAP.

June 8, 7:30 p.m., $30 This performance includes young artists making prestigious debuts; returning performers; and previous Opera Grand Rapids Collegiate Vocal Competition winners. Opera Fusion will feature the artists juxtaposing traditional arias with different musical genres, along with some opera classics. The Opera Grand Rapids Emerging Artists is performing mashups of operatic vocals with popular songs as well, so there’s something for everyone.

Lowell Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts Presented By LowellArts and Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce

June 15–August 25 TFUL A UNIQUE and AR experience in n Downtown Muskego

JULY 7&8 2017

FREE Outdoor Concert Series Thursday evening concerts begin at 7pm in front of the Flat River on Riverwalk Plaza in downtown Lowell June 15 Harper & The Midwest Kind July 23 126 Army Band, “The Governor’s Own” Blues, World Music, Roots

June 22 Brena Rock , Motown




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July 27 The Natchez Trace Country, Rock

June 29 Rhythm Section Jazz Band August 3 The Ragbirds Swing, Big Band , Jazz


(Sunday at 3pm) Military Ensemble

2017 Line-up!

Folk , World Music

July 6 Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys

August 17Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe

July 7 (Friday) The Bronk Bros.

August 24 The Hip Pocket

July 13 The Steve Hilger Band

August 25 Rockin’ for the Showboat

Country, Rock , Americana

Country, Southern Rock , Americana Blues

July 20


Folk , Gypsy Swing, Indie Funk , R&B Band

(Friday at 6pm) Alive & Well, The Adams Family, Josh Rose, The Preservers, Time Hungry, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys The Upstage Crew Blues Band

Grades K–5



FUN CAMP production of

Music and Lyrics by Elton John & Tim Rice Additional Music and Lyrics by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Hans Zimmer Book by Roger Allers & Irene Mecchi Based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor Music Adapted & Arranged and Additional Music & Lyrics and “Luau Hawaiian Treat” written by Will Van Dyke “It’s a Small World” written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman


Conceived and developed by David De Silva Book by Jose Fernandez • Lyrics by Jacques Levy • Music by Steve Margoshes Title song “FAME” written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore FAME JR. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

A one-week one-week intensive intensive A for students students in in grades grades 6–12 6–12 for

June 19–24, 2017

Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm Beardsley Theater in the Frauenthal Center Session I — July 17–21, 2017 Session II — July 31–August 4, 2017 Session III — August 14–18, 2017

For more information: 231-722-3852 or

Kay WalkingStick, New Mexico Desert, 2011, oil on wood panel, 40 x 80 x 2 in. Purchased through a special gift from the Louise Ann Williams Endowment, 2013. National Museum of the American Indian 26/9250, courtesy American Federation of Arts

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the country’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry

June 17 – September 10

WELCOME THE ARTIST Community Welcome: Wednesday, 6/14, City Hall Artist’s Talk: Thursday, 6/15, KIA Opening Celebration: Saturday, June 17, KIA Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

The exhibition in Kalamazoo is made possible by


435 W. South St. 269/349-7775 Open Tuesday-Sunday $5 / $2 Students / Free through age 12

ARTS FAIR IN BRONSON PARK JUNE 2-3 Bell’s Beer Garden Friday 4-10

ART CLASSES FOR ALL START MID-JUNE Art camps for ages 4-17

Vote Today! Vote for your favorite local artist, gallery, band, place to dine and much more. Voting ends June 25. REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


[THEATer] Memphis the Musical national touring cast. photo: Jeremy Daniel

Memories of Memphis by Marla R. Miller

For those who couldn’t catch it on Broadway: Memphis isn’t just another jukebox show. Not only is it the West Michigan premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, it’s the largest production in Mason Street Warehouse’s 15-year history and is intended to pack a punch. The critically acclaimed musical features a storyline inspired by actual events and, impressively, all-original music. The story is loosely based on a white radio DJ who helped bring the sound of the R&B clubs out of the underground and make it mainstream during the 1950s. It’s also a story of racial tensions, forbidden love and a black club singer who is ready for her break in the music business, set in the places where rock ‘n’ roll was born. “It will make you laugh, think, cry — it

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runs the gamut of emotions,” said Kurt Stamm, Mason Street Warehouse’s founder and artistic director. “The music is just terrific. It’s a classic, a big piece of musical theater. You just can’t go wrong with that.” Stamm recalls it was 16 summers ago that he walked into an abandoned pie factory in Saugatuck and decided to join forces with Saugatuck Center for the Arts to develop a summer theater. A year later, in 2003, they made do without electricity or running water to produce the first season. Mason Street Warehouse is West Michigan’s only summer equity theater, where professional actors from New York City, Chicago and the Midwest spend five weeks in Saugatuck to perform with regional and college thespians during the busy tourist season. Mason Street experienced one of its strongest seasons in 2016, selling out Million Dollar Quartet, and Stamm hopes for a repeat for its 15th anniversary season. He had 32 roles to cast and received more than 3,400 submissions for the season. “Almost all of our leads have all worked

on Broadway,” he said. “We get really, really good people who work for us. Over 15 years, I’ve tried to build a theater with a good reputation in the way we produce that work and the way we treat our acting company.” Stamm also gives credit to the audience’s intelligence and tries to avoid theatrical drivel, instead presenting musicals and comedies with deeper stories. This summer’s lineup is important in that it speaks to many relevant social issues around race, religion, sexual orientation, diversity and inclusion. “That wasn’t the driving force for the shows that I ended up choosing, but it does so happen that I think the season is quite poignant in that regard,” he said. Stamm is directing and choreographing Memphis, the winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Orchestrations. It features a cast of 19, sophisticated choreography and memorable music set in underground nightclubs, radio stations and recording studios. Memphis, and much of the South,

was still racially divided in the 1950s, and it was a very precarious time in history. A white DJ had to patronize black clubs to help bring the artists out of the shadows, and interracial romance came with many struggles. “I think sometimes we need to be reminded our country was not so great at times,” he said. “It does tell this powerful story of the extreme struggle that blacks faced, specifically in the entertainment industry during that time.” For those who liked Million Dollar Quartet, Memphis is the story about how it all began, but with large dance numbers and lively rock ‘n roll. “The music is so spectacular in this show, you will feel like you’ve heard these songs because they have that feel of rock and roll from the ’50s,” Stamm said. “People are going to be wowed by what they see and the cast we have is just extraordinary.” Next up for the theater is Fully Committed, running from July 21 to Aug. 6, which features one actor playing 40 characters in 90 minutes. It’s a comedy that serves up juicy schemes and hilarious characters vying for the best table at one of New York’s trendiest restaurants. Sam works the reservation line, running interference on their antics. “It’s a riot,” he said. “It’s a full story with all of these different characters that he has to play.” Closing out the season is It Shoulda Been You, Aug. 18 to Sept. 3, which wasn’t a critical success on Broadway, but is the perfect blend of great storytelling, interesting characters and good music, Stamm said. “It has all those great elements that audiences want to see,” he said. “This musical has one of the best plot twists of any musical I’ve ever read. It’s very, very fun. It’s like a big wedding that totally goes awry; it’s definitely like a Frasier episode set to music.” ■

Memphis: The Musical

Mason Street Warehouse at Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck June 23-July 9, $38-$46,, (269) 857-2399


Kitty Knows Best

Lauren Chapin explains the highs and lows of childhood fame by Kayla Tucker

In the 1950s, Father Knows Best was one of the most popular shows in America. The classic family sitcom starred Robert Young and Jane Wyatt, among others, including the youngest actress on set, Lauren Chapin, who played Kitty, Father’s youngest child. This month, West Michigan’s Master Arts Theatre is bringing its own version of the series to the stage, along with Chapin herself. Chapin was 6 years old when she started working as an actress for the show and worked that gig until she was 15, nearly a decade in the limelight. “It was my first acting gig,” said Chapin, now 71. “I come from a family of actors. Both

of my brothers are older than I — I’m the baby, and they had been in show business (before me).” A family friend, who had been training Chapin as a singer, heard about the audition for the role of Kitty and called Chapin’s mom to encourage her to give it a shot. “I got a callback, then I did the first filming,” Chapin said. “There were 10 girls that were picked out of 250 girls and I happened to have been one of the 10. Mr. Young and his wife and children picked all the children that were going to play Betty, Bud and (Kitty).” Chapin said the crew initially had chosen another girl, but then they saw her audition tape and felt she was better for the role. “Then after that the work began, because I had to train on the set,” Chapin said. Like many child actors, she grew up fast, working on her character seven days a week.

Father Knows Best rehearsal at Master Arts Theatre.

Father Knows Best

Master Arts Theatre 75 77th St. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 455-1001

Besides looking just like Young’s daughter, Chapin also became like an adopted one to him and his family, especially when he would take Chapin to his house over the weekend to spend time with their daughters. “I adored him — he was the best dad in the whole world,” Chapin said, adding that she was raised by a single mom. “He was just like a real father.” As a child actor, it wasn’t always fun and simple for Chapin. She struggled af-

ter the show to find her way after having worked since the age of six, dealing with drugs, prostitution and years in and out of jail. Now, she stresses the importance of having a childhood. “It is very rare that kids that are child actors go on to be adult actors, and so therefore they need to be prepared … to have another career,” Chapin said. “I just do not think children should be actors.” Chapin said when her daughter was young, she flew her out to California and got her signed along with Jennifer Love Hewitt, but when they returned home, Chapin changed her mind. She told her daughter, “I’m just not going to let you do it, because I want you to have an education. … I don’t want you to live in a world of make believe.” “When you’re in the industry, you’re on top of it,” Chapin said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, she’s the most wonderful thing.’ And the fact is, you’re just a kid — you’re just an actor. And as soon as that party’s done, Hollywood forgets about you. … They build you up for their own use, and when they’re through with using you, you’re nothing.” Chapin hopes to spread this message as someone who experienced the aftermath of being a child actor. Upon coming to Grand Rapids, she said she’s excited to meet people and hear their stories, as well as educate children’s parents. “It takes a certain kind of child to perform and it takes a good parent to help that child be the best that they can be and … really know how to watch over their children and allow them to grow, not only as someone who’s in the limelight, but someone who has their head on their shoulders,” she said. Chapin will be speaking about faith and more on June 17 at Faith Baptist Church. John Miedema is directing Father Knows Best and he said the audience will enjoy the “small-town drama” and nostalgia of the classic family from the 1950s. “It was seen as the kind of family everyone wished they had,” said Miedema, who remembers watching the show. Emma Coad, 15, plays the role of Betty, the eldest daughter in the show. She said she’s watched Youtube videos of the show and done her research on the time period to seem authentic, especially since most of the audience likely will be people who used to watch the show. “(I hope they) really go away looking at what a good close knit family should aspire to be, in today’s society with all the divorce and all the things that go on,” Miedema said. “It’d be nice to look back and maybe take some lessons with that.” ■

photo: Michelle Smith

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |




This month, you have plenty of incentive to stop by a theater in between trips to the park. More than 10 new plays are coming to the area, including multiple show-stopping musicals, a Shakespeare classic and Schoolhouse Rock Live! It’s a perfect excuse to sing Just a Bill at the top of your lungs. by Dana Casadei

Actors' Theatre 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 234-3946


Broadway Grand Rapids 122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 235-6285

Hit the Wall

Dirty Dancing

June 15-24, $28+ Reliving the 1969 Stonewall riots in Lower Manhattan, this Ike Holter play takes a new look at the famous moment with a lively production including a live rock band. Add this to the impressive list of exceptionally timely plays the theater has been doing this season.

June 6-11, $37+ Baby and her family arrive at New York’s Catskill Mountains where they plan to vacation in the summer of 1963. Baby then meets Johnny (swoon), the resort dance instructor, and the rest is history. Featuring more than 35 songs, the musical will inspire you to great heights. You might even leave feeling like you

and your partner can pull off the infamous lift scene — please be careful.

Circle Theatre 1703 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 456-6656

Brighton Beach Memoirs June 1-17, $25 This semi-autobiographical Neil Simon play follows Eugene, a young teenager dreaming of baseball, girls and becoming a comedy writer during the early ’50s. He also has to deal with his super-fun family, which includes a really intense mom, one overworked dad, an annoying older brother, his widowed aunt, and her two daughters. Yay, family!

The Last of the Dragons June 28-July 1, $12 On every girl’s 16th birthday in Middlefield, she is tied to a rock, kidnapped by a dragon, rescued by a prince, and then lives happily ever after. That sounds … fun. But this family comedy shows what happens when the princess wants to save herself (#girlpower), her prince is too afraid to fight, and no one can find her dragon. The play is adapted from the Edith Nesbit story.

Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Henry V June 15-18 and 23-25 The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will conclude its journey through Shakespeare’s plays with Henry V — the cycle began in 2015 with the Bard’s Richard II. So, to catch you up: Prince Hal has now become King Henry V and his father’s dying advice is ringing in his ear as he struggles with his new job. The play portrays the English fight against the French during the Hundred Years War and follows Hal as he attempts to prove himself.

Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo, (269) 343-2727

It Shoulda Been You June 9-25, $35 Opposites attract, right? In this modern musical’s case, the bride and groom are definitely opposites. She’s Jewish; he’s Catholic; and they both have mothers with equally strong personalities to match. Not only do they have competing families working against them, but then the bride’s ex arrives to really mess things up. And of course, leave it to the bride’s sister to fix everything

18A | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 222-6650

Thoroughly Modern Millie June 2-18, $18-$37

show Hope altogether? This isRepertory the family-friendly Summer musical’s West Michigan regional premiere. Theatre

141 E. 12th St., Holland, (616) 395-7600

Working June 16-Aug. 11, $35+ This musical revue, based on Studs Terkel’s oral history of the working class, explores the lives of 26 Americans from all walks of life. Updated from the ’70s original, Working now has new music from a guy you might have heard of: Lin-Manuel Miranda. But don’t worry, all of the original works are still in it as well.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! June 23-Aug. 10, $15+ The 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series is now on the stage, bringing back all the elements of the much-loved series. It’s both educational and fun to watch! But good luck getting Conjunction Junction and Electricity, Electricity out of your head after this.

Driving Miss Daisy June 30-July 31, $26+

New Vic Theatre 134 E. Vine St., Kalamazoo, (269) 381-3328

Trios Through June 3, $25

All in the Timing June 23-July 22, $25 Written between 1987 and 1993, All in the Timing is a collection of one-act plays by David Ives. If you don’t have the attention span to sit through a three-hour musical, this might be ideal. The plays revolve around a variety of things, including the complications involved in romantic relationships (such as getting your spouse to the theater).

Saugatuck Center For the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399

Memphis the Musical June 23-July 9, times vary, $38+

Q&A: What do you tell them? Catholic students who identify as straight whose faith tells them gays can exist but they can’t act on anything — (they’re) coming from a different place than you, and how do you listen to them the way they should listen to you? … I don’t want to enable oppression. I think people who don’t know anything about LGBT people need to be educated about that, but I also feel like oppression can’t make us entitled to oppress other people. It’s not just simply black and white.

Randy Wyatt

photo: Kayla Tucker

Randy Wyatt

Professor and Director of Theatre, Aquinas College by Kayla Tucker Randy Wyatt is a local playwright and professor at Aquinas College, where he directs the theater program. A native of Marshfield, Mass., Wyatt went to college in Grand Rapids and grad school in Texas and Minneapolis. After getting his master’s of fine arts in directing, he worked in Chicago for six months before Aquinas contacted him about a position. It’s been 10 years since. Wyatt has 12 published plays that have been performed in 14 countries around the world. He has directed at Aquinas, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids and Circle Theater. Wyatt has a passion for adult contemporary theater and asking the tough questions, raising awareness and making the audience uncomfortable at times to realize a point. Wyatt just helped to launch the new Theater for Social Change major at Aquinas College. We sat down with the hardworking playwright to talk about his passion for changing perspectives through theater.

What does your work look like at Aquinas College? At Aquinas, our entire focus is contemporary work. Once and awhile we’ll do something like Shakespeare, but even if we do classical stuff, I am looking for recent adaptations of that classical stuff. We’re one of the few theater programs in the country to be focusing so much on stuff that’s been in the last 20-25 years, and that is something I’m pretty proud of. Aquinas allows me a freedom of artistic expression that I both appreciate and defend. Is there an issue teaching at a Catholic college as a gay man? My being open and honest about my sexuality at school has never been a problem

the way it was in my past (at other institutions) … and students will come talk to me pretty openly about those issues, moreso than they will go to other people who are maybe sympathetic but don’t identify and that’s something I take seriously. How has that changed over time? A lot of my students have not had the, frankly, pretty oppressive experiences I’ve had. It blows my mind, still, that gay 20-year-olds are so confident and open and have a million resources and I’m like, where was all this when I was in the mid90s? (LGBT students) can get frustrated with different dialogue points that are happening on campus, and I like to reflect things back like, it can be a lot worse.

What are some issues you feel connected to? There are a lot. I think the ones I wind up coming back to are issues of “othering,” and that can be race; it can be LGBT; but it can also be our context in Grand Rapids of religious differences, and how even within a particular faith there can be friction between different sections. I’ve certainly had my shoulder-rubbings with that kind of stuff in the past. (My goal is) to be able to say that the work I do is not advancing an agenda, it’s engendering empathy. How do you change your perspective once your empathy has been tapped? What are you working on now? I’m working on a play right now that’s about a woman who escaped a cult, and it takes place in Michigan and asks questions about what makes a cult; what of our current political environment enables cult thinking or cult philosophy; how does it change when people have the courage to leave; what resources do they have; what are their lives like; how do they start again, etc. And in the future? Another thing I’m passionate about is water. I’ve been researching and I’ve been working but that’s coming up in the future as something I want to realize as a project. … It’s already a big issue, but it’s going to be a huge issue soon. What’s significant about the new theater for social change major? I keep reinforcing (to the students) the fact that what we’re learning in this class is not so you can go out and tell everyone else, through theater, how they need to think like you. That’s not what theater for social change is. Theater for social change should change you at the same time that it’s changing other people. We’re looking to create something that builds to a story point that activates something in the audience, so that they actually go do something instead of feeling cool that they’re watching a message-based piece and then patting themselves on the back. ■

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |








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REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


/// Music Issue

G. Love at Bell’s Back Room and Billy Strings at Old Dog Tavern.

A Venue By Any Other Name

Finding shows in nontraditional spaces

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

by Dwayne Hoover There’s no doubt that West Michigan is home to an enormously rich and diverse 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 non-comprehensive list of some true West Michigan standouts.

Old Dog Tavern

402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo It didn’t take long for Old Dog Tavern to establish itself as a staple in Kalamazoo’s steady, thriving music scene. It’s been but seven years since the bar opened its doors, and now you’ll not only find live music most Friday and

36 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

and Mustard Plug will be performing, among others.

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Beer is what Bell’s does best. But it’s also an anchor in The Zoo’s music scene, welcoming a genre-spanning variety of well-known touring bands and hosting a number of locals. The outdoor stage is also one of the best in the area, and will welcome Reel Big Fish and Billy Strings in July. This month: The Joy Formidable visits The Back Room on June 7.

Saturday nights in the welcoming, rustic bar area, but also a weekly open mic night and summer shows on its outdoor stage, complete with an outdoor bar and plenty of seating. This month: Check out the outdoor stage opener with Hell in a Bucket and Lazara on June 3, or the always popular Kalamazoo Irish Fest on June 23.

Founders Brewing Co.

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Known across the country for serving up some of the best beer in the land, Founders knows that if there’s something worth doing, it’s worth doing it right — which is why it should come as no surprise that the brewery’s musical lineup is also of the highest quality. The Taproom hosts a steady stream of kickass acts and June means it’s time for Founderst Fest. This month: Seriously, go to Founders Fest on June 17. Umphrey’s McGee, Blues Traveler

Long Road Distillers

537 Leonard St. SW, Grand Rapids It may have never occurred to you to pair quality craft spirits with quality music. Fortunately for you, Long Road Distillers thought it a perfect marriage, and throws in some delectable food for good measure. Settle in and enjoy one of the best cocktails around while letting your ears enjoy their own pleasure. This month: On June 22, singer songwriter and poet Kaitlyn Zittel graces the stage at LRD.

Millgrove Brewing Co. 633 Hooker Rd., Allegan

If the small, intimate space that is Millgrove Brewing Co. hasn’t been on your radar yet, it should be. Sitting in the quiet yet growing little community of Allegan is a place that’s not only serving up quality brew, but also

Photos: Dwayne Hoover

embracing all things music in West Michigan. You’ll find monthly open mics and jam sessions, along with the likes of Megan Dooley and Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys make their way to the brewery often. This month: The Kalamazoo Celtic outfit Blarney Castle hits Millgrove on June 17.

Boatyard Brewing Company 432 E. Paterson St., Kalamazoo

Another fantastic craft brewery that might not be in your sights is Boatyard in Kalamazoo. The brewery was, however, acknowledged in Esquire about a year and a half ago, which is saying something. And while Boatyard continues to churn out amazing beer, even pushing the envelope in many cases, what is oft-overlooked is its live music. This month: You may have heard the song Robert Rolfe Feddersen wrote, Fly, in the film Varsity Blues. He’ll be at Boatyard on June 23.


The underground house show network We can’t tell you where these venues are, but find the right person and they can point you to both Grand Rapids and downtown Kalamazoo, where a loosely-knit network of house venues exists, hosting a number of local and touring bands in their living rooms and basements. If you can imagine an intensely intimate performance, elbow-to-elbow with your fellow music lovers, it’s precisely that. Each space has its own rules and vibe. But if there’s one thing that’s consistent among them, it’s this: It’s all about the music. n

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moon taxi * zoso - the ultimate led zeppelin experience celetrating led zeppelin's 50th anniversary * flam chen new circus * may erlewine & the motivations * that 1 guy * stilt performers * helium silk aerial artists * visual light show * a comedy stage featuring brad wenzel and other comedians & silent disco roast * lucas paul band * brotha james * g-snacks * andrew sturtz * bio-massive * deep blue water samba * marching bands * dj dominate * djs * 1,500 wireless headsets with three silent disco stages * a local's stage * after-parties throughout traverse city * and much more to be announced!

AT THE vIllAgE AT grAnd TrAverSE cOMmOnS ⋆ traverse cITY, miCH. REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


/// Music Issue

‘No Stairway to Heaven’: A Guide to Local Music Shops by Dwayne Hoover

The Internet undoubtedly has made some of our shopping habits extremely convenient. There are some things, however, where a point-and-click purchase is not your best option, no matter how solid you think your research skills are. 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.

Southtown Guitar

(1533 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids) Not only will you find quality instruments at Southtown Guitar in Eastown, you’ll also find competent teachers to show you how to play them. Whether you’re looking to hone your guitar skills or wanting to cut your teeth on a harp, the folks at Southtown will make it happen. Snag a new axe for Junior and watch him learn to make that thing sing.

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Selner Bros. Music

2017 38 | REVUEWM.COM | June July 2014

(505 W. Vine St., Kalamazoo) You’ll always find something unique at Selner Bros., which specializes in used gear. Located in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, this quaint little shop has a constantly rotating inventory that can include acoustic and electric stringed instruments, amps and effects, wind instruments, and even electric pianos. Truth be told, there’s no telling what you might find on any given day. Do you need a practice amp, cassette deck or even a starter ukulele? Selner Bros. has you covered, offering music lessons and instrument repair, too.

Broughton Music & Art Center (4528 W. KL Ave.,


Broughton has been around since the mid-90s, calling The Zoo home. Like the others, the shop offers music lessons, repair services, and a pretty wide assortment of instruments and accessories for sale. But if you’re only in need of one on a short-term basis, or maybe you’re looking to “try before you buy,” Broughton also offers rentals. So if you get a last minute phone call from Apocalyptica needing you to fill in on cello, don’t sweat it.

Rainbow Music

(1148 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids) It’s been almost four decades since Rainbow Music opened its door, and since has established itself as one of West Michigan’s premier instrument retailers. In fact, the shop took the number-one spot in Revue’s 2016 Best of the West readers poll for Musical Instrument Store. This should come as no surprise — Rainbow has been a wellrespected shop for some time, offering an impressive collection of gear at fair prices and high-quality repair work coupled with a level of professional, friendly service you’re not likely to find at larger places.

R.I.T. Music

(3870 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) There’s something pleasing to the eye when gazing upon a wall filled with wood-colored, stringed beauty. It adds to the experience to see a veritable rainbow of different colored ukuleles, guitar straps and song books. There seems to be a bit of everything at R.I.T.’s two West Michigan locations, including lessons, repairs and your student’s school band needs.

Firehouse Guitars

(3125 28th St. SW, Grandville) So what is it you need? Strings? Picks? A new crash for your kit? Lighting for your live shows? A djembe? You’ll find all of that and more at Firehouse Guitars in both Muskegon and Grandville. Their offerings run the gamut from new and used instrument sales to lessons and repairs, along with live sound rentals to give your next performance that extra boost. As of 2017, the shop has been around for 20 years, so you can be sure they know their stuff. n

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Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule bestofthewest


/// playlist

Songs We Like by Pete Bruinsma, WYCE Music Director

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


40 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

ummer 2017 is here and along with it an unprecedented lineup of exciting concerts for West Michigan! If you spent too much on Eric Church last month and are hankering for some outlaw country, you’ll f lip over Shooter Jennings (6/1). Back to GR in a graveyard smash of a show, Here Come the Mummies (6/5) is comprised of skilled Nashville session players guised securely in the anonymity of mummy costumes. Diana Krall (6/7), a native of the region of British Columbia famous for the delectable Nanaimo Bar could inspire a layered discussion about the merits of jazz in today’s pop culture among your La La Land acquaintances. Todd Rundgren’s (6/8) estimable pretension is a turn-on for record grubbers, and his new release incorporates a broad cast of celebrity musicians in which to bask. Local music fans put together an appropriate list of openers for garage-soul aces St. Paul and the Broken Bones (6/9) that includes Jesse Ray, Dede, Devin, Harry Lucas, Gunnar and Delilah. This is not the music coming out of your mom’s van, this is Jonny Bruha van music. Ann Arbor’s Laith Al-Saadi (6/10) had the rare chance to ignite an unrealized desire for “real music sung by real people” (MLive) in a traditionally pop music audience through his position as a finalist on 2016’s “The Voice.” And according to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s (6/10) website, the band is scheduled to perform at New Holland Brewery in Holland. In one of the most anticipated events of the month, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Minneapolis alternative hip-hop artist Lizzo (6/11) will be in town for the first time at Pyramid Scheme packaging social activism and the struggle of the underrepresented with pure ear candy. We’re excited about Leela James (6/16) playing our Van Andel Arena along with somebody named Maxwell. Bring your earplugs for Metz, (6/23) but don’t miss a bar of this performance at Pyramid Scheme. Founders Tap Room will host internationally renowned ambassadors The Alma Afrobeat Ensemble (6/24), based in Barcelona with roots in Nigeria. Then, at the end of the month, that festival in the woods returns to Rothbury, where black lights and bright bursts of sound can be one’s best friend and worst enemy. People from all over the country will travel to Michigan to watch one another, their own hands, and an inspiring two-weekend collection of top-level performers. n

Check out the playlist, along with more concert dates, at!

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Festival Express

A Guide to Michigan’s Summer Shindigs Festivals and summer go hand-in-hand -- no other season can you spend hours in the hot sun with a corn dog (or two) in one hand and a craft beer in the other, listening to a local band jam out while you browse some arts and crafts. And if that’s not up your alley, we have all kinds of festivals; film, cultural, food, sandcastles, art, and so much more. It’s almost too much to keep track of, and that’s where we come in. Here’s our guide to the dozens of festive, communal opportunities this summer. by Josh Veal

Art Art on the Mall

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Kalamazoo June 2-3. artonthemall More than 75 local artists have their works on-hand for this juried show that includes everything from fine art and jewelry to pottery and garden art.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair Kalamazoo June 2-3. This annual start to summer in Kalamazoo is back for its 66th year, feauturing the work of nearly 200 artists, music and a Bell’s beer garden filling Bronson Park.

Festival of the Arts Grand Rapids June 2-4.

42 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

Grand Rapids’ biggest celebration of local art, music, beer and food is one of the longestrunning festivals in the state. Completely free to the public, it features six music stages, plus theatre, poetry, dance and much more.

West Michigan Chalk Art Festival Byron Center June 16-17. Turning the streets themselves into art, this fest encourages everyone to get creative. In addition to handing out cash prizes to winners based on popular vote and judges’ critique, the free event also hosts a children’s competition.

Reeds Lake Arts Fest Grand Rapids June 17. reedslake Organized by the Grand Valley Artists — one of the oldest art groups in the Midwest — this festival hosts a large selection of artwork from Michigan artists in historic Gaslight Village.

Grand Haven Art Festival Grand Haven June 24-25. grand-haven-art-festival/ Transforming Washing ton Avenue into a chic outdoor gallery, this art festival connects artists and visitors near the Lake Michigan shore.

Lakeshore Art Festival Muskegon July 7-8. More than 50,000 people come to downtown Muskegon during this annual event featuring a free Community Canvas, as well as other arts, crafts, food and family fun.

West Michigan Chalk Art Festival

South Haven Art Fair South Haven July 1-2. Set in the beautifully wooded Stanley Johnston Park, this juried art fair brings in more than 100 artists from all over the country, as well as right here

in West Michigan. Local food vendors will also be on-site for the community-centered, family-friendly event.

West Shore Art Fair Ludington July 1-2. More tha n 100 a r tists fi l l Ludington’s Rotary Park with work from all types of media including photograpy, glass, fiber, sculpture and more. The show also hosts art demonstrations,

performances, food stations and children’s art activities.

Sand Sculpture Contest Grand Haven August 12. sand-sculpture-contest Some of the most impressive art of all time is made from sand. Head to the beach and watch as participants shape the shoreline into castles, dragons, famous landmarks and more. Or dig in yourself and compete for one of several prizes.

Art on the Riverfront Grand Haven August 19. Located on the boardwalk of Grand Haven’s municipal marina, this show displays works from regional artists right alongside the water.

ArtPrize Grand Rapids Sept. 20-Oct. 8. One of the biggest art events in the world, with nearly half a million visitors and more than 1,500 entries every year, ArtPrize has revolutionized art in West Michigan. The fall event awards more than $500,000 in grants and prizes, while welcoming artists and art lovers from around the globe to our community.

Beer & Wine

in downtown Holland. Except music, food, a daredevil circus, and of course kegs and kegs of beer, including some throwback brews from years past. Admission is free!

Music Buttermilk Jamboree

Founders Fest Grand Rapids June 17. Every year, Founders Fest overflows with thousands of beer lovers packing the street on Grandville Avenue right in front of the popular brewery. This is the 10th annual Founders Fest, and the brewery’s 20th anniversary. With live music on two stages, this year’s lineup includes: Umph rey’s McGee, Blues Traveler, Leftover Salmon, Mustard Plug and more.

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat Grand Rapids July 29. New Belgium Brewing, the maker of Fat Tire and so many other delicious brews, is bringing its craft beer carnival to Grand Rapids. Expect artists, cirque performers, buskers, Nick Waterhouse, and of course, endless amounts of beer. They’ve been at it for 18 years, so you know it’s down to a (fun, eccentric, wild) science at this point.

Buttermilk Jamboree

Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival Bridgman June 17. This coastal festival on Weko Beach brings award-winning wines and live music right to the Lake Michigan shore.

America On Tap Grand Rapids Grand Rapids July 15. A nationwide traveling fest featuring more than 200 craft beers from across the country w ith live music and food

vendors. Michigan microbrew purists should come celebrate as many area staples will be representing.

Suds on the Shore Ludington August 19. A place for craft beer and wine connoisseurs to mingle and share flavors, this event benefits the United Way of Mason County.

Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival Paw Paw Sept. 8-10. This three-day wine fest has something for everyone, from grape stomping to fireworks, classic cars to carnival rides, and so much more.

20th Lemon Creek Winery Harvest Fest Berrien Springs Sept. 9. In this festival’s 21st year, Lemon Creek Winery will welcome fall with wine tasting, hay rides, live music and a farmer’s market.

Delton June 16-18. A three-day showcase of regional musicians, Buttermilk benefits the Circle Pines Center, a nonprofit working towards peace, social justice and environmental cooperat ion . T h i s yea r’s lineup includes such local favorites as Hannah Rose & the GravesTones, Megan Dooley, The Mainstays, The Moxie Strings and Channing & Quinn, all performing across four stages, with food and libations to boot.

Carnival of Chaos presents Rock Fest Stanton July 13-15. A gathering of rock, heavy metal and EDM fans, this annual music and camping event also includes body suspension, pillow fights, burlesque shows and more, with “The Music Made Me Do It” as a motto.

Hoodilidoo Bangor June 16-18.

Brews, BBQ and Bourbon

Hatter Days Street Party Holland June 10. New Holland Brewing is celebrating its 20th anniversary with yet another street party

Grand Rapids Asian Festival June 10 Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids


rand Rapids is finally getting its first-ever Asian Festival, and it’s clear that the founders are going all out. Simply put: It’s going to be a massive celebration of the many, many different cultures that Asia has to offer. Expect dancers from more than a handful of coun-

tries: The Philippines, Korea, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam and many more. There will be all kinds of local restaurants serving up festival food, from meat-on-a-stick to boba tea, fried rice, curry and other festival-exclusive dishes. Of course, you can wash that all down in the beer tent with both local and Asian beers. Also keep an eye out for the myriad performances, including martial arts demonstrations, lion dances, various live bands and singers, and a dance party with DJ Ace Marasigan. This event runs all day (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.), it’s completely free to attend and it’s going to be huge. Don’t miss out.

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Grand Rapids June 23-25. There’s a new holy trinity in town. Beer, barbecue and bourbon? Honestly, what more could you ask for. How about bands, games (lawn Jenga, cornhole, arcade basketball, etc.) a nd moscow mu les galore? This new festival is taking over Ah-Nah-Awen Park for a wild weekend in June.



Free spirits and chill vibes coalesce at Elderberry Farms for this jam-centric affair. Bands this year include Chachuga, Spread, Funk Vendetta and many more.

B-93 Birthday Bash Lowell June 17-18. Sponsored by popular radio station B-93.7 FM, this two-day festival brings some of the biggest names in country music to West Michigan. This year’s lineup, now in its 25th year, includes Big & Rich, Jake Owen, Brooke Eden, Luke Combs and many more.

Electric Forest Rothbury June 22-25, June 29-July 2. Heralded across the country as a festival experience unlike any other, this massively popular event always sells out quickly, hence a second weekend this year! The four-day (times two) mecca for electronic music fans features the likes of Bassnectar, Odesza, Flume, and dozens of other acts.

JuneGrass Festival Lowell June 30-July 1.

Local and regional artists have been plucking and strumming at this festival for more than 20 years. Trinity River Band headlines this year.

Common Ground Music Festival Lansing July 6-9. Striving for diversity, Lansing’s Com mon Grou nd brings several major-label acts to the stage over four days. This year’s lineup includes country superstar Toby Keith, Big Sean, Shinedown, Alessia Cera, Fetty Wap and many more.

Lansing Jazzfest Lansing August 4-5. This festival fills the streets of historic Old Town with jazz for all tastes and ages, with KidzBeat activities for the kidz, beer for the adultz, and food/ crafts for the whole family. Thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people have been showing up for this festival for more than 20 years.

Michigan Bluesfest Lansing Sept. 15-16. Just like the Jazzfest, this festival draws people from all over the state to Lansing’s Old Town, filling the air with blues music and laughter. Expect great music, children’s activities, food and drinks.

Kalamazoo Blues Fest Kalamazoo July 1-16. Got the blues? Th is longrunning Southwest Michigan staple has got you covered with three days of guitar licks and good eats.

GRAM on the Green

Mo Pop

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

July 29 & 30 West Riverfront Park, Detroit


o Pop is coming up on its fifth year and, predictably, the festival is only getting bigger and better. The event began in an amphitheatre in Sterling Heights and quickly needed more room. Nick Trentacost, a marketing coordinator with AEG, said Mo Pop began looking for a spot “where you’d like to spend a Saturday afternoon regardless of what’s going on” and found those qualities in Detroit’s West Riverfront Park, which grew capacity from 6,000 to 15,000. The festival’s laid-back atmosphere, beautiful site, local food/beer and

44 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

unique lineup have attracted more and more visitors every year. On top of that, you have the Food Truck Rally Alley, Mo Arcade, Riverside Biergarten and Craft Bazaar, which are all exactly what they sound like. But most important, of course, is the music. This year’s lineup includes Foster the People, hip-hop supergroup Run the Jewels, Solange (Knowles), electronic dream pop duo Phantogram, and many more. Jason Rogalewski, talent buyer and curator for Mo Pop, said the English indie-rock Alt-J is one of his favorite bands and his pick for the most exciting act, though Solange will draw a new crowd with her unique modern R&B. The point is: There’s something for everyone at this year’s Mo Pop — check it out.

Grand Rapids July 6-August 10. A free Thursday night music series spotlighting the best in local music taking place right outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Performers this year include The Crane Wives, T he Great Ones, Ca bi ldo, COMPLETE VII and SuperDre, among others.

D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops Belmont July 13-August 3. Held at Cannonsburg Ski Area on Thursdays and Fridays, this concert series by the Grand Rapids Symphony features its popular classical fireworks show, and features tributes to the music of Abba and female superstars.

Unity Christian Music Festival Muskegon August 9-12.

Unity is known for bringing the A-list of Christian music to West Michigan for a weekend of jamming, dancing and worship. This year’s line-up includes Toby Mac We Are Messengers, Casting Crowns, Passion Band and many more.

Hoxeyville Music Festival Wellston August 18-20. Sprawling across 100 acres of farmland surrounded by Manistee National Forest, this naturally tranquil fest in Northern Michigan boasts some of the best from Michigan’s roots music scene including two sets from Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings, Sam Bush and Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires.

Cowpie Music Fest Caledonia August 10-12. This fest takes over a real cow farm with onsite camping, family events and loads of Michigan bands taking the stage, including Hannah Rose Graves, UV Hippo, Delilah Dewylde and Fauxgrass.

GRand Jazz Fest Grand Rapids August 19-20. The only free weekend-long jazz fest in West Michigan. GRand fills downtown Grand Rapids with big band, Latin, contemporary and straight up jazz from its centralized location at Rosa Parks Circle.

Audiotree Music Festival Kalamazoo TBD. Branching out as it’s grown, this fast-growing alternative music festival returns for its fourth year. Look out for its lineup announcement coming this summer.

Walk The Beat Grand Haven August 19. Downtown Grand Haven turns into one large, all-day concert with more than 70 local bands playing at 35 different locations. Best Band winners will receive a promotional package valued

at $10,000 and Best Song winners receive $2,500 cash.

Shoreline Jazz Festival Muskegon August 24-27. Smooth jazz meets lake breezes at the Shoreline Jazz Festival, hosted by acclaimed flutist Alexander Zonjic at Muskegon’s Heritage Landing.

Wheatland Music Festival Remus Sept. 8-10. For more than 40 years, the Wheatland Music Organization has continued to honor traditional arts and music with this annual summer festival. The nonprofit also organizes a series of music and cultural events throughout the year.

Cultural Black Arts Festival Kalamazoo July 13-16. Support black art, literature, businesses and people with this celebration, full of music, dancing, food and so much more.

Danish Festival Greenville August 17-20. Celebrate all the things Danish with the Danish Festival Queen pageant, a hot air balloon show, Danish foods, beer gardens, arts and crafts, Danish music and dancing, and more.

Island Festival Kalamazoo June 15-17 The largest reggae festival in Michigan returns this June with classic Caribbean tastes and fresh grooves. Each year it brings thousands of people together for three days of peace, love and no worries.

Irish Festival Kalamazoo June 23-24



HOXEYVILLE A U G U S T 1 8 - 2 0, 2 0 1 7 • W E L L S T O N , M I









REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |



Now in its 17th year, Irish Fest will take over Kalamazoo’s Old Dog Tavern yet again, featuring live Celtic music, step dancers and more on both indoor and outdoor stages.

Michigan Irish Music Festival Muskegon Sept. 14-17. Everyone and everything is a little bit Irish here. Indulge in Irish cuisine, shop Irish goods and learn about the culture. Performers this year include: We Banjo 3, The Elders, Lunasa and The Moxie Strings.

Yassou! Greek Cultural Festival Grand Rapids August 18-20. Rejoice in all things Greek, from food and wine to music and dancing at this event held outside the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.


National Asparagus Festival Hart June 9-11. Want a reason to eat more veget a bles? Come out to Oceana County and see why they celebrate this delectable seasonal crop with food, music, arts, crafts and even a beauty pageant.

Cereal Festival Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Battle Creek

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June 9-10. Eat at the “world’s largest breakfast table,” meet Tony The Tiger and other lifesize Kellogg’s mascots, or taste new flavors from Cereal City USA. It’s the best way to start your day — and your summer.

Taste of Muskegon Muskegon June 16-17. All the best food and family fun will fill Muskegon’s Hackley Park. Also look out for the Powerboat Showcase making waves on the waters of Lake Michigan during the party.

National Cherry Festival Traverse City July 1-8. Half a million people visit every year to experience the air show, parades, races, concerts and a whole slew of cherry-centric games and activities during this week-long festival.

National Baby Food Festival Fremont July 19-22. K now n as t he Ba by Food Capital of the World, this city is home to Gerber Products Company. Highlights include baby-inspired activities such as a baby crawl and baby food eating contest, as well as music, food and family activities.

National Blueberry Festival South Haven August 10-13.

Celebrate all things blueberry with blueberry pies, live music, kid-friendly activities and an epic tractor pull. Sounds like a pretty sweet way to spend a summer weekend.

Kalamazoo Ribfest Kalamazoo August 3-5. For more than 30 years now, this showcase of some of the best ribs and barbeque sauces from local and national BBQ masters has brought in big name musical acts En Vogue and Vince Neil to headline its evening concerts.

Restaurant Week GR Grand Rapids August 9-20. Try a new taste with special deals at area restaurants during this week-long celebration of the art of fine dining.

Grand Haven Salmon Festival Grand Haven September 15-17. This event honors the annual salmon migration through local waterways, with a gourmet cook-off, wine-tasting, fishing contests, nature-themed kids’ crafts and more.


Movies in the Park Grand Rapids June 2-August 18. Ta k i ng place ever y ot her Friday, this summer series brings free films to a giant outdoor screen at Ah-NabAwen Park on the banks of the Grand River. This year’s movies include Zootopia, Pan’s Labyrinth, Forrest Gump and many more.

Japanese Animation Film and Art Expo

Yassou Greek Festival

Grand Rapids June 16-18. JAFAX is back this year with cosplaying, board games, guest artists from the fantastical

Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival August 11 & 12 The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City


his year marks a well-deserved 10 t h a n n i v e r s a r y o f t h e TCSM&MF, as we like to call it. How does having more than 300 beers, ciders, meads and wines in one place sound? How about more than 100 musicians playing across three stages? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Brewers, vintners and cider-makers from all over the state will be bringing their very best to Traverse City, includ-

worlds of anime and manga, and more.

Traverse City Film Festival Traverse City July 25-30. Co -fou nded by AcademyAward-winning filmmaker — and Michigan native — Michael Moore, this film festival brings more than 200 movies from around the world to Northern Michigan

ing all kinds of especially rare beers, along with the mainstays you know and love. If you make your own beer, this is the place for you too — throw your hat in the ring of the Homebrewer’s Challenge and win the chance to brew your recipe at a local brewery. Maybe you’re more there for the music, in which case get ready for a massive Silent Disco tent (2,000 people!) and loads of bands, from a killer Led Zeppelin tribute band to May Erlewine & The Motivations, Heatbox the champion beat boxer, Brotha James and so many more. You’ll also get to ride a ferris wheel and take in the Flam Chen New Circus, with stilt performers, silk aerial artists, and a brand-new visual light show. Then you also have all the amazing food and comedians performing. Basically, it’s everything you could ever want in one place. Get your tickets while you still can.

every summer. It also hosts free showings of classic films on a giant inflatable screen overlooking the scenic Grand Traverse Bay.


June 3. street-party P re s ent e d by Fou nder s Brewing Co. this one’s all about keeping it local. From the food to the music to the beer, it’s all Michigan. The party starts at 3 p.m. outside Bistro Bella Vita and goes until midnight.

Kalamazoo Pride Local First Street Party Grand Rapids

Kalamazoo June 9-10.






REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |



Promoting diversity, understanding and equality, Pride is the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center’s annual summer event. It features live music, DJs, drag performers, specialty brews and more.

GRIDLIFE Midwest South Haven June 9-11. A hybrid evolution of electronic music fest, car show and fullblown motorsports competition, this three-day event takes it all to the limit. Watch drift track and other racers duel by day, and rage all night with highprofile DJs like Manic Focus and rappers like Keys N Krates.

Freedom Cruise

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Grand Rapids September 23. T h i s five - day celebrat ion raises funds for Grand Rapids veterans with a variety of happenings. The event features an honor ride, golf classic, some

48 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

muscle cars and live music from the 97 WLAV-FM Blues and Cruise Series at the Deltaplex.

Greater Grand Rapids Pride Festival Grand Rapids June 17. Celebrating the LGBTQ commnity, this year’s Pride will have all the music, performers, rainbows and other fun of years prior, with bands like Lipstick Jodi performing.

Harborfest South Haven June 16-18. Celebrate historically nautical Southwest Michigan at a maritime festival hosting a beer garden for the adults, a craft and food fair for the entire family, and plenty of children’s activities.

Wizard of Oz Festival Ionia

June 17. wizardofozfestionia Ionia transforms to the magical land of Oz yet again, complete with full Technicolor. Meet Dorothy and the crew while browsing the yellow brick road for local art, antiques and movie memorabilia.

Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival Battle Creek June 29-July 4 Dozens of hot air balloons from around the world join forces with hypersonic jets, food, fair rides, and other family fun.

Riverwalk Fest Lowell July 6-8. This year’s event stands by tried and true festival activities: arts, crafts, motorcycles,

kayaks, duck race, fireworks and more.

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival Grand Haven July 28-August 5. Honoring the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, this festival celebrates with ship tours, live music, food, a carnival and street dancing throughout Grand Haven.

Michigan Pirate Festival Grand Haven August 7-11. michiganpiratefestival The largest event of its kind i n the state, th is a l l- ages swashbuckling soiree puts visits face-to-face with buccaneers, mermaids, minstrels, merchants, and even hidden treasure.

Red Barns Spectacular Hickory Corners August 5. This massive auto spectacular hosts well over 1,000 vehicles. From classic hotrods to antique campers and wooden boats, its a truly diverse show.

Michigan Fiber Festival Allegan August 16-20. This is one of the Midwest’s largest fiber festivals and hosts an array of shows, competitions, workshops, animals, shopping and more.

Arts and Drafts Festival Norton Shores August 18-19. This fest is host to the Arts & Dash 5K Run, arts and crafts section, children’s activity area

and a beverage tent with live music.

Hastings Summerfest Hastings August 25-27. Fun in the sun gets active with the Backwoods Triathlon, roller hockey tournament, soap box derby and other outdoor events toasting to the end of summer.

Tribute on the Grand Grand Rapids August 19. A newer add it ion t o t he festival season, this one-day event, sponsored by Founders Brewing, will feature special beers, a beer tent, a nd a beer dinner, as well as local, regional, and tribute bands. n


TFUL A UNIQUE and AR experience in n Downtown Muskego

JULY 7&8 2017





Impress with the best. Weddings / Meetings / Gatherings / Events / 616.608.1720

83 Monroe Center St in Downtown GR


June 2, 9pm

Crossroads Blues Band JUNE 9, 9pm

Kris Lager Band june 10, 9pm

Sweet Diezel Jenkins June 16, 9pm

Mainstays june 23+24 9pm June 30 + July 1 9pm

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive

(269) 384-6756 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


6740 CASCADE ROAD 6 1 6 . 9 4 2 . 9 8 8 6



Style Notes

by Missy Black


he heart wants what it wants — in warm weather, that’s sandals and loads of them. Nothing marks the transition of a season like the sandal. From barely there varieties to strappy styles and heels of every height, sandals are the first thing to be brought out from the back of the closet once it’s warm. If you’re going to buy some (and you are, in obscene amounts), pair up with a retailer that’s all about both looking good and doing good. For this, Adored Boutique in Grand Rapids is a must-stop. The store carries women’s apparel and accessories that have all been ethically manufactured (meaning fair wages, no sweatshops). You’ll find denim, cotton t-shirts and many basics here among the season’s trendy items of cold-shoulder tops and jewelry. “We offer an ethical option,” explained owner Emily Smith. If people “want to feel good about what they’re wearing and make a purchase that enriches another’s life,” Adored Boutique helps with that mission by

A head-turner, this Fly London lace-up Yaba sandal is super adjustable and the laces allow you to tie them to fit perfectly. Is it just me or do these peep-toe leather wedges have a fun, pool party vibe? For the Love of Shoes in Saugatuck, $175.

Above: Blue wedge sandals, $99. Left: Peep toe bootie, $139.99, striped dress, $73.99, BoHo hat, $30.

Here’s a sandal that’ll work with every outfit. Beyond versatile, this chunky heel (nearly four inches) is stylish and comfortable with laser-cut detailing on an ivory-colored fauxleather upper, with easy back zipper closure. Lennon & Willow in Lowell, $65

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule

sourcing clothes from ethically sound manufacturers. When it comes to sandals, the store carries Sseko Designs, a company based out of Uganda that employs and empowers women to pursue college education. “They have a great price point with a huge impact,” Smith said. From toe-strap options to sandals with ballet ties and a small wedge heel, these basic styles still scream summer fun. “It’s a refreshing experience to be able to put your foot in a sandal,” Smith said. “It’s something we long for, especially in Michigan. There’s a real emotional component to that.”


by Eric Mitts

Comedy At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000

50 Shades of Comedy

W. Kamau Bell of United Shades of America brings his sociopolitical stand-up to Grand Rapids



June 8-1 G 0


Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

June 15-17


June 22-24 D

ND A L K C I R T S L U PA 29-July 1 June

52 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017


ow best-known as the hos t of CNN ’s Emmynominated docuseries United Shades of America, sociopolitical comedian and community activist W. Kamau Bell wants to make people learn as well as laugh. Himself included. On United Shades, he has confronted the KKK, discussed the difficulties faced by the expansive Latino population of East Los Angeles, and explored the thin blue line with police in Camden, N.J. But he’s also eaten acorn paste with a man living off the grid in North Carolina, questioned the hipster appeal of Portland, Ore., and even ventured north of the Arctic Circle. “It’s about me getting smarter and learning in real time,” Bell said. “So a lot of times when you’re watching United Shades of America, you’ll see me having a genuine reaction where I’m like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that!’ I think the more that we can be quiet and listen to other people talk, and the more we can kind of meet different types of people, it just expands your perspective. Nothing bad happens from getting smarter. Nothing bad happens from taking in more information.” For those who have yet to watch United Shades (which returned for its second season in late April), Bell describes the show as Sesame Street for grownups, in the best way. “I just think that’s the best way to learn, when you’re enjoying the process and you don’t really realize it’s happening,” he said. “I mean Sesame Street sort of pioneered that … (and) it’s why podcasts are so big. It’s why podcasting on some level eclipses radio, because you get to know people, and you get to feel like you’re in the room with people, and the format has become looser now where it can become more human and more entertaining, instead of just here I am delivering this thing to you. “For me, that’s how we all take in information better, and it’s better entertainment when it’s like, ‘Oh that was funny, and I just took something with me.’”

W. Kamau Bell Bell currently hosts three popular podcasts: Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period, Politically Re-Active and Kamau Right Now!, and has been called an innovator of the medium. Prior to United Shades, Bell earned critical acclaim early on in his career for his one-man show The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism In About An Hour. He was later the host of the Chris Rock-produced FX series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, which received several NAACP Image Award and GLAAD Award nominations during its two-season run. Bell also has three comedy albums, including his latest, 2016’s Semi-Prominent Negro. This May, he released his first book: The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’ 4”, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black a nd P roud Bl e rd , Ma ma’s Bo y, Da d ,

PHOTO: John Nowak/CNN

and Stand-Up Comedian. The comically long title alone is quite an introduction to Bell, and an invitation to engage with his unique humor on a personal level. “I just want to make art that I believe in and that I can stand behind and provide for my family, and whatever that leaves after that, let the chips fall where they may,” Bell said. “I didn’t expect the Emmy nomination (for United Shades), and I think the best way to go about my life is not expecting things. I think when you start to think you’re owed these things, that’s when you go crazy, and that’s when you become stale because you’re trying to please somebody else.” n

W. Kamau Bell

20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids June 17, 7 p.m., $30-58, (844) 678-5483



866.672.6627 • ANNASHOUSEUS.COM






Coming Soon!!



Sprinkle Road Tap House Park Cir Dr. Kalamazoo, MI 49048


Signature ”Gandered” Tots


28th Street SE at Patterson Ave.

MICHIGAN GROWN MICHIGAN MADE MICHIGAN BREWED Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

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A new restaurant for Southeast Grand Rapids. At Ganders, we’re passionate about Michigan.









ABUNDANT HOPPINESS! Thank you, fellow West Michiganders, for making Harmony Eastown and Harmony Hall multiple award winners in the Best of the West Revue Readers Poll. Drop by one of our two locations, enjoy a Harmony craft beer original and share in our hoppiness.

(616) 233-9186

(616) 233-0063





54 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017



Restaurant listings arranged by region

Grand Rapids Angel’s Thai Café 136 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-9801 THAI. This downtown restaurant makes your order fresh, fast, and hot. You can order your entree with your choice of meat and spice level, or create your own. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Thai Steak and Yum Talay. Anna’s House Multiple locations BREAKFAST/LUNCH. Anna’s House recently went through a dramatic makeover, going from an already-beloved breakfast hot spot and neighborhood staple to an ever-growing concept with five locations across West Michigan. Why all the success? The menu is unique, but accessible. The interior design is refreshing, but not overbearing. And the service is great. » SERVING: Breakfast, Lunch OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Inventive breakfast specials. Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterranean-inspired country cuisine, a swanky yet comfortable downtown atmopshere and personable service. BBV’s culinary team creates authentic, housemade recipes made with locally grown produce, fresh seafood and rotisserie roasted meats. Specialty gluten-free menu, and can prepare custom dishes for lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mediterranean Country Cuisine and Martinis.

Butcher’s Union 438 Bridge St. NW 616-551-1323 AMERICAN. Butcher’s has its fortes — meat and whiskey — but it’s not exactly niche. Expertly-crafted cocktails (made with every kind of spirit) are here at a refreshingly affordable price, along with a high-end food menu for carnivores and vegheads alike. The

Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 FRENCH/BELGIAN. Housed in a refurbished funeral chapel, this brewery won Best Ambiance in Revue’s Best of the West with its stained glass windows and European beer hall setup. Along with farmhouse style beers, the LEED-certified BV is known for its French-Belgian cuisine, from duck nachos to roasted bone marrow. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger (2nd place Best of the West). Chapbook Café 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. 616-942-0595. CAFE. Take a break from browsing the shelves at Schuler Books with a homemade selection of soups, sandwiches and quiches. Soups are prepared in-house daily and served with fresh baked bread to accompany a small-but-elegant sandwich menu. Try a quiche or traditional Italian Panini grilled on fresh ciabatta bread, or for a quick bite, grab a bagel or scone from the dessert case. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Homemade soups and sandwiches CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour The Corner Bar 31 N. Main St., Rockford 616-866-9866 AMERICAN. The downtown Rockford tavern serves a solid menu of burgers, burritos, salads and sandwiches, but it is best known for hot dogs — serving almost 1,000 per day. Its hot-dog-eating challenge has been conquered by more than a few, but it raises the question: Why would you want to consume Corner Bar dogs in a hurry rather than savor each bite? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Hot dogs. The Cottage Bar 18 Lagrave Ave. SE. 616-454-9088 AMERICAN. The Cottage Bar is the oldest operating restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Come in for the Cottage Burger,

smothered with green olives, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hickory mayonnaise and Swiss and American cheeses. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays GO THERE FOR: The Cottage Burger. Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles. Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beerlover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award-winning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches.

sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails. Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony offers 10” rustic wood-fired pizzas and great soups and sandwiches. Check out their new location, Harmony Hall, at 401 Stocking Ave. NW. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexicano 1742 28th St. SW. 616-261-2280 MEXICAN. One of the lessdiscussed Mexican eateries is also one of the most popular, especially on the weekends. The atmosphere? Very communal, occasionally with excellent live music. The food? Full of flavor on the cheap. The service? Always friendly, always helpful. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Unique margaritas made fresh.

Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food.

Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery makes everything from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches.

G.R.P.D. (Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery) 340 State St. SE. 616-454-9204 ITALIAN. The current location opened in 2004 as the first established pizzeria in Heritage Hill A common meeting spot for local folks, business professionals and college students, a place where one could gather for a quick meal or a reflective lunch. It offers both hand-tossed pizza and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza.

One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh, Local Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas.

Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for

The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 356-2000 ECLECTIC. If you’re not sure what kind of dining you want, you can just head into The B.O.B., where you can choose from one of its several venues. Go into Gilly’s, where you can dine on seafood or B.O.B.’s Brewery, the restaurant’s in-house brewery. You can dress down for some pizza at Bobarino’s or dress it up for a steak at Judson’s Steakhouse. For after dinner, take in a show at Dr. Grins or enjoy live music at H.O.M.E. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and numerous dining options.

historic building sets the mood, giving off an “old fancy-bar in London” vibe. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Meat, whiskey, cocktails.

REVUE’s dining listings are compiled by staff and minions. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of restaurants in the region. For an expanded list, be on the lookout for new and improved dining changes on our website, The listings are not intended to be reviews of West Michigan restaurants, although we will inject some opinions into the listings based on staff experiences and personal preferences. To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail editor@


Taste This

Butcher’s Union

Photo: Jeff Hage

Vander Mill Grand Rapids

Alfresco Appetites Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Where to dine (and drink) in the open air


h, summer: that magical time of year when even the Revue brain trust emerges from its favorite womb-like dive bars to join the dining masses on the region’s scenic restaurant patios, porches, decks, verandas and what have you. Yes, outdoor dining season is upon us. We kicked off last summer by surveying some notable alfresco eating locations in the area, and we could have filled an entire issue with it. But since print space, like summer, is finite, we’ll simply offer another (admittedly incomplete) pile of suggestions for outdoor dining spots that are new, notable or worth revisiting.

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Elk Brewing

Creston Brewery

(700 Wealthy St. SE; The hip restaurant cluster on Wealthy Street offers a variety of outdoor dining and drinking experiences, but Elk’s might be the most impressive. It’s big, comfortable and full of ample seating that never feels cramped; plus fires, cornhole and unrivaled dog-friendliness.

(1504 Plainfield Ave. NE; crestonbrewery. com) We’ll amend our previous “tables on sidewalks don’t count” policy to make room for the popular new Plainfield Avenue brewery, which recently opened an adjacent charmingly rustic outdoor picnic-table section.

Butcher’s Union

Vander Mill Grand Rapids

(438 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids) What makes a patio? Does a room without a roof count? Well, it does at Butcher’s Union, where the enclosed patio avoids many of the pitfalls of typical outdoor dining (incessant traffic noise, the sun’s merciless blaze, strong gusts blowing away menus, etc.) while still giving you that open-air experience you clearly crave.

(505 Ball Ave. NE; The Spring Lake cidery recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its expansion into the snowballing Grand Rapids craft food/beverage market. The timing is fortuitous, as it coincides with the arrival of warm weather and the perfect excuse to congregate around the stone fire pit that is the centerpiece of its massive outdoor area.

by Troy Reimink

The Deck

(1601 Beach St., Muskegon; The aptly named barbecue and beer joint does not squander its status as Muskegon’s sole Lake Michigan beachside restaurant. Its wide deck offers unrivaled sunset views and bands on summer weekend nights. Odds of Jimmy Buffett being played: a near certainty.

Taqueria San Jose

(1338 S. Division Ave.) If you don’t agree that Taqueria San Jose serves the best tacos in Grand Rapids, I will arm-wrestle you until you admit your error. The tiny, family-operated eatery is in the location of a former drive-in restaurant on the south side of town, and the long, broad awning shades several picnic tables.

Logan’s Alley

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

(355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo; bellsbeer. com) The still-largest brewery in Michigan has an outdoor dining/drinking/stage area befitting its top-dog status. Rows of picnic tables overlook a massive lawn that, on show nights, can hold up to 750 happy, twirling, buzzed music fans.

The Old Goat

Mitten Brewing Co.

(527 Leonard St. NW; The Mitten once had the west side of Grand Rapids to itself, but now that the competition has stiffened, the pizza and baseball mecca has managed to stay ahead of the pack by continually improving its operation and dining space, which now features separate upstairs and downstairs outdoor decks, an excellent refuge from the likely disappointing Tigers game unfolding on the screens inside.

JD Reardon’s

(940 Monroe Ave. NW; Hidden inside the Boardwalk Condominiums building, JD Reardon’s boasts one of the largest patios in town in a setting that is undeniably unique — the sprawling courtyard overlooking the pool area enclosed on all sides by condos.

Greyline Brewing Co.

(1727 Alpine Ave. NW; The new-ish brewery on Grand Rapids’ west side sports a self-effacing motto: “Not taking over the world, one beer at a time.” The noBS worldview applies to every facet of the operation, including its outdoor section, a handful of picnic tables overlooking Alpine Avenue, appealingly surrounded by foliage.

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

(2434 Eastern Ave. SE; I’ll confess that I always look for reasons to include Old Goat on lists partly so I can share its fantastic web URL. Alger Heights was too cute a place not to have a restaurant exactly like Old Goat, whose front patio offers a perfectly charming vantage point from which to watch the world go by and contemplate the passage of time. Or just eat, whatever.

(916 Michigan St, NE; Well, the development money finally poured onto Michigan Street. It’s strange these days, driving past decades of classic watering holes now literally dwelling in the shadows of giant apartment developments. Logan’s Alley, the longtime beer bar and, more recently, damn good restaurant, offers an outdoor trellised deck on which to nurse your wounds following your softball team’s most recent humiliating defeat.

K2 Pizzeria at the Kirby House

(2 Washington Ave., Grand Haven; The longtime downtown Grand Haven hot spot, now operated by the Grand Rapidsbased Gilmore Collection, boasts an upstairs pizzeria with a splendid deck perfect for listening to boats make their mournful way into and out of the Grand River. n

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


Taste This

Dining Review:

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Butcher’s Union


had one near-miss with Monte’s, the former Bridge Street booty club on Grand Rapids’ west side. Several years ago, a friend was fresh off a breakup and eager to spend a weekend night out among “the ladies,” but needed a “wing man.” (Real words that were spoken.)

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There were plenty of more reputable places to accomplish this, but he’d set his broken heart on Monte’s, so I agreed to go along on the condition that he pay for 1) my cover, 2) our transportation and 3) every drop of alcohol I consumed, which was going to be a lot. So we got there, stood in line like idiots and made it to the velvet rope, where the bouncer turned me away because my clubbing footwear — a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors — was insufficiently douchey. My friend disappeared into this debauched singles’ paradise and I wandered down the street to Kale’s Korner Bar, where I happily spent the next few hours drinking whiskey by myself, like an adult.

Monte’s is long gone, but the building is still just as challenging to get into on a weekend night. That’s because Butcher’s Union, the restaurant now occupying that space, is the new rage. You may already know this if you use Facebook or Instagram, which lately seem to exist for the sole purpose of enabling Grand Rapids diners to inform their friends they’ve secured seating there. At peak time, this can take 90 minutes to two hours. I found this out when I tried to get a table on a recent Saturday. After learning the restaurant does not accept reservations by phone, my companion Jen and I ventured to the now increasingly trendy Bridge Street, put in our names and killed time

— rather poetically, I thought — at Kale’s, where the whiskey is still good. It is also quite good, and plentiful, at the Butcher’s Union, which offers about 200 bourbons, ryes, Scotches and malts, along with an extensive and smartly curated menu of craft cocktails, including multiple Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Mules and several house concoctions. Already warmed by less swanky beverages down the street, we kept the pre-meal cocktails simple. Jen opted for a Moscow Mule — Old Tito’s vodka, fresh lime, ginger beer and syrup in the standard copper mug ($7). I enjoyed a Butcher’s Manhattan — Four Roses bourbon mixed with Dubonnet Rouge wine and two kinds of bitters and garnished with an orange peel ($8). Continuing to err on the side of simplicity, we split an appetizer of hand-cut fries served with a creamy French mornay sauce and a garlic aioli, then topped with a fried egg. ($8.50) If there’s a more baller culinary move than adding a bonus fried egg to any dish, I don’t want to know about it. Jen ordered a charred flank steak entree ($18.50). The juicy meat was prepared medium-rare in a red-wine reduction and

by Troy Reimink / photos by Jeff Hage

also owns O’Toole’s Public House and formerly owned Rockwell/Republic.) The menu prices will put Butcher’s Union in the special-occasion category for most visitors, but nothing is unreasonable. You’ll pay the same or more for less impressive food and less thoughtfully rendered cocktails at several of Grand Rapids’ new dining destinations. Most of my trips to Bridge Street still involve dark bars whose idea of a fancy cocktail is a McNulty — a PBR with a Jameson shot for sipping. But a pleasurable visit to the Butcher’s Union, if you can swing it, justifies the hype. n

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

accompanied by sauteed shallots, sugar snap peas and onion flakes, paired heavily and heartily with a side of au gratin potatoes. My entree was the butter roasted salmon ($18.75), a savory filet served atop a bed of broccolini and delicately coated in tomato butter sauce, capers (truly one of the world’s greatest and most underrated garnishments) and baby shrimp. Actually, forget what I said about the fried egg; topping fish with other, smaller fish is truly the most baller kitchen maneuver. The service and ambience at Butcher’s Union were impeccable. The building was full to its gills, but we never felt crowded by adjacent tables or smothered in conversation by the effects of ill-considered acoustics. Our server, Valerie, was efficient and attentive even when navigating a packed section during the dinner rush, offering advice about the menu that was both candid and well-informed. There is a balance of casual accessibility and upscale swagger at Butcher’s Union that surely is a lot harder to execute than it looks. (The restaurateur, David Reinert,

Butcher’s Union, 438 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids; (616) 551-1323, HOURS: Mon.-Thurs.: 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Fri.: 3-midnight, Sat.: 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m.midnight, Sun.: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


Dining Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps. Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere. The Sovengard 443 Bridge St. NW 616-214-7207 NEW NORDIC. There’s really nothing like The Sovengard. The menu changes with the seasons, but the quality doesn’t. Expect innovative, beautiful dishes in the Scandinavian tradition. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The West Side restaurant also boasts an excellent taplist, perfect for sipping in the biergarten. »

SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Something special. Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicagostyle whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food — and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR and other classic beers out of a mason jar? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Whiskey, vegetarian and vegan bar food. Wolfgang’s Restaurant 1530 Wealthy St. SE. 616-454-5776 BREAKFAST. The bustling Eastown breakfast spot is home to some of the heartiest breakfast dishes and funniest menu descriptions. Courteous staff never fails to offer a cup of coffee to go after we’ve finished breakfast. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Breakfast all day.

find some delightful surprises — Osso Bucco in a brewpub?! — on the menu, courtesy of award-winning Chef Sean Kelly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue. Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek

Fieldstone Grille 3970 W. Centre St., Portage. 269-321-8480 AMERICAN. Lodge-retreat atmosphere overlooking the Moors Golf Club natural wetlands. The “field-to-plate” menu features burgers, pizzas, steaks and some eclectic items like quail. Try the FSG chips, a combination of potato, beet and sweet potato chips. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Blue Burger, Almond Crusted Walleye, FSG Chips.

Arcadia Brewing Co. 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. 269-963-9520 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the Battle Creek brewpub’s menu, including wood-fired pizzas and some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also

Food Dance 401 E. Michigan Ave. 269-382-1888 AMERICAN. Food Dance is committed to building a thriving and sustainable local food system, supporting artisans who practice craft food processes. It’s about the connection with people and

places the food comes from. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, private dining space, catering and delivery, while an on-site market offers humanely raised meats, artisan cheeses, fresh bread and pastries. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh Local Foods.

Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The eclectic menu options. Olde Peninsula 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo 269-343-2739 BREWPUB. Downtown brewpub serves up the expected (e.g., steaks, ribs), the authentic (e.g., London Broil) and some pleasant surprises (e.g., extensive vegetarian offerings, Italian food). Offers a range of beers brewed on the premises and served on tap, plus a full bar. Check out the seasonal porters on tap right now, including the Vanilla Porter (5.5% ABV) and Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV). » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer-B-Que Ribs, London Broil.

Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with WMU, Union features

A Family Since 1916 A FamilyTradition Tradition Since 1916

6054 124th Avenue • Fennville, MI 49408 • 269.561.2297


Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

6054 124th Avenue • Fennville, MI 49408 • 269.561.2297 July 1st Live Music | Jake Stevens Band · 1 - 4 pm July 8th Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider Release Party · 12 - 6 pm Live Music | Cheap Dates · 1 -4 pm July 15th Live Music | Michael Hulett · 1 - 4pm July 22nd Live Music | Michael Hulett · 1 - 4pm July 29th Live Music | Fremont John · 1 -4pm

Farm-fresh Food • Amazing Drinks • Unique Surroundings Family recipe Michigan fruit piesFood and desserts • Homemade sandwiches, salads and soups • Fresh pressed cider from Farm-fresh · Amazing Drinks · Unique Surroundings Crane’s apples • Fresh fruit in season • Local preserves, honey, maple syrup and more! • Artisan, small hardapples cider and wine Family recipe Michigan fruit pies and desserts · Homemade sandwiches, salads and soups · Fresh pressed cider frombatch Crane’s · Fresh fruit in season • Tasting bar small with samples, bottles to take you!bottles and growlers to take home with you! Local preserves, honey, maple syrup and more! · Artisan, batch hard ciderand and growlers wine · Tasting barhome with with samples, Food • Amazing Drinks • Unique Surroundings Family recipe Michigan fruit pies and desserts • Homemade sandwiches, salads and soups • Fresh pressed cider from Crane’s apples • Fresh fruit in season • Local preserves, honey, maple syrup and more! • Artisan, small batch hard cider and wine • Tasting bar with samples, bottles and growlers to take home with you!

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eclectic food and cocktails, plus live jazz music performed by WMU faculty and students. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Fries, Bloody Maries with infused vodkas.

Lakeshore 8th Street Grille 20 W. 8th St., Holland. 616-392-5888 AMERICAN. This eclectic grille offers a mix of draft and bottled craft beers

and a variety of pub classics and new, American beerinspired dishes. Happy hour includes half-off appetizers and $1 off drafts. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: 28 taps of craft beer. CityVu Bistro 61 E 7th Street, Holland. 616-796-2114 AMERICAN. A distinctive rooftop dining experience in downtown Holland with fresh gourmet flatbreads and an array of seasonal entrees. The contemporary-yet-casual atmosphere, full bar and unique menus make it the ideal spot for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Flatbreads.

Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous desserts. » SERVING: Brunch (Weekends) Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad with Grandma Gigi’s Dressing (Edwards).

Fricano’s Pizza Tavern 1400 Fulton Ave., Grand Haven. 616-842-8640 ITALIAN. Claims to be the first pizzeria in Michigan, but customers care less about its longevity than the amazingly crispy thin crust and simple ingredients atop its much-lauded pies. Four other locations around West MI, including Comstock Park, Muskegon, Holland and Kalamazoo. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Hops at 84 East 84 East 8th St., Holland. 616-396-8484 TAVERN. A beautiful taproom sporting reclaimed wood and copper. With 60

SchulerBooks&Music 34 years as your local, independent bookstore!




JUNE 2017


Pre-school Story Time


Open Play Scrabble

Makes a Great Gift!


SAT 06/03

1411 Robinson 1411 Robinson RoadRoad • 451-4732 Grand Rapids, MI facebook/foot outfitters (616) 451-4732 Repairs Available Gift Certificates Available 3915497-01MONDAY

VisitSandals our Summer

06/05 7PM



Summer Reading Club Begins! Bring your young reader (grades K-8; Read-to-Me) to the bookstore to register for our Summer Reading Club today!

Talk and Signing with #1 NYT Bestselling Author David Sedaris We are over the moon to be able to welcome David Sedaris back for his first bookstore tour in years, for the release of one of the most anticipated books of the season, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)!

Karen Dionne presents the highly anticipated thriller The Marsh King’s Daughter THURS 06/15 7PM

616.855.1511 ·


Scrabble club meets in the community area at the rear of the store. All ages and all skill levels welcome.

FRI 06/16 7PM

Almost our entire staff has been wowed by the newest book by Michigan author Karen Dionne -- The Marsh King’s Daughter -- one of the most anticipated titles of the summer season! Sure to thrill fans of The Girl on the Train and The Widow, The Marsh King’s Daughter is mesmerizing psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father. We predict this book is going to be massive, so be one of the first to read it!

Adult Coloring Night Join us community area at the rear of the store for an adult coloring night. Bring your favorite coloring pages and supplies and get your art on. We will have limited supplies for people who have yet to set up their art kit.

Visit for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change. 2090 Waldorf St. NW, Grand Rapids

2660 28th Street SE 616.942.2561 REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule


A member of the Schuler Books Children’s bookselling staff will read a variety of new, favorite and best picture books.

This will be a ticketed event. Please visit for details. Follow us! @FootOutfitters




by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar


Why many breweries approach New England-style IPAs all wrong Revue’s Beer Czar goes to Vermont to investigate the source of the hottest craze in craft beer

O Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

n paper, the population of Greensboro Bend, Vermont was about 232 people as of the last official U.S. Census in 2010. But on any given week from Wednesday through Saturday, the number of people in the hamlet soars to many multiples of that figure as people stream in from all over the country to visit one of the world’s top craft beer producers. In just over seven years of operation, Hill Farmstead Brewery has skyrocketed from New England obscurity — it’s miles from any town or gas station, down twisting dirt roads — into one of the most sought-after brewers of farmhouse style ales and, more importantly for this article, hazy IPAs.

Standing on the back deck at the brewery, which overlooks the pastoral northeastern Vermont’s hilly countryside, I finally came to understand the cult-like fervor with which craft beer fans seek out New England-style IPAs — and why so many Michigan breweries are hoping to cash in on the industry’s hottest trend. Up until that point, I considered myself an appreciator of the Michigan interpretations of the style. (Astute Revue readers will remember our April taste-off highlighted several Michigan-made New England-style IPAs.) However, I’d been left wondering whether local breweries considered the style to be a visual variant — i.e., by focusing on the hazy color of the beer — rather than their signature floral, juicy flavors. After all, the darling of the Michigan moment, M-43 by Old Nation Brewing Co., looks like a glass of Tropicana, not an IPA. But assessing a beer by its “out there” looks seems akin to judging a book by its proverbial cover. Back at the deck at Hill Farmstead, I was drinking a pour of Susan, an example of their many takes on the IPA. The beer itself featured a lovely blend of juicy flavors, a slight malt backbone and light carbonation. It was a delicate, citrusy IPA that seemed to celebrate balance and had that signature “sunshine through fog” look, as someone aptly described it on the interwebs.

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Sure, it was hazy, but that characteristic seemed to be a byproduct of the brewing process — the aggressive dosage of dry hopping, the malts and other grain additions, the particular yeast strain, the makeup of the water and so on — not the end goal for the unfiltered beer. Cue the epiphany: New England-style IPAs from their original sources are not focused on the haze, but rather on citrusy or juicy flavors and an incredible balance that contributes to them being so crushable. Said another way: The depth of the haze does not equate to the quality of this style of beer. Any of the offerings from Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Fiddlehead Brewing or Lawson’s Liquids — or the dozen or more tiny brewpubs whose IPAs I sampled — were solid beers at the end of the day not because they were hazy, but because they were well-made IPAs. In the end, that’s why people drive for hundreds or thousands of miles to purchase these limited-distribution beers, and why relatively tiny breweries across New England have garnered such widespread acclaim. They defined a style, perfected it, delivered delicious beers to their fervent customers and told them to drink it as soon as possible to ensure freshness. It’s no surprise that West Michigan brewers would want a piece of that action. And, since none of the New England breweries distribute to Michigan, they clearly identified a void in the market. But even the best of them still

The Alchemist - Focal Banger

haven’t been able to replicate the complete package one gets with Heady Topper, Focal Banger, Sip of Sunshine, Second Fiddle and others. Old Nation seems to have figured out the marketing angle with M-43 and its other hazy IPAs, but time will tell whether it will have staying power locally once all the other “me too” offerings hit store shelves. That time on the shelf will be key to drinkers’ experiences, as well. Brewers like The Alchemist purposely eschew pasteurization and filtration with their IPAs to boost the flavor and

body of the beer, but that leads to a distinctly shorter shelf life. As Alchemist co-owner John Kimmich says in his note on cans of Heady Topper: “This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more.” Naturally, I must oblige, with each sip serving as a fading reminder of how even tiny Vermont created a movement within the $23.5 billion craft beer industry. Here’s hoping some innovation based on the Michigan terroir will get its turn in the spotlight, too. n

NOW IN CANS! 17 S. 2ND ST GRAND HAVEN, MI 616.414.7822

5% ABV W W W. G R A N D A R M O RY B R E W I N G . C O M






Live Music Every Wednesday! Blue Magic is an easy drinking ale brewed with organic lavender from Light of Day Organics. Prepare for an intriguing floral aroma and light body, followed by a strong lavender finish.

Biergarten Open!

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Brewery Shoppe





2 for $10 - OR - 3 for $13


beer taps, two English beer machines, eight wine taps and an extensive spirits menu, Hops has a special beverage for everyone. The menu includes brick-oven pizza, burgers and sandwiches, chicken wings and a rotating special of the day. There are also gluten-free options, including their famous pizza. Several large-screen TVs adorn the restaurant if you’re in the mood to watch the big game. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Craft beer and brick-oven pizza.

Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries.

Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. Formerly a historic hotel, The Kirby House retains its oldworld charm while providing all the pleasantries of new world fare, with a diverse but primarily American-influenced menu. Check out the new island bar with 5 HDTVs and walk to Lake Michigan right after. The Kirby House also hosts The Grill Room and a pizzeria (complete with pool tables) called K2. The lower level has also been renovated to include a wine cellar and a premier nightclub, Dark. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife.

Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine.

New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk.

HALF SANDWICH lunch combo served 11 - 4 m-f ROCKFORD BREWING COMPANY

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

12 E BRIDGE ST. ROCKFORD, MI | 616-951-4677

Experience Northern Experience Northern Experience Northern Michigan Wine Country Michigan Wine Country Experience Northern Michigan Wine Country Michigan Wine Country



64 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

 LEEL ANAU PENINSUL A   LEEL ANAU PENINSUL A  LEEL PENINSUL A 10844 E.ANAU Revold Rd, Suttons Bay  LEEL ANAU PENINSUL A  10844 E. Revold Rd, Suttons Bay 10844 E. Revold Rd, Suttons Bay Winery, tasting room, luxury Inn, 10844 E.tasting Revold Rd, Suttons Bay Winery, room, luxury farm-to-table café, patios, hikingInn, trails. Inn, Winery, tasting room, luxury Winery, tasting farm-to-table café, room, patios, hikingInn, trails. farm-to-table café, luxury patios, hiking trails. farm-to-table café, patios, hiking trails.  OLD MISSION PENINSUL A   OLD MISSION PENINSUL A 360 McKinley Rd. East, Traverse City McKinley OLD MISSION PENINSUL A  OLD MISSION PENINSUL A  360 Rd. East, Traverse City Minutes from downtown Traverse City, 360 McKinley Rd.orchards East, City Minutes fromhills, downtown Traverse City, among rolling & vineyards. 360 McKinley Rd.Traverse East, Traverse City Minutes fromhills, downtown Traverse City, among rolling orchards & vineyards. Minutes from downtown Traverse City, among rolling hills, orchards & vineyards. rolling hills, orchards & vineyards.

Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway. 269-857-7222 BREWPUB. Enjoy a traditional Irish-style pub that features quality beer, wine, food and service. Try one of 12 unique brews that are served in the pub and bottled and distributed throughout the Midwest. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer in a family friendly pub environment.

To submit or to correct information, e-mail

REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


Last Call by Nick Macksood / photo by Katy Batdorff


SideBar, Grand Rapids The 27 Club was bartender Josh Van Gorden’s contribution to the Copper & King’s annual MixT&pe competition, in which competitors build a cocktail based on a song of their choosing. Initially dubbed “Purple Haze”, the 27 Club is a nod to Jimi Hendrix not only in color, but in taste and texture as well. The clean finish brought from the Americano Rosa belies the cloudy introduction at a first glance. Fennel & anise seed notes derived from Copper & Kings absinthe blanche complement the floral nose that the Louisville distillery’s immature brandy exudes. All in all, the pale lilac drink, with violet petals lazily floating, looks too serene to disturb. In a moment, the drink at Sidebar becomes a portrait of zen tranquility beneath the sidewalks of downtown Grand Rapids. Ingredients: 1/4 oz. Copper & Kings Absinthe Blanche 2 oz. Copper & Kings Immature Brandy 3/4 oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa 1/2 oz. Creme de Violette 1/2 oz. Horsford’s Acid Phosphate 1 tsp. Maraschino cherry juice Prepare a coupe glass by rinsing the sides with absinthe. In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour the Copper & Kings, Cocchi Americano Rosa, Creme de Violette, Acid Phosphate and cherry juice and mix thoroughly. Give the absinthe rinsed glass a swirl or three, then strain liquor into glass. Garnish with violet petals if you got ’em. ➤ See how it’s made: Check out for an exclusive video tutorial on how to make the 27 Club.

66 | REVUEWM.COM | June 2017

wednesday Grandwoodslounge.Com

Aco u s t i c Ro u l e t t e AREA’S BEST MUSICIANS’ OPEN MIC








Oregon Dreamchild 06/09 - DC 90

06/23 - Drop 35

06/16 - DJ KUNG 06/30 - Typo WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT REVUEWM.COM | June 2017 |


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