Local Spins Fest celebrates Michigan music in rugged style


The six-act festival outside Studio Park started in the rain on Saturday but ended in sunny and inspiring sets to cap off a week-long commemoration of Local Spins’ 10th anniversary. Summary, photos, video.

Michigan and Again and The Accidentals: The trio delivered a crowd-pleasing set to close out Local Spins Fest. (Photo/Derek Ketchum)


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And on day six — and for the eighth show of the week — the West Michigan Humans capped off Local Spins’ 10th anniversary celebration with a seven-hour musical medley for the ages.

Local rides party kicked off Saturday afternoon outside Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids in the rain, but held off several spirited performances by bands hailing from western Michigan before ending with a slice of sunshine and inspiring sets from The Accidentals and supergroup Public Access.

Guitar Power: Public Access entertained a growing crowd. (Photo/Chelsea Whitaker)

“Once the rain stopped and the sun came out, I was standing here and the sun started reflecting off these beautiful condos to warm me up,” festival attendee Dan Wall said.

“Public access has taken center stage. I hadn’t seen them in years so when (guitarist) Alex Atkins came along, my great friend, it was great to see him back with the band. (Drummer) Dan Rickabus was slapping and it was just this vibrant sonic journey. It was phenomenal. Couldn’t be a better night!”


Super Dr (Andrea Wallace) – Despite the rainy spring weather scaring people away, SuperDre opened the festival with welcoming ambition. Performing a unique blend of techno and house, Wallace warmed up early risers with a dynamic and positive set.

Cabildo (Photo/Anthony Norkus)

Cabildo {Julio Cano-Villalobos, Julio Cesar Viveros, Dustin Miller, Jonathan Sgromo, Nate Bliton, Micheal Prokpupchuck, Josh Dunigan, Joshua Usadel) – The rain died down as the eight-piece Latin fusion band took the stage. A wall of sound featuring strings, a trombone, two guitars, bass, drums and auxiliary percussion thrilled the crowd. Incorporating sounds from cumbia, ska and South American genres, the band picked up the pace and within minutes dancing, applause and smiles filled the audience.

Hannah Rose Graves (Hannah Rose Graves, Justin Wierenga, Eric Engblade, Jerry Wenger, JD Jones) – Funk, jazz, country and blues intertwined as this talented collective featured lap steel guitar, banjo and a sense of humor so that time continued to stifle the party. The audience continued to fill as the couples swayed and danced on the listening lawn. Hannah’s warm, rugged voice carried effortlessly through the five-piece band, singing to a tough Michigan crowd as the rain eased.

Full cord (Photo/Chelsea Whitaker)

Full cord (Eric Langjans, Todd Kirchner, Brian Oberlin, Luke Gitchel, Katie Kirchner) – Starting off on a high note, the sun came into fashion late when Full Cord took the stage. The bluegrass band came rocking with a traveling double bass, singing mandolin, plunky banjo and lightning guitar. Despite missing members Grant Flick and Gabe Hirscheld, original founding members Katie Kirchner (band manager) and Luke Gitchel (part-time member) stepped in to lend a hand on harmonies and banjo. It didn’t take long for the lawn to fill with joy – almost as if these country music virtuosos were inviting the sun to the party themselves.

Public access (Steve Leaf, Emilee Petersmark, Ryan Anderson, Dan Haefs, Joe Ridgway, Dan Rickabus, Patrick Booth, Alex Atkin, Ben Zito, Nick Young, Bill Chesney) – All dressed in coveralls (the traditional uniform for the crew of eight people), Public Access graced the stage with drums, keyboards, bass and five guitars. The instrumental force featured soaring, harmonizing guitars and an abundance of variety for a dynamic ensemble. Soon in the set, Emilee Petersmark (The Crane Wives) joined the stage and within minutes the crowd was cheering and singing “We Will Rock You” as she led the band in a cover of “Where Is My Mind”. by The Pixies. . Just when the audience thought it couldn’t get any better, the supergroup surprised everyone with a frontal and friendly aural attack, enlightening listeners with Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Immediately, the excited crowd rose to a standing ovation. (Scroll down for the “Whole Lotta Love” video.)

Bit o’ Sunshine: The crowd at Studio Park. (Photo/Derek Ketchum)

Accidentals (Sav Buist, Katie Larson, Michael Dause) – As the festival drew to a close, this folk-pop trio rounded out the evening with their soulful, evocative sound. Joining for their opening number (and then again later in the set), they called friend and local legend Ralston Bowles on set for an emotional opening number, “Welcome Back”. Enchanting vocal layers and compelling instrumentals weren’t this group’s only charm; humor clearly has its place on their stage as Sav tunes his guitar and jokes “it’s pretty close to jazz” and heads for the next indie-rock song.

PRICELESS WORDS – “The culmination of the hard work of the past 40 years, post-pandemic and combining the efforts of organizations such as WYCE, Michigan Music Alliance and Local Spins, we are now enjoying the fruits of our labor. John Sinkevics is a huge reason why we can celebrate this today. -Ralston Bowles

THE ATMOSPHERE: Cheerful, uplifting and joyful despite the intermittent afternoon rain showers, with the team of organizers and sound engineers from Listening Room and Studio Park – and the staff and volunteers from Local Spins – making sure everything runs smoothly and solving problems along the way. Lots of smiles everywhere.

See more coverage of concerts and shows of the week from local spins.

PHOTO GALLERY: Local Spin Festival at Studio Park
Pictures of Chelsea Whitaker, Anthony Norkus, Derek Ketchum


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