Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Claire Mainprize

December 19, 2023

Everything you need to know about 10 Michigan-based bands that are performing on New Year’s Eve.

When you think of the biggest US cities for music, what comes to mind? Los Angeles, New Orleans, Nashville, New York? Don’t forget Detroit. The Motor City has been a mainstay in the music scene for decades, and this year, it was named the 11th greatest music city in the world. Moreover, an artist from Michigan produced a chart-topping hit every year for 48 straight years. How’s that for music trivia?

These days, venues in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ferndale, and elsewhere host some of the Mitten’s best musicians and groups, many of which are playing sets on New Year’s Eve. We’ve chosen 10 such bands for you to learn about every day until Dec. 31.

Day 1: Raising The Dead

Where they’re playing on NYE:

Ferndale Project, Ferndale

Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Photo courtesy of Raising The Dead via Facebook

About the band:

Raising the Dead is Michigan’s premiere Grateful Dead tribute band. They’ve delighted deadheads all around the state, playing in all types of venues—from hole-in-the-wall cafes to the massive Little Caesars Arena.

The five-person band includes founder Bill Butler on vocals and bass, Matthew Cole and Dave Martin on guitar and vocals, Alex Gauthier on keyboard and vocals, and Chaim Tolwin on drums. Together, their goal is to recreate that distinctive, ethereal feeling of being at a Grateful Dead concert. They’ll be at Ferndale Project’s NYE Celebration from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Day 2: Greensky Bluegrass

Where they’re playing on NYE:

Kalamazoo State Theatre, Kalamazoo

About the band:

Greensky Bluegrass, a band known for their dazzling live shows, consists of five musicians: Anders Beck on dobro, Michael Arlen Bont on banjo, Dave Bruzza on guitar, Mike Devol on upright bass, and Paul Hoffman on mandolin. They’ve earned critical acclaim from the likes of Billboard, NPR, and Rolling Stone—the latter said the quintet is “representing the genre for a whole new generation.”

As part of their winter tour, they’re heading back to their hometown over New Year’s Eve weekend to play two shows in a row alongside pianist Holly Bowling.

Day 3: Nathan Walton & The Remedy

Where they’re playing on NYE:

Turnstiles, Grand Rapids

Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Photo courtesy of Nathan Walton via Facebook

About the band:

If you’re an avid “American Idol” fan, you might recognize Nathan Walton from the 2020 season, when he won a Golden Ticket to compete against other vocalists from across the country. “I’m just a guy with long hair that likes to belt,” he told a local news outlet. “Honestly when I knew that I was going through the first round, I was in shock. It was unbelievable.”

Now, he’s back in his native Michigan performing with his eclectic band The Remedy, which includes a whopping seven musicians: Zach Dubay on drums, Doug Watkins on bass, Colin McCorkle on keys and vocals, Shelby Andenno on vocals, Amaas Hardy on guitar, and both Mason Viilo and Owen Timmerman playing saxophone.

For $15, you can see the groovy, synergistic crew in action at the Turnstiles New Year’s Eve Bash, which is bound to be a good time with even better tunes.

Day 4: Billy Gunther & The Midwest Riders

Where they’re playing on NYE:

The BackForty Saloon, Grand Rapids

About the band:

Billy Gunther formed The Midwest Riders in Flint in 2019. Since then, the group has written original music, toured the region, built a home studio, and released their first album, “Countryish,” recorded in Nashville’s legendary Sound Emporium Studios. And somehow, they managed all of the above during a global pandemic.

Although they’re currently busy recording their second album, the band is taking a break to entertain country music lovers at BackForty Saloon in Grand Rapids. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve party are $30, and doors open at 8 p.m.

Day 5: Melophobix

Where they’re playing on NYE:

Turnstiles, Grand Rapids

Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Photo courtesy of Melophobix via Facebook

About the band:

As their website declares, Melophobix offers “cage-free funk from Grand Rapids.” The lively group—which includes Geoff Hansen on trumpet and vocal, Adam Parada on keys and vocals, Nate Hanson on saxophone, Ben Steer on bass, Scotty King on drums, and Stefan Schwartz on vocals and guitar—formed back in 2015 and debuted their first self-titled EP shortly after. Their first full-length album, “Cage-Free,” came out in 2018.

Although their melodies are reminiscent of reggae, rock, and jazz, Melophobix’s goal is “to remain stylistically cage-free and continue to record genre-bending songs that simultaneously dip into the sauces of several scenes in today’s music world.”

The band will join The Commuters and Nathan Walton & The Remedy at Turnstiles’ New Year’s Eve Bash, which has a $15 cover charge.

Day 6: JP & The Energy

Where they’re playing on NYE:

Double Clutch Bar, Lansing

About the band:

Called “Lansing’s most energetic pop cover band,” JP & The Energy plays post-2000s pop, punk, emo, current bangers, and originals. Begun by John Patrick Peters, aka JP, the trio is known for their lively performances. “It is most definitely a high you get playing for people and seeing the joy and outbursts of emotion that you’re helping to make happen,” Peters told Lansing City Pulse in November.

To experience the magic yourself, head to Double Clutch Bar’s New Year’s Eve Bash—an all-day event that includes go-karting, family-friendly trivia, karaoke, and a live concert by JP & The Energy that will lead right up to the balloon drop.

Day 7: The Skeletones

Where they’re playing on NYE:

The Xperience by LuXury Escapes, Kalamazoo

Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Photo courtesy of The Skeletones via Facebook

About the band:

Hailing from Kalamazoo, The Skeletones bring the hottest funk and R&B tunes to festivals, events, bars, and concert venues all around Michigan. The band includes a bass guitarist, lead guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, and female vocalist, all of whom “like to keep people moving and grooving well through the night.”

On New Year’s Eve, The Skeletones will showcase their musical chops alongside other local bands as part of NYE Live @ The Xperience, an event put on by the Black Arts & Cultural Center. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

Day 8: Stolen Horses

Where they’re playing on NYE:

Twisted Bull, Grand Rapids

About the band:

Stolen Horses describes their music as “Texas music in Yankee country,” or more simply, “Outlaw Country.” For their debut album, “Stick in The Mud,” they worked with Don Johnson, who has worked with Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs in the past. Additionally, they’ve opened for country giants like the Zac Brown Band, Rodney Adkins, and Billy Currington.

Although the band has evolved in the past couple of decades, the current members are David Lyle (founder, lead vocals, and rhythm guitar), Sean Kittredge (drums and vocals), Joe Afton (lead guitar and vocals), and Paul Bass (bass guitar and vocals).

On New Year’s Eve, Stolen Horses will play at Twisted Bull, the top-rated country bar in Grand Rapids. In addition to killer music, the venue features a mechanical bull, pool, and good grub.

Day 9: Bad Magnets

Where they’re playing on NYE:

The Loving Touch, Ferndale

Meet one Michigan band every day until NYE

Photo courtesy of Bad Magnets via Instagram

About the band:

Composed of George Morris, Jesse Shepherd-Bates, and a rotating cast of friends, Bad Magnets is an alt-pop band formed in Detroit. According to their website, they’re “renowned for their unique sound and distinctive attire, as well as their existential and sometimes nihilistic viewpoints.” We might add that their live shows are described as captivating, energetic, and thought-provoking.

They’ll be ringing in 2024 at The Loving Touch’s Glam Rock New Year’s Eve. Doors for the all-ages musical event open at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $12.

Day 10: The Class of ‘98

Where they’re playing on NYE:

The Magic Bag, Ferndale

About the band:

The five Michiganders who make up The Class of ‘98 bring nostalgia for the 1990s to venues all around the region. One of their most popular ongoing events, however, is the ’90s vs. ’80s showdown at The Magic Bag. One of these famous battles will take place on New Year’s Eve as The Class competes against another local band, Mega ’80s.

So, if you’re over the age of 21 and want to ring in the new year by dancing to retro hits, head to The Magic Bag. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $35 in advance.

Author

  • Claire Mainprize

    Claire Mainprize is a writer and editor who covers the intersections of pop culture, lifestyle, and spirituality. Find more of her work at ClaireMainprize.com.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | THINGS TO DO

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