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Midwest Fest begins tonight, and a slew of Michigan bands will make the trek to Mount Pleasant for a full weekend of local music. Now in its sixth year, the festival moved south to Hunter’s Ale House and ditched its previous home of Rubble’s Bar. While the change in location hasn’t received much praise, the lineup definitely has. Here’s what we’re looking forward to seeing this weekend.
The Appleseed Collective
Thursday, 10:15 p.m.-10:45 p.m., Main Stage
This group from Ann Arbor—whose sound mixes ragtime, bluegrass, soul and folk—pumps out a mean live show. Their most recent album, “Baby To Beast,” is magnified and expanded with their live performances, and this surely not one to be missed. Plus, they all have great hair.
The Soil & The Sun
Thursday, 11:25 p.m.-12:10 a.m., Main Stage
Apparently, Grand Rapidians make beautiful music. There are so many different ways to describe this band, so let’s just say that their dive into experimental-folk rock has been working out really well. The vocals are haunting, the lyrics are thoughtful and all the songs are catchy. It’s extremely hard to dislike this music.
Thursday, 8:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Second Stage
These Mount Pleasant locals have put on a more-than-decent live show every time I’ve had the chance to catch them. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them play, and I’m interested to see what they’ve been up to. Their “Phone Home EP” from last year has been embedded for your listening pleasure.
Thursday, 12:15 a.m.-12:45 a.m., Second Stage
Another band I haven’t had the chance to see live in a while is also one that consistently puts on a solid live show. They are a group of Mount Pleasant locals that have been making great music together for a while now. Check out their self-titled album below.
Friday, 12:50 a.m.-2:00 a.m., Main Stage
The song “My Leather, My Fur” gets stuck in my head for days at a time. I’m looking forward to finally hearing it live. Stepdad is another group from Grand Rapids, and they’ve achieved significant success outside of their hometown (including having their music played in “Weeds” and “Gossip Girl”). Also worth noting is Ultramark, the band’s lead vocalist, has a pretty intense beard. Check out their full album “Wildlife Pop” below.
Wildlife Pop by Stepdad
The Crane Wives
Saturday, 12:50 a.m.-2:00 a.m., Main Stage
When I first caught The Crane Wives at Electric Forest in 2012, I fell completely in love. I saw them again at Wheatland that year, and I bought their album “Safe Ship, Harbored.” It hasn’t left my car since. Their folk/bluegrass sound might be a calm way to ease out of Midwest Fest. Either way, their set is sure to satisfy.
Be sure to check out the Midwest Fest 2013 Compilation on their Bandcamp page, featuring a song from every band that will be performing.
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