Michigan Music Scene

By: Faithy Halick

Sometimes people are surprised when I tell them that I’m really into the Michigan music scene. Some people honestly believe that good music only comes from Nashville and Los Angeles. Michigan has so many amazing independent and growing artists. You’ve heard a lot about the Lansing music scene, which I really do love, but my other favorite music communities in Michigan are in Grand Rapids, Pontiac, and Owosso.

If you listen to the Grand River Radio Diner show regularly, I’m sure you’ve heard of Kelsey Rottiers & The Rising Tide. Based in Grand Rapids, Kelsey released her album “Bear Hope” last year, when she played shows around Michigan including venues in Flint and Owosso. However, the band plays most of their shows in Grand Rapids, where they recently played at Art Prize. Kelsey Rottiers & The Rising Tide just released a live EP, Thinking of You, which was entirely fan-funded thanks to a kickstarter campaign. The band is coming to Lansing on Sunday, October 27th. They’ll be playing at Mac’s Bar on Michigan Avenue, and the show starts at 7:30pm. It’s definitely worth coming to see.

Another Grand Rapids band that has been on the rise lately is Carielle. Last year they released their four-song EP, Still Lungs, and have been becoming more and more successful ever since. In the past year, they’ve played shows at The Loft here in Lansing, as well as The Clearing in Owosso, and many shows in their hometown of Grand Rapids. Recently, they’ve been working on their new album, Sonder, which is set to release on November 15th. The album release show is going to be at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids.

The Pontiac area music scene is a riot. Almost every show at the Crofoot Ballroom ends up developing a mosh pit of some sort. Even when the music is more mellow, the fans get into it enough to always make it an amazing concert experience. The stage at the Crofoot has displayed many huge national recording artists, including Jimmy Eat World, 3OH!3, Owl City, and Craig Owens. However, many local favorites have been featured at the Crofoot, as well as the upstairs venue of the Crofoot known as the Pike Room. The Pike Room has featured big artists such as Ryan Beatty and Luke Conard, and also local bands Rival Summers and In Color. Rival Summers started out as a solo project for Leo Bautista, who is from Sterling Heights, but after a few years became a full band featuring Sam Ridgell and Caleb Sanchez. They recently celebrated five years of Rival Summers with a headlining show at The Crofoot, featuring In Color and Owosso bands Levi & Shannon and Mike Mains & The Branches. Another Pontiac-area band, In Color, released their full-length album Love The World/Hate The World last year in Macomb, Michigan, and it’s honestly one of my favorites.

Owosso’s music scene is the one people tend to be most suprised to hear about. Owosso is a tiny town, forty-five minutes north-east of Lansing, it seems to be in the middle of nowhere. However, the community there is astounding. A very popular Owosso band, sosaveme, broke up in April and had their farewell show at The Clearing in Owosso. Both nights of the farewell show sold out completely! The support Owosso gives to it’s favorite bands is unbelievable. If you’re a local artist looking for a growing fan base, play a show in Owosso and you’ll make the most loyal, genuine fans you’ve ever had. Even though Carielle is based in Grand Rapids, they have such a strong fan base in Owosso that they play the Clearing just as often as the Pyramid Scheme! Owosso natives Mike Mains & The Branches recently toured with national recording artist Hellogoodbye and Relient K. They also played at the sosaveme farewell show and are set to come out with their new album, “Calm Down, Everything’s Fine” soon. A growing acoustic duo from Owosso known as Levi & Shannon has a show coming up in December at Mac’s bar in Lansing, so definitely keep an eye out for that one.

I highly recommend checking out the YouTube channels of the bands I mentioned here, they are seriously talented and have some great content online:

Kelsey Rottiers & The Rising Tide


Rival Summers

In Color

Mike Mains & The Branches

Levi & Shannon