B-E-E-R Michigan has it down, finding different and unique ways to combine water, barley, hops and yeast into some of the most deliciously tasting beverages around. And what better place to have tried that magic concoction than the 15th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Riverside Park (Depot Town, Ypsilanti)? So many breweries – Royal Oak Brewery, lead by brewmaster Tim Selewski, for instance – brought their A game that it made us dizzy (or maybe that was also the sheer volume of beer we consumed). Summer Beer Festival is such a great place to really get an understanding of what Michigan is doing in the craft beer industry, plus get our craft beer fix, that D-Days simply couldn't resist. With so much to choose from, what did we like? Quite a lot (responsibly, of course). Atwater Brewery's Matt Cebula turned us onto the Purple Gang Pilsner, which kept us 'hanging out' at their table for quite some time. Over at Short's Brewing Company, we faced 20 or so choices, and decided to go with the In the Wheat of Passion. And we, of course, couldn't pass up MIP's SNO, too. Do yourself a favor – study up at michiganbrewersguild.org and prepare yourself for the Fourth Annual U.P. Fall Beer Festival on 9/8 in Marquette!
Hiawatha? A2 was the place to be Saturday night, as hundreds of folks came out to celebrate the birthday of the Cult Heroes' singer Hiawatha Bailey. The man looks amazing at 64, and still kicks out the jams with that Michigan-made, raw-gritty punk sound. Since the late '70s, Hiawatha (with various versions of the Heroes), has put out a series of records and thousands of live shows. His band headlined the birthday show, and included a few other local favorite bands, Thunderbuck Ram, Co.Dam. and Circus Boy. A documentary film maker from NY was there interviewing fans and taping some live footage of Hiawatha. D-Days heard that this film has been in the works for over two years, and we can't wait for the release! Happy Birthday Hiawatha and thanks for the 40 years of punk!
Brown Baggin' It We made our way to Ferndale Friday night to check out the Johnny Headband record release show at the Magic Bag, arriving just in time to catch Phantasmagoria's killer set (in case you weren't aware, homegirl can SING). Lettercamp took the stage next, debuting a bunch of new songs from their upcoming album (which sounds awesome so far, for the record). Johnny Headband, always one of the more entertaining acts around, pulled out all the stops – getting everyone dancing through their whole set. But probably most impressive was their rendition of the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls." After an ill-advised late night dinner/breakfast, it didn't take us long to figure out where Saturday morning's heartburn came from.
Straight Outta Miami Maybe the temperature has cooled down from the incendiary temps of a couple weeks ago, but DTE was smoldering when Pitbull came through Saturday night. With a incredibly well lit and bombastic stage set up behind him, Pitbull gyrated his way through an energetic set that had the pavilion, lawn and probably the rest of Clarkston dancing along with him. On our way out, we couldn't help but notice how excited people were. Whether or not you love his music, Pitbull can perform and he sends everyone home happy.
They're Not Through Being Cool There's not a whole lot we love more than something free. But when you're giving away a concert headlined by the golden boys of alternative indie rock, Saves the Day at, arguably, the coolest outdoor venue in the city of Detroit, Campus Martius, how could anyone say no. Judging by the packed grounds on Friday night, not too many people did. And even though there were seats provided on the grassy knoll at the center of the city, there wasn't anyone sitting down. After playing upwards of 20 songs, both old and new, they finished their set with a thundering sing-along version of "At Your Funeral," after which bassist Arun Bali pronounced his affection for our beloved D, announcing, "I love this city. That's why we always come back. I love Detroit."
It's Not That Kind of Bike Club After seeing them at the Firefly Fest in Delaware a couple weeks back, we were excited to catch Bombay Bicycle Club at the Magic Stick. The indie rock group from London has a distinct sound that lends itself well to either dancing or simply nodding your head as the music travels across the room. For the second time in a few months, we saw Plants & Animals, the Canadian group who go between exceedingly mellow to heavy guitar-driven rock. Both bands complimented each other well and showed Detroit one hell of a time.
Count Us Among the 1-Percenters We weren't about to let a little rain (on Friday) ruin our Detroit Bike Week, so we toughed it out like the true bikers we are (plus we couldn't pass up seeing our favorite Sons of Anarchy character, Opie). Plus, the bikini contest piqued our interest (HOT HOT HOT!) and although we didn't ride in the group ride on Sunday, it was the perfect photo opp day to catch actor Ryan Hurst, DBW head honcho Matt Flynn and the rest of our new BFFs. Thanks again, Matt – we can't wait to see what next year brings! | RDW