We traveled back in time this weekend, as Egyptian Lover spun a set straight out of 1984. Well, it was still 2013, but we felt like it was nearly three decades prior. The Works was slammed with both old school and new school fans eager to see the electro legend stun Detroit with his bangin' beats. And so he did, using a drum machine and all vinyl as promised in our interview last week. With a giant pharaoh projected on the wall behind the booth and a crazy laser light show, Egyptian Lover's set looked just as good as it sounded. The best part of the night - he not only dropped all of his classics, but he also got on the mic and sang every word. Entertaining doesn't even begin to properly describe it. After "Egypt Egypt," "Freak-A-Holic" and "I Need a Freak," our ears were very, very happy.
Some Songs Just Never Get Old
Remember when "Headstrong" by Trapt was played on rock radio stations literally every other hour in 2002? We do, but that doesn't stop that song from being just as catchy today, especially live. The opening guitar riff and drums had us headbanging while air drumming on instinct. Like, we couldn't even help it and still knew every single word. Trapt's entire set at Saint Andrew's covered everything from the older material, such as "Echo," "These Walls" and "Still Frame," and also gave us a taste of newer material that we were unfamiliar with - but we were definitely diggin' it, a lot! Lead singer Chris Taylor Brown had the audience throwing up the horns and cheering as he said, "We love Detroit. You know why? Because this is Rock City!" One fan was so into the show that he had his lighter out for six songs straight ... honestly, we were waiting for him to scream "FREEBIRD!"
Can We Dance to Carl Craig Forever?
Just like every show put on by Paxahau, one of our favorite event production companies, Carl Craig at TV Bar was packed through the roof. With those three names combined, you know you're in for one hell of a good time. 11:30 p.m. rolled around and there was already a line to get in that wrapped around the entire venue. Those who made it in were lucky, because the music was pure fire the entire night. Dan Bain and Charlie & Brown had the groove going in the Blue Room, while Mike Petrack and Reference warmed up the Red Room for Mr. Craig. Playing true Detroit techno in a way that only he and a few others could pull off, Craig dropped some of the greatest beats we've heard in a while. The incredible set ended with Derrick May's infamous "Strings of Life," and we were on cloud nine. Movement 2013 ... hurry up!
D-Days would have been remiss to miss out on any event that celebrates the art of craft beer. And luckily, though Winter Beer Fest has passed, there was another event this past weekend that kept out beer-loving bellies and taste buds satisfied. CK Diggs hosted one hell of a Michigan Craft Beer Tap Takeover that included some of our very favorite sips and savors. Appearances were made by Arcadia, Bell's, Dark Horse, Odd Side, Right Brain, New Holland, Shorts and Greenbush. We're not embarrassed to admit that we tried them all.
Berkley Became Barcelona
The castanets weren't exactly Celtic, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm Friday night at O'Mara's when El Alma Espanola took the stage and lent some flamenco fire to one of our favorite Irish pubs. Artist Sabrina Nelson was there and confirmed that she'll be playing Black Women Rock at the DIA later this week. We also spotted Kevin Ostrowski and Sylvia Stefanovich - the latter taking a break from her 24/7 job at Royal Oak's fashionable Rise Clothing. Guitar maestros Sean Blackman and Tony Merlo represented the local music guild, as did members of the St. Andrews Pipe Band. Lana Mini afforded us details regarding her upcoming gig at the Tangent in Detroit. Maybe it was the collective enthusiasm and the music (or fire performer Eugene Sherrill's presence), but an awful lot of snow melted that evening.
La Isla Bonita
Belle Isle has been in the news and on our minds so much lately that the weekend's Shiver on the River seemed almost like deja vu to us. Nevertheless, we braved arctic chill and dropped by to scope familiar landmarks and make new friends. We met Jerry and Kate Forman from Toledo who duly informed us that their excursion to the island was the first stop on an itinerary that included (of course) the upcoming Dirty Show at Bert's Warehouse. We suspect we'll be seeing YOU there as well.
The Big Top
Big Freedia, the alter ego of Freddie Ross, took over the Crofoot Ballroom this past Thursday and to say it was a riot might be simplifying things. This hip-hop and bounce musician gave it her all and had us laughing as well as dancing all night inside the Pontiac music venue. We could go on at length about the hilarious joy this show gave us, but the pictures should speak for themselves. | RDW