The Friday Night Rock Show is not to be missed. One venue. Two stages. Five bands. [BUY TICKETS]
Willa Rae & the Minor Arcana (Detroit)
Serpentine and spellbinding, this sextet summons a rough and tumble reinvention of Rust Belt Americana. Sewing together folk, blues, and country, they inject a punk fervor and gothic mood into a roots-based bedrock. Rollicking percussion, seesawing strings, and ramshackle guitars surround Willa Rae’s soulful vocals, crafting an incendiary revelation.
If your senior prom had morphed into a punk rock show, Sidewatcher would be the band tearing up the stage. Or, if you missed prom, this feral trio would provide the soundtrack to your night of plotting revenge for being jilted. They’re a band of punkish, surf rock dichotomies — sweet and bitter, charming and dangerous, seductive and snotty. They’re a hot rod that takes corners on two wheels and barbed wire wrapped around sugar cane.
Blanca Luz (Grand Rapids)
Blanca Luz masterfully walks the tightrope between early adult wistfulness and the rebellious energy of youth. Their propulsive songs champion a refined tightness that comes from maturity, while being defined by an exuberant sense of abandon. Nostalgia mixed with a lust for the future, they’re all you could want from an indie rock band with a distinctly Midwestern flavor.
PALACES somehow interweave nocturnal moods with sun-scorched vibes, making chilly detachment cleave against warm intimacy. Surging guitars and throbbing basslines are laced with a corona of melodic, skittery synths. They employ the swagger and strut of Queens of the Stone Age, mix in the eeriness of Joy Division, and add a dash of My Bloody Valentine’s mysterious ambiance.
The Messenger Birds (Detroit)
This duo’s spartan roster belies their massive sound. Conjuring fuzz-laden distortion and pummeling percussion from a Delta blues template, they’re the kind of band that could shatter cinderblocks. Few acts better embody the tradition of Detroit forebearers the MC5, the Stooges, and the White Stripes.