Friday, August 12, 2011

This Weekend's Sault Michigan Concert Previews, Including The Sugar Island Festival!!

Finally, we complete our trifecta of weekend concert preview posts, as we focus on the hard rock and metal shows in Sault Michigan this weekend! This weekend, we have a couple bands (one local, one with locals) playing weekend sets, but first, we'll start with this year's Sugar Island Music Festival, so here's what you need to know!

Yes, this year marks the 11th annual Sugar Island Music Festival, a yearly music festival featuring local talent of varying genres convening at nearby Sugar Island for a family friendly weekend of entertainment! There's activities like kids games, crafts, dancing, campfires, vendors, and much more, so click here for all festival details! Music-wise, there's entertainment from today through Sunday, so let's start with TODAY's lineup, where two young local hard rock bands will grace the stage! The highest slotted is the returning hard rock quartet Free Refill, who play their first show of the summer after a months-long hiatus to rock Sugar Island with their brand of covers! It's nice to see Free Refill back, hopefully they tear it up in their return! They're on at 7:00 PM tonight, with new local hard rock trio Banned immediately before them at 6:00 PM. They've been keeping busy with bookings since their debut, and hopefully they have a great set this evening as well! The rest of today's lineup includes classic rockers The Hixx at 9:00 PM with Joe Schutz & Top of the Hill before them at 8:00 PM. Another band named The Highest of Fives has been added recently as openers at 5:00 PM, who I believe share some other members of Free Refill, but I'm not positive enough to call anything definitively.

For full lineup details, click here! Admission is $6 or $10 for a full weekend pass (there is no two day pass), but children under 10 years old are free. Camping has it's own costs, so click here for details on that front. Sounds like a good lineup of bands, hopefully lots of people head down to Sugar Island tonight! For a preview, here's some brand new video footage of Banned from last month's Music In The Park show in Rudyard! Uploaded by YouTube user Pacoheadley 3 weeks ago, these are of Banned covering Golden Earring's "Twilight Zone" & Bob Seger's "Turn The Page", and the band sound good on them, though I have a hunch they'd do better at the Metallica version of "Turn The Page", especially with no saxophone. The audio's good, but the video is shot very far away with no zoom, so it's not that great for a view of the band. Worth checking out though, so check the above links for more from Banned, and here's their cover of "Twilight Zone"!

As for tomorrow's schedule, there is just one verifiable hard rock band, as Free Refill will return for a set at 6:00 PM! Nice to see, cause they'll add some needed heaviness to tomorrow's lineup! The rest of the schedule includes headliners The Schutz Family Band at 8:00 PM, with The Hixx returning at 7:00 PM. Before Free Refill, there's solo artist Joel Choate at 5:00 PM, an indie band from Hillsdale, Michigan named AllArms at 4:00 PM, Gentleman George Snider and Friends at 3:00 PM, Rollie Mayer and Friends at 2:00 PM, Stockholm Slim at 1:00 PM, and two hours of open mic performers before the bands at 11:00 AM. Again, check the above links for full schedule details, and once again, tickets are $6 for Saturday, $10 for the full weekend, and free for kids under 10. Sounds like a good time, even if it's lacking in metal tomorrow! We do have Free Refill though, who will be sure to put on a great set! For a preview, here's Free Refill covering Metallica's "Enter Sandman" at last year's Sugar Island Music Festival!

As for Sunday, there are no metal bands (at least that I can prove), but the bands include The Schutz Family Band, Lise White & Friends, No Strings Attached, Gentleman George Snider and Friends, Rollie Mayer & Friends, The Knucklelickers, a five-piece act named Rudy, Jen, Bob, Evelyn, and Dave, and Stockholm Slim in descending order from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The same ticket rules apply for Sunday as well. Hopefully this year's Sugar Island Music Festival is a success, and if I hear anything concerning fallout from it (especially concerning the hard rock bands), you'll hear it all here! Best of luck to another successful festival!

Now to the shows in Sault Michigan itself that I know about, and first, new Muskegon-based hard rock quintet RedStone Riot will make their live concert debut TONIGHT & tomorrow night at The Corner Pub Bar & Grill! This is the new band from former Elipzis members Rachel Kiger, Ryan Harrison, and Wally David, which formed this summer after Rachel & Ryan's full time relocation from the Soo to Muskegon. With Elipzis guitarist Chris Webster not involved, their lineup is rounded out by two guitarists: Wally's old One Past Mars bandmate Tony Hulings, and a yet-unidentified guitarist who was in the Muskegon band Tracing Yesterday. I've heard very good things about RedStone Riot since their formation, though whether their sets will have Elipzis songs, new originals, covers, or some combination of the above isn't known yet. So RedStone Riot will be at The Corner Pub tonight & tomorrow night at around 10:00 PM, with no announced cover charge and a 21+ age limit. For more details, visit this location! Sounds like a great weekend for their debut, and hopefully RedStone Riot can make some real waves in Western Michigan and beyond! No material of theirs is out to preview them with, but of course, search for Elipzis on YouTube to hear some old performances from the past year!

And finally for this weekend, local hard rock quintet Splitshot are scheduled to rock The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino this weekend! The local band featuring half of the old Nixxon Dixxon lineup and family members are set to deliver a weekend of hard rocking covers to their fans this weekend, at least I think they still are! Their Facebook page hasn't been touched in over three weeks, but this is something I sadly have came to expect from a few Sault Michigan bands with sporadically updated pages. But with Kewadin's own entertainment page keeping us up to date, they must be on, though if I hear anything to the contrary, I'll let you guys know! Their concerts TONIGHT & Saturday night have no cover charge, a 21+ age limit, and a likely 9:00 PM-ish start time. Check the above links for more details! Splitshot are still an enigma in many respects, especially with no posted media, but hopefully they'll rock the house this weekend, as I imagine they will! Stay tuned for more from Splitshot if it comes in!

That's all for concert previews this week! Three posts worth, that's definitely unlike us, but hey, the more concerts, the better! Should be a quieter weekend next week though. Stay tuned later today for more news and notes from the local scene, including a newly discovered posthumous page for a local band! Thanks everyone, and enjoy the Sugar Island Festival!

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