If there’s anything WIDR loves more than radio evolution it’s Kalamazoo bands.
WIDR has had the awesome privilege of seeing Michigander grow, and I can’t help but feel like a distant step-mom.
Back in their early days front-man Jason visited us for a little radio interview in 2015 before their Shakespeare’s Lower Level show. Since then they have gone on tour, done some Audiotree Live sessions, performed at Common Ground, Mo-Pop, and most recently headlined at Bell’s.
I like bar shows, especially at Bell’s, but sometimes the draw back with bar shows is that people treat it like the space that it is. Which is fine, but I think there is a respect that’s due to the performer. The audience and crowd for this show seemed to really be respectful(most of the time), of the performer.
The opening band of the evening was a band from the Bay City area called Kostka. Their song “The Honest Truth” was my favorite song of theirs that night. It had a sweet build, with lyrics that reminded me of some old Fall Out Boy tunes, but is still remotely them. All of their lyrics felt really full and well done. Their album Shift will be out soon, and it definitely will be getting some spins on the WIDR airwaves.
The second band, Fever Haze, was absolutely amazing. Coming from Holland, their band name perfectly encapsulates their fluid fuzzy sound, or as someone in the audience said “they have a fuzzy flannel rock sound”. The audience seemed very fixated on the band, as no one really talked, or danced. Everyone stopped and really listened. Which is always my favorite thing. But its not hard to understand why, they have music that makes you want to really listen. They are not only worth checking out, but will definitely be receiving a lot of WIDR love.
Michigander gets better every time I see them.
The band has grown in stage presence, setup and sound. The band is officially are three piece now, but still feels very full. The minimalistic set up of their stage only adds to this feeling with emphasizes truly being the band and their sound. Even the slower songs felt like it took over the room. Maybe it’s how powerful Jason’s voice is, or the poetic coziness of some of the lyrics, but you really feel you’re your getting a hug from some songs. The organization of their songs flows into each other very nicely. Never lingering in the mood of a few songs too long. This was probably my favorite performance of them to date, yes Mo-Pop was very cool, but I prefer not sweating my face off and reasonability priced beer that’s actually good and cold. –But also that aside. I think this was my favorite performance by them because of how comfortable the band looked on stage. Their sound of nostalgia and growing pains is theirs, their unique blend of guitar and trumpet is theirs, and their setup, and style and audience interaction is remotely theirs. And watching that combine with the music they have been producing makes it feel much more intimate. Not because the space, but because of all these things work together.