Death Cab for Cutie, OAR, Los Straitjackets in GR: Photos

Major tour stops — large and small — dominated the West Michigan concert landscape for the second weekend of July. Recaps and photo galleries exclusively at Local Spins.

Fan-friendly rock: Death Cab for Cutie, Los Straitjackets and OAR (Photos/Veronica Dearborn/Local Spins/Steve Baran)

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When Death Cab for Cutie kicked off their Grand Rapids tour at GLC Live at 20 Monroe on Friday with “I Dreamed We Spoke Again” — from 2018’s “Thank You for Today” — the line “It’s been so long” resonated with more which means, given the long pandemic of musical silence that has limited touring for so many.

So what followed turned out to be something of a celebration of an entire career, from “Summer Years” to the band’s latest single, “Roman Candles” (from Death Cab’s upcoming new album, “Asphalt Meadows”) to the spellbinding “I Will Possess Your Heart” on encore, which included the band’s most popular song, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, as well as “You Are a Tourist” and “Bixby Canyon Bridge”.

Interestingly, Death Cab’s landmark Grand Rapids stop came the same night fans flooded the Van Andel Arena for a postponement. Luminous concert and packed Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for OAR’s sold-out return, which plastered smiles on the faces of exuberant sign-waving devotees on a resplendent summer evening.

Straitjackets (Photo/Eric Stoike)

But the loudest, rambunctious and relentless show of the night was sure to be reserved for the wall-to-wall, elbow-to-elbow crowd that jammed the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids on Friday for sets of surf-rock icons. Los West Michigan retro rock straitjackets and purveyors, The B-Sides.

Kicking off the evening with jaw-dropping excitement, The B-Sides commemorated the Friday release of their brand new studio album, “Herald’s Missing the Funny Pages,” with a medley of searing guitars courtesy of Tommy Schichtel, pop harmonies from lead singer Chris Schichtel and bassist Dave Stanton, and drum driving from the legendary Pete Curry – who doubled as a longtime drummer for Los Straitjackets. After releasing a short but robust set of new and old originals, the band finished with a searing rendition of the Sonics classic, “Have Love Will Travel.”

Of course, the wrestling-masked Los Straitjackets only warmed up the sweaty confines of Tip Top even more gloriously with an electrifying set of twangy, surf-rock originals and covers led by guitarist Eddie Angel that mesmerized the fans, dancing, pumping, booing and otherwise reveling in this start-of-the-weekend party. At one point, a pair of go-go dancers even added rock ‘n’ roll high jinks.

Scroll down for photo galleries from these concerts and other weekends, including Full cord at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Cafe and Incantations outdoors at Old Dog Tavern, both in Kalamazoo.

PHOTO GALLERY: Death Cab for Cutie, Illuminati Hotties at GLC Live at 20 Monroe
Photos of Veronica Dearborn

PHOTO GALLERY: The B-Sides, Los Straitjackets at Tip Top Deluxe
Photos by Eric Stoike

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