Electronic music

Musicology of May: Steve Hackett, Clutch, Bass Country and more

Fan fervor has taken many forms over the past week at concerts in West Michigan, from fist-pumping cheering to quiet intensity. Revisit the concerts in vibrant images at Local Spins.

Fan Passion: Some of the attendees at Saturday Night’s Bass Country. (Photo/Eric Stoike)


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There’s nothing like meeting artists at the top of their game on stage.

West Michigan fans eager for this live musical experience found plenty last week at concerts from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.

Clutch: Saturday night at GLC Live. (Photo/Jamie Geysbeek_

They found it in the guitar prowess of the legendary Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis), in the spellbinding harmonies of freshwater warblers super-group (May Erlewine, Rachael Davis and Lindsay Lou), with the poignant music of the singer-songwriter Carrie McFerrin (releasing “Postpartum”, his first album in 10 years with an impressive ensemble of musicians and singers).

There was more too, including a tour stop by hard-rock Clutcha long-delayed Gilmore Keyboard Festival performance by the Trio Bill Cessna and the electronic music show of bass country at The Intersection, with a host of acts pumping up zealous fans on Saturday night.

Browse photo galleries from all the shows below, along with a recap of Hackett’s tour leg. Plus, check out Local Spins reviews and photo galleries of Journey/Toto and Sting/Joe Sumner at Van Andel Arena and bluesman Larry McCray at Listening Room.


“Now I’m back,” goes the chorus of “Supper’s Ready.” And so Steve Hackett was, giving it his all to the crowd at GLC Live at 8 Monroe on Wednesday.

After a brief solo set, he immersed himself in this epic tune and a host of other tracks from what many consider to be the classic Genesis period. Throughout the show, Hackett and his band displayed musical strength and finesse.

Steve Hackett (Photo/Ross Boissoneau)

The show kicked off to a ticking chorus as the band entered and dove into “Clocks – The Angel of Mons” from “Spectral Mornings.” Throughout the gig, the standout guitarist tapped, shredded, strummed, and demonstrated the gifts he’s developed over a 50-year career.

There was also what most of the audience was there for: a full set of Genesis, circa 1977. Hackett revived the band’s live work with a spinoff set of “Seconds Out.” This album – and this show – detailed the growth of his former band: from his tentative first steps with Hackett, courtesy of the final section of “The Musical Box” from 1972’s “Nursery Cryme,” through what became the group’s closest traditional, the thunderous “Los Endos.

The set opened with “Squonk”, from “A Trick of the Tail”, the first album after Peter Gabriel left the band. On Wednesday, singer Nad Sylvan took full ownership of the songs, whether it was Phil Collins or Gabriel who created them.

Drummer Craig Blundell also provided a thunderous presence, and along with versatile bassist Jonas Reingold – who switched from bass to double neck guitar throughout the show – it created a terrific rhythm section.

A steady presence for years, keyboardist Roger King’s calm demeanor on stage belied his prowess, from piano leads on “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” to solo spots during “Firth of Fifth” and “The Cinema Show.” And Rob Townsend provided multi-instrumental enhancements, from tambourine to tenor sax to keyboard to soprano sax and flute to backing vocals.

And of course, Hackett shone all night. He remains one of the best guitarists in rock, constantly inventive and demonstrating his gifts. Whether stroking the strings or snatching otherworldly sounds from them, he brought the music to life. – By Ross Boissoneau

PHOTO GALLERY: Steve Hackett at GLC Live at 20 Monroe (Wednesday)
Pictures of Ross Boissoneau

PHOTO GALLERY: Freshwater Warblers in the Listening Room (Thursday)
Photos by Anna Sink