Posts Tagged ‘Lansing’

Common Ground Music Festival 2006 – Day 2

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009


Originally Published July 7, 2006

YouTube Video URL :

Contributing Author – Vincent Spohr

As a journalist coming to a show I’ve never heard of, filled with artists I’m only slightly more familiar with, isn’t something I ever thought I would enjoy as much as I do. The Common Grounds Music is a 6 day event that takes place in Lansing every year. The event is based around 2 large stages with a moderate amount of vending on the path between them (I think the tacos made me sick.) This was the second day of the event, and the 4 bands playing were Keb Mo, Bloodletting, Bonnie Raitt, and Tesla. Although it may not show much, it rained the entire day, and if anything, progressively got heavier throughout the night (like any decent rock band.)

Starting almost immediately after I arrived, I rushed over to watch a Keb Mo, pulling a twang or two from his acoustic. Fast past, dripping with blues, and keeping the crowd entertained, Keb Mo knew how to work the the audience, and his musical skills were hardly in bluff. Although there was not much energy in his set, his music was a great start to the festival, and was as up beat as blues comes.

Soon afterwards, we bit the bullet and caught the end of Bloodletting’s set. New age metal, with heavy System of A Down influences. It might do them good to pass it on to the bass player that Shavo Odadjian isn’t the only bassist on the planet. They really didn’t tickle my fancy in any way shape or form, so I moved on.

Ahhh, Bonnie Raitt. It just feels nice saying that. She was a warm breath of fresh air in the otherwise perpetual downpour … Literally. Part of the reason her show was so amazing to watch was due to the way she approached the audience, entirely, instead of focusing on one person at a time. It really felt like she was getting her message out to everyone at once. Her songs of love and understanding give that sense of sympathy a talk with the grandmother does, without the blanket of peace and love shared in the 70′s.

Lastly, I managed over to Teslas show, as the rain reached it’s eventual climax. Half Hairband, half … aerosmith with a kick. Tesla pulls out some originals, but also a large amount of popular covers. Usually this would be where I complained about that, but they pulled Black Sabbath, and Jimmy Hendrix off particularly well making it an enjoyable experience to hear. The best part of this set was their original, signs, which you’ve probably been fed via FM, and involved many changes to gear mid song.

Well, there really is no wrap up, we left the show immediately afterwards for a very wet, doze and swerve car ride home.

Hope to drop some more coverage off soon.

Common Grounds Music Festival 2006 – Day 1

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009


Originally Published August 03, 2006

YouTube Video URL :

Contributing Author – Diane Gomez

I don’t know, but I’ve been told, “If you keep on dancing, you never get old.”

Lansing, MI- What a lovely day! I have been waiting for this concert most of my life. As I am sure they rekindle the same for most people, Steve Miller Band takes me back! Many young adults today have grown up with Steve. We can recall our parents turning up the radio whenever “The Joker” came on, soon learning about tokers in our years following. Whether on commercials or the motion picture soundtrack for Space Jam, Steve Miller Band is simply part of our lives. Steve Miller Band is timeless. It brings families together. Seriously.

The Common Ground Festival, the venue I was able to catch Steve Miller Band at, was one of many different sites they’ve played at in the area; however, I can pretty much guarantee that none of the other venues provided such an array of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Opening this festival with SMB was an excellent idea, supported by the fact that the show was sold out. I had never been to Common Ground before, but I talked to several people who have attended for all seven years! I also talked to people who came all the way from Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario. This was one of those times when I actually wished I were from Lansing, because they definitely have something going on there. I mean… where have I been?

This crowd had a wonderful energy. Everyone just wanted to hang out and be friends. Ben and I had some time before the show started and wanted to get a bite to eat and explore some of Lansing’s sights. We ended up at Bonnie’s Place, after a friendly bum informed us where to go (always trust a friendly bum), and the place was stacked! It was the place to be before the shows started. Never mind the Burger King right across the street, because I support local businesses. Apparently, so did everyone else. Yay Lansing! It was a good ‘ol bar and grill with a beer tent set up for the occasion.

After finishing our fabulous burgers, we headed back to the festival for the opening act, the Huntunes. These guys were great, and had a following of energetic, supportive fans all sporting their band shirts. They were simply a down home group of guys who love what they do, and that energy was simply contagious. The audience was a little unsure at first, but by their last song they had a good majority of them dancing and singing along. I had never head of them before, but with their stage presence, they made me want to be part of da’ posse.

And then for Steve Miller Band!

We had a great group of people to hang out with during the show- a nice, appropriate census form family consisting of Mom, Dad, son and daughter. After sitting in the same place for so long and getting to know this family, Ben and I had a great time dancing and singing along with our new friends. It was a fantastic show, and Steve Miller Band played all of their greatest songs. Standing in front of that family is really what made me realize what this music is all about. The Mom kept reassuring the daughter that “Fly like an Eagle” would in fact be played, while Dad kept asking the son if he was actually having a good time. Despite the age difference, the daughter actually knew as many songs as mom and dad, and the son had to keep correcting his parents about the actual lyrics. But hey, a good time was had by all.

There were awesome guitar solos with lots of blues. Pretty light shows, and a nearly full moon. The older people were dancing along with the younger crowd and the audience basked in such a wild, open spirit! Of course, Lansing wasn’t going to let SMB get away so easily, topping off with a kick ass encore. I can’t wait to see who Common Ground books for next year. Keep an eye out for this one, and grab the chance to see Steve Miller Band whenever possible.

I’ll be back soon! Don’t you get the worrying!