Going to concerts is by far one of the best ways to experience what a band is really like. On stage they will be giving it their all and can show the audience what music really means to them. Some bands play until the very end, saying little and never stopping. Others enjoy mixing it up with some jokes and banter while they switch songs. Regardless of what band you’re seeing the venue they are in can enhance the experience even more. So without any further adieu here are some of the best concert halls, bars, and stages in Michigan to check out your favorite bands.
The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor
Being a local favorite of mine has nothing to do for this venue being on this list, mostly. Tucked between a dance club and a thrift store, all while being overshadowed by a large apartment building, it is quite possible to miss the building. Once you do find it and get inside there is a walkway, past the fully stocked bar, that leads to a large dance floor with stools on either side for the lucky few that can get them. Further down is the raised stage for the band. The venue plays bands of all sizes and genres going from a small hip hop band one night to playing a well-known bluegrass band later in the week. When the band gets ready and the fans walk in, it becomes a deeply intimate affair with little room to move on the floor, but as soon as the band starts playing and the audience gets going it’s almost impossible not to get dragged in.
The Fox Theater, Detroit
Not only does this fine theater do concerts but they have shows of all types, including plays, musicals, and many others. This is the kind of place where you can expect big name bands to play at and fill up every seat in the house. Musicians like Jack White, The Barenaked Ladies, and Motley Crue have all made their marks here. With two levels of seating the cheap seats will put you way back from the stage, but the amount of money required to get in front may break a few college student banks. Minus a dance floor and with such an ornate lobby and interior the venue is used to folks a little higher on the social ladder. Of course anyone can buy a ticket and it’s nice to get out there and enjoy a show in a nice comfy seat from time to time.
The Magic Stick, Detroit
A dive bar sitting on top of a bowling alley connected to a pizza shop and another stage all together. Feel like playing pool while the band sets up? They got that. Want to talk to the band over a few beers and a couple rounds of bowling? They got that. Think the floor might break as the entire audience is going crazy? They got that too. The Magic Stick may not house the biggest names, but the ones they do shouldn’t forget performing here.
Crofoot Ballroom/Pike Room, Pontiac
The Crofoot is a large room with a walkway surrounding the main floor. Audience members can either go wild in front of the stage at ground level, or get above the masses and check them out from up high. On this stage the more popular and well known bands will show up and perform a set or two. Upstairs in the Pike Room has much less room for moving around, but that can make for a much more personal experience. They’ve got a bar and, if they cleared the tables and chairs, can allow for the audience to get up close and personal to the band playing.
Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
One part music venue, one part bar, one part arcade. In one section of this rock house is not only the bar but a whole section filled with pinball machines. Not only is the bar housed with the usual drinks and liquors, but it also has a number of beers from the area. Hosting musicians from all over, as well as many locals, the Scheme has a unique attitude full of dancing and partying.
Written by Jacob Conflitti