Restoring, re-loving live music: A night at the Tip Top

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Nine months after a band last played the stage at Grand Rapids’ Tip Top Deluxe with a live audience on hand, The Moonrays brought their surf-rock ‘mojo’ to the West Side venue Friday. Local Spins has the photos.

Surf-Rocking Again: Fitz Green and The Moonrays on the Tip Top stage. (Photo/Jamie Geysbeek)

 

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Bassist Jim Braun of The Moonrays called it “very fitting” that the band’s first gig in a year was at Grand Rapids’ Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill.

One of the band’s favorite venues reopened Friday for live music — amid limited capacity under the state’s COVID rules — for the first time since a brief re-start last June.

A robust, sold-out turnout of happy fans eagerly embraced the West Michigan group’s early evening romp through surf-rock faves. (Some also embraced masks even at their tables; others did not.)

After they heartily cheered the “welcome back” announcement, The Moonrays wasted little time giving them more reason to applaud.

The Fans: Welcoming the return of live music. (Photo/Jamie Geysbeek)

And that’s just the cozy West Side venue’s opening volley of live music this weekend. Young, up-and-coming old-school country artist Myron Elkins & The Dying Breed will fire up the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“We are beyond excited to be playing back at Tip Top. It’s one of the most unique places we have played,” Elkins told Local Spins. “One night it can be a honky-tonk, the next it can be a bluegrass hootenanny, and the next a blues lounge. That place has something that most venues are missing: mojo.”

Otsego’s Elkins said fans can expect “a funky, country folk-rock sound” for Saturday night’s performance. Tickets for the 21-and-older show are $5 and available online here. The Luke Lenhart Band will open Saturday night’s show.

Elkins and his bandmates, by the way, plan to record a full-length studio album in May.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Moonrays at Tip Top Deluxe
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek

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