I usually don’t do this here but after Saturday’s show at the Crofoot in Pontiac celebrating Fusion Shows’ 5th anniversary with La Dispute, Cheap Girls, Into It. Over It, The Swellers, Tiger! Tiger! and more, I’m still riding the energetic, memorable and passionate wave everyone who was there was on. I thought I’d share my thoughts on it and what it meant to me and what it means to Michigan music.

Well, that was one hell of a show. Getting to see Tiger! Tiger!, Cheap Girls, The Swellers and Into It. Over It back-to-back is probably something I won’t ever get the chance to see again. It was an incredible experience. I had been dying to see IIOI with the full band ever since I saw the announcement for this show. Carpooling with a few friends was a great way to pass the time there and back.

When my friends and I got to the Crofoot, we could hear Tiger! Tiger! starting and were anxious to get in. Once in, I ran upstairs to catch the rest of their set. Ending with (what I would later learn) was the song Hayford, it has become my favorite song of their’s. It’s some of the most emotional lyrics I’ve ever heard. It resonates with me greatly. Hearing a room full of kids scream back the lyrics to the band at the end was a chilling moment.

Cheap Girls on the main stage.

Cheap Girls played, in my opinion, their best set of songs I’ve heard by them. Playing all their hits. No BS. A Lesser Rate, No One to Blame and even the obscure Pure Hate was played. Great to see those guys again and am excited for their future.

The Swellers live on the main stage. Photo by me.

Next was The Swellers. I had caught the tail-end of their set at Bledfest and after hearing The Best I Ever Had at that show, I was hooked and needed to see them again. The crowd was stoked for every bit of their set and even though there were more than a few songs I didn’t know (still have to dig into their back catalog), I loved hearing The Best I Ever Had again. I definitely sang along to that. I also picked up their new EP “Running out of Places to Go” and a t-shirt.

Into It. Over It. on the main stage.

Into It. Over It. was the band I came to see. Evan and crew rocked the hell out of their set, putting in an energy that matched the crowd’s. It was neat for all of us to see the (potentially) last full band show with the Stay Ahead of the Weather lineup. I enjoyed the stage banter by Evan and loved the moment where a fan asked for a particular SAOTW song and almost got to sing it. Wish he had. After their set, I chatted with Evan a little bit and picked up a shirt, the 12 Towns CD and the (supposedly) 2nd-to-last copy ever of the 4-LP “52 Weeks” set. That is such a beautiful piece of art, not just music. The drawings, the lyrics, the red vinyl. That’s why I love collecting records.

Cover of Into It. Over It’s 52 Weeks 4-LP booklet. Photo by me.

Anyway, enough of my personal ramblings about my purchases and experiences.

Although I’m still on the high of an excellent show, I think Nate and crew have proven they are the best promoters in  the country. Bold statement, yes. But Michigan has always been known as a state which loves live music and Fusion Shows have tapped into that and are doing the best work of bringing the best shows possible to our state. With a Fusion Show,  I never forget that the show’s quality will be the best it can be and the group are doing their best to make that their end goal. They’ve succeeded and will continue to do so, moving off of this excellent show into new, different and exciting territory.

Fusion Shows, all of my friends in bands (and non-band friends too) makes me proud to be a Michigander. Personally, they’re a part of my experience growing up in Michigan as much as where I’m from or my family. I’m grateful I live in a state where music is so greatly appreciated and loved.

I’m looking forward to not only what Fusion Shows have in store for us but what the rest of Michigan’s great musicians, record labels and venues have in store for us too.

With that: go out and support bands. Go to shows, buy their merch, talk with bands after their sets and get to know them. They’re people too. Great people who deserve every bit of everything they’ve ever earned. This philosophy is why LMTV exists and why I do what I do. I hope you’ll have the same passion as me and countless others.