Peninsular Place

The Magazine

May 30, 2013

Sonic Lunch | New Menu, Same Great Taste

Sonic Lunch

Serendipity is a beautiful thing, dear readers. So you can imagine my delight when looking hungrily over this year’s Sonic Lunch lineup that I saw Martha Reeves and the Vandellas would be opening the season. Their monster hit “Dancing in the Street” is possibly the best way to sum up the Sonic Lunch experience. But this little coincidence is only the first in a long list of delights in store for us at Sonic Lunch this year. Since 2008, the event has grown under the loving cultivation of Matthew Altruda and the Bank of Ann Arbor. Last year reached dizzying new heights, capped by a packed house at the Michigan Theatre for Mayer Hawthorne’s set. This year sees the return of some familiar faces, as well as some newbies and a wide range of styles.

Again, we open with rock and roll hall of famer Martha Reeves and her Vandellas, who I assume are lady vandals, on June 6 at noon (like every show) for free (again, like every show in the series). While nearly all of the Sonic Lunch shows take place in the Liberty Plaza, there are a few lately that have necessitated, because of the magnitude of the act, a spillover into the nearby Michigan Theatre. Hawthorne was one such, and, this year, one of the most surprising acts on the bill will be taking over the theatre. Darren Criss (yeah that guy from Glee!) will be performing with Theo Katzman opening the show. While rather odd at first blush, we must remember that Criss, before becoming a superstar heartthrob, was a U of M grad and an accomplished singer/songwriter.

Next in line on June 20 are rising stars and iSPY cover-kids Family of the Year. The following week’s act is sure to have all the hipster’s salivating when Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. pillages the plaza at Liberty Square. Their performance last year was one of the highlights of the season. They’ll bring their bubble machine and equally bubbly beats and get the whole crowd crazy. July 11 sees a new face on the plaza with the entrance of Luke Winslow-King. He immigrated from the mitten to New Orleans and there he honed his mix of “jazz, Delta blues, folk and hints of gospel” opening for legends like Taj Mahal and fellow Michigander Jack White.

The rest of July bleeds into August heat with such sweltering acts as Brett Dennen and Dan Henig, the always effervescent Ragbirds, and the screamin’ blues of Laith al Saadi. Midway through August the foot stompin’, whiskey drenched ruckus that is Greensky Bluegrass will take over. Nashville’s Kopecky Family Band is up next. Closing out the season on August 28 will be local staple George Bedard and his Kingpins. The entire schedule and links to music by each artist is available on the Sonic Lunch website.

About the Author

Jasmine Zweifler

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