Back for another showcase of the amazing rock, punk, alternative, and folk music in Michigan is the Corktown Music Fest 2023 in Detroit.
Corktown Music Fest 2023
When I saw the announcement from Scott Boatwright (founder, organizer, and awesome local music supporter) for Corktown Music Fest 2023, I marked my calendar. Last year’s inauguration of the festival was fantastic. The two-day festival showcases the outstanding music we have in Michigan. Covering a wide spectrum of styles, the festival includes everything from punk to folk with a splash of country and a big helping of rock.
In addition to showing off the pantload of talent in the area, Corktown Music Fest highlights some of the excellent music venues in the area. For Corktown Music Fest 2023, you could check out Lager House (which I will always think of as PJ’s), Gaelic League Irish American Club of Detroit (Friday only), Nancy Whiskey’s, 2000 Brooklyn, and Batch Brewing (easily one of the best breweries in the state).
On top of being an incredible festival of music, Corktown Music Festival is also a fundraiser for 4 Paws 1 Heart which provides medical services to abandoned pets and assists with finding them, new families. Making the festival possible are the venues and the sponsors, which include Iconic Tattoo and Body Piercing, Klever Design, Human Fly Radio, 2 Dogs Hot Sauce, and Village Vinyl (a must-visit record store in Warren).
Saturday at 2000 Brooklyn for the Corktown Music Fest 2023
I could only make it to the Saturday show of Corktown Music Fest 2023. This worked in my favor as a snowstorm made Friday night a mess, yet many hardy local music fans and bands made it out. Last year, I tried to hit all the venues and ended up wasting a lot of time driving and parking. I decided to stick with one venue this time. Now the hard part was figuring out which venue. Both Batch Brewing and 2000 Brooklyn were new this year, so they made the top of the list. Batch Brewing is incredible, and the thought of enjoying their awesome food and beer during a show had a mighty pull. In the end, it came down to the number of new bands I could check out. Since 2000 Brooklyn was running two stages, I decided to go there. However, I must confess that getting to hear the Warhorses was a big part of that decision. I love that band!
If you are like me, you may have read “2000 Brooklyn” and thought, “Where the hell is this place?”. It turns out that 2000 Brooklyn is a new event space right behind the Lager House). They had a large room with spots for bands in each of the back corners. Up front was an excellent bar with Cerveza Delray from Brew Detroit on tap. Huge score!
Also up front were a number of vendors supporting the Corktown Music Fest 2023 and showing off their goods:
- Village Vinyl – Did I mention they are one of the best record shops in the state!
- Beth Amber Art – Super cool handmade collage art
- 2 Dogs Hot Sauce – The pineapple chipotle is super
- Gregg M Art – Cool looking posters and such
- KO Prints Detroit – Karen was creating festival shirts on the spot!
The 2000 Brooklyn venue is available for rental. If you are looking for event space in the heart of Corktown, check out this place.
Cornucopia of Music: Corktown Music Fest 2023
Opening up Corktown Music Fest 2023 at 2000 Brooklyn was the psychedelic kaleidoscope of sound called Sonic Smut. In the hard rocking guitar driven vein of the MC5, Blue Cheer, and Cactus, this band has it going on in a big way. Their rendition of the Vanilla Fudge cover of “Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes was off the chart. I can’t wait to check this band out again.
Kate Hinote Trio
You may think an acoustic trio following a hard hitting rock band would not work. You would be wrong, in my opinion. The Kate Hinote Trio’s set exploded with emotion. With the guitars providing both a rhythmic and harmonic foundation, the vocals and violin can soar in the vast expanse of melody that each of their songs provides. The Kate Hinote Trio don’t flinch from exposing their vulnerability and using it to create extremely powerful music. If you get a chance, experience this trio in the wild.
The Pink 50’s
I very much enjoyed The Pink 50’s “Steal Your T.V.” album and looked forward to checking them out live. They did not disappoint. The “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on” attitude comes through loud and clear. Their set was aggressive but in a fun way. The slightly sludgy punk rock of the Pink 50’s made for a smashing 30 minutes of music.
Angel of Mars
If you want to treat yourself to a cosmic ride on a stellar ship in a sludgy ocean of doom, then hitch a ride with Angel of Mars. Upon a burly rhythmic surface, this band builds mountains of power. Under the crushing weight of the band’s mighty grooves, the vocals shine. Tune in, turn on, and drop out with the mammoth riffs of Angel of Mars.
Paul Einhaus Arrest
Next up was the Paul Einhaus Arrest, a melodic mix of alt-rock meets singer-songwriter. Their music had a jingle-jangle that reminded me of The Pixies and Pavement, with the subject matter moving into Talking Heads territory—unassuming and inviting tunes with an air of intrigue.
Of House conjures up sonic clouds of wistful sound. Their set of original music hinted at bands such as The Church and Modern English with a little less attention to your shoes. Understated and melodic, Of House seeks the shores of infinity.
The Hourlies came ready to party with a psychedelic set of highly charged music featuring pyrotechnic guitars. They had everyone up front and in the fray. Clearly, the band was here to have a good time and give everyone in the room one hell of a show. The rock solid charging rhythms, gritty and soulful vocals, and blistering solos made for a very entertaining set. If you want to rock out and have a good time, check out The Hourlies.
Armed with the sound of thunder, the killing was easy for the Warhorses as they tore into their set at Corktown Music Fest 2023. Any hope of erasing the smile off my face was gone. Every time I witness the Warhorses live, their music inspires and captivates me further. Kristin and Nathan create pulsing, vibrant rhythms that are both seismic and sublime. EZ’s guitar rides a distortion wave that dances with feedback reminding me of Mick Ronson and Dave Gilmour. The passionate power and soaring energy of Mike’s vocals levitate worlds. Together, Warhorses create some of the best rock music in Michigan.
Running into a punk band with dynamic vocals, muscular guitars, and rock solid rhythm is awesome. Tiger Lily has all that and so much more. They performed a powerhouse set of captivating music.
And now, for something completely different, it was time for the delightfully danceable big band ska of Killer Diller. Fervent, infectious, and fun is what Killer Diller delivers. The horns, the rhythm, and the vocals all combine to create a vivacious soundscape that is irresistible. If you want to smile and have the time of your life, check out Killer Diller.
As Your Attorney
The wee hours of a festival can be tough, but As Your Attorney made the most of it. They played hard rock boarding on metal with crunchy melodic riffs and vocals. Their passion for music came through with strength and conviction.
Finishing up the night at Corktown Music Fest 2023 is the hardcore punk rock of Absentees. They came out swinging with punchy bass, crashing drums, and roaring guitars. You’ll dig this band if you dig the music of Minor Threat or The Circle Jerks.
Corktown Music Fest 2023 was a ton of fun. It was awesome to see a bunch of friendly faces while enjoying great Michigan music. We’ve got a lot more photos from the gig in our gallery.Please take a peek and let us know what you think. Leave a comment and show some love by sharing this post.
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