Dark Horse Annual 4 Elf Party 2015

by | Dec 16, 2015 | Beer, Michigan, Music

Dark Horse rides again! The Dark Horse Annual 4 Elf Party was on Saturday, December 12, 2015, and it was a fantastic ride from start to finish.

4 ELF – 2015

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It was fast and furious ride to be sure. We arrived well after the beer sale had started and were greeted by these characters! Hopman and the Dark Horse Santa. I can’t think of a better welcoming committee.

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This year the party was outside in a large tent complete with beer stations, food and a stage for music that started at 6 pm. We’ve got a review of the bands for all of you who missed their performances.

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We were happy to find the sound guy when we arrived and to know he had everything well in hand. (We really need to get his real name!)

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Chuck took over a 1000 pictures and it took a while a recover from the party and for him to figure out which of these pictures were publishable. I couldn’t help noticing when I was sorting through the pictures the lack of cell phones. For the most part, party goers weren’t interacting with their phones, but with each other — laughing, talking, dancing. And yes, drinking Dark Horse beer too. I’d like to think it was 4 Elf magic that forced everyone to put down their phones for a few hours.

4 Elf Favorites

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There were so many great pictures it was hard to pick just a few. We have many more pictures in the gallery!


The music at Dark Horse’s 4 Elf party is always outstanding and this year they upped the ante with some unforgettable acts. Diversity was the key as each band had their own unique take on music from minstrel folk to Viking rock. The sound and lights were great. I was super happy to see real incandescent lights instead of those fucking bullshit LED lights that some clubs cheap out on. Oh, sorry, did I just say that out loud. Yes, I did! Ok, photographers rant over, as the lights were nice and bright!

Black Jake’s Revenge

Black Jake's Revenge - 4 Elf - 2015-11

First up on the stage was Black Jake’s Revenge, however Krampus is Coming to Town might be more accurate. Black Jake (from the fabulous Black Jake and the Carnies) took us all for wild and wholly musical journey on his magical banjo and kick drum backpack extravaganza.

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His music was fun and inspired, with an edgy bluegrass feel. Black Jake encouraged folks to show some love by throwing colored balls at him as he played. On a dare, Black Jake did an awesome cover of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton”. There was no shortage of love for Krampus as he definitely entertained us and kicked the party into high gear. You can see more pictures of Black Jake’s Revenge in the gallery.

Cotton Jackson

Cotton Jackson - 4 Elf - 2015-3

When you hear Cotton Jackson, you think, “damn this is a great party!” These guys jam some originals and some bad to the bone covers. People were up front jamming, dancing and enjoying great tunes with great beer (and crazy ass food). Cotton Jackson makes you feel like the party is all about you as they keep the mood light and the tunes full bore with rock and roll.

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In some ways, Cotton Jackson makes you think of all the great garage, basement, and field parties you loved. Their music is perfect for hanging out with friends and having a good time. While I love everything about these guys, highlights were their covers of Judas Priest and Van Halen. Get down to Columbus, OH (yeah, get over it Michiganders) and check these guys out! You can see more of Cotton Jackson in the gallery.

Brother Adams

Brother Adams - 4 Elf - 2015-1

When Brother Adams started playing we all just wanted to bop around and dance. Their music puts a smile on everyone’s face. The music is uplifting with a jazzy swing. Sort of like a demented version of Django Reinhart meets Johnny Cash. There is an edge to the music, but instead of cutting it is more about buttering your toast.

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Beers were held high for a toast and hips were swinging as Brother Adams kept us all feeling warm and happy inside. It was either the music or the Bourbon Rum Plead The 5th doing the warming. Either way it really didn’t matter as this energetic band was a big hit with the 4 Elf party goers. Be sure to go get your funky, jazzy, punk fix with the fellas in Brother Adams. Stop by the gallery for more pictures of the band.

The Tosspints

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My buddy Jay Green from Tri-City Brewing was at the 4 Elf party and told me “Man, I love the Tosspints, wait till you hear them”. I’d heard the name of the band and I was really looking forward to checking them out live. I love a good set of Celtic infused punk rock. The Tosspints did not disappoint. Their music pops with snappy drums, driving bass, and pleasantly aggressive vocals.

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The Tosspints were every bit as good as Jay said they were. They mixed in drinking songs with songs of battle and the soldier’s plight. By this point in the night, I was hooting and hollering along with the band. The Tosspints got the party rocking with their feisty music. Throw back a pint or two with your friends and enjoy the Tosspints. Be sure to check into the gallery for more pictures.

Battle Axe

Battle Axe - 4 Elf - 2015-7

Dressed in their finest Viking attire, the fine men of Battle Axe came to pleasure us with heroic songs of horse fighting and swording. If Clutch, Kyuss, and The Shrine started wearing horned helmets and animal skins, then they would approach the awesomeness of Battle Ax. Battle Axe raged with the blood of Odin.

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The music was heavy and loud. It was amazingly loud and the die hard 4 Elf party goers up front made the most of it. Within a few tunes, a mosh pit got started and kept going throughout Battle Axe’s set.

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I got a few pictures of the fun and then gave the camera bag to Brenda so that I could join in the action. Thankfully, the young bucks took it easy on this old man. However, the next day I did find a series of bruises and my neck was sore. I’m hoping that Battle Axe comes back to Dark Horse for more thunder of Thor festivities. Drop by the gallery for more pictures.

Time To Go Home

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With our ears ringing, we gave Go Dad a call and he was outside with a couple of vans taking people back to the hotels. We had a fantastic time and can’t thank our friends at Dark Horse enough for hosting an outstanding party. They put a lot of work into making each event special and we really appreciate it.

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  1. How do I get two photos from the Dark Horse 4 elf party? Photos 129 and 139.

    • Hi Doug – we’ll get in touch via email

    • Hey Doug – can you send an email to chuck@lifeinmichigan.com and I can work with you to get them

  2. In reference to the “caption” on picture four above: “We were happy to find the sound guy when we arrived and to know he had everything well in hand. (We really need to get his real name!)”. Eric Schnaitman is his name (guy on the left in the picture).

    • Excellent!! We see him at the events. Sorry Eric for not having your name firmly in our heads!


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