‘Comeback Road’ video collection spotlights shuttered venues

‘Comeback Road’ video series spotlights shuttered venues

A West Michigan filmmaker is linking up with Native Spins to attract consideration to the plight of some beloved dwell music sizzling spots amid a pandemic that’s upended the business. Watch the video trailer.

Giving a Voice to Venues: The “Comeback Road” video collection kicks off this week.



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Michael Whitenack has lengthy had a love affair with basic music venues – nightclubs, bars and theaters which have cultivated a particular relationship with followers and bands due to their distinctive and charming milieu.

After a 30-year historical past within the music enterprise, together with stints with RCA, Island Information and Walt Disney Information, Whitenack determined in retirement a couple of years in the past to create a TV/video collection focusing consideration on these beloved locations throughout the nation the place music comes alive.

And when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered these companies early this yr, the West Michigan director and producer realized it was a super time to shine a brighter highlight on the plight of those treasured venues.

Michael Whitenack

That’s how “Comeback Road” was born: a video collection showcasing West Michigan music venues devastated by the pandemic and premiering solely at Native Spins over the subsequent a number of weeks.

“The goal of ‘Comeback Road’ is to enlighten the community of live music fans about the current plight of area music venues. With everything going on I felt it was important to try and break through the noise and put these venues front and center at a time when they need all the love we can give them,” mentioned Whitenack, who serves as director and interviewer for the collection.

“I think true fans of live music can relate to the vital role these places play enriching the culture of the cities where they’re located. If there was ever a time to come to their aid, this is it.”

Native Spins provides a teaser preview of the collection right this moment, with the primary official episode spotlighting The Pyramid Scheme debuting at Native Spins on Thursday. Tip Prime Deluxe Bar & Grill, The Intersection, St. Cecilia Music Heart and different venues might be featured in future weeks. It’s a salient challenge drawing consideration to music companies dealing with a vital juncture and unprecedented challenges.


“As the venues we had been tracking started closing their doors, It became clear that this was going to have a huge impact on live music and the future of venues and artists who depend on each other for their livelihoods, all across the board,” Whitenack mentioned.

“Besides the fact these places were being forced to close, there’s no definitive time when they’ll be reopening. Based on these events, we decided to address the reality of the difficult place these venues are currently in through no fault of their own. ‘Destination Live Music: Comeback Road’ is a series that gives a voice to owners and operators of local live music venues in our area.”

Episode No. 1: Tami VandenBerg and The Pyramid Scheme are featured this coming Thursday.

For every phase, Whitenack and his crew – David Darling on manufacturing and modifying, Kari Cohen as producer – will concentrate on a particular venue, with the episode damaged into three components: the background story, the present standing and the way issues look going ahead.

“It was also important for us to include different ways music fans can help these places should they choose to,” Whitenack mentioned. “Each interview was set up to give these folks an opportunity to offer a firsthand account of what they’re going through in the midst of a world crisis. … People will also hear future predictions on what lays ahead for these places.”

These interviewed on the numerous venues additionally mirror on how the brand new Nationwide Unbiased Venue Affiliation has advocated and lobbied for federal and state monetary help to maintain unbiased live performance halls afloat.

Throughout his chats with these venue managers, Whitenack has gotten insights into their ardour and their predicament.

They’re all “committed to delivering great customer experiences, passionate about the music they’re involved with, proud of the businesses they’ve built up and dedicated to getting through these difficult times. I also witnessed how they’re hurting; one can only imagine how it would feel to be operating a thriving business and then to suddenly have the rug pulled out from you.”

VIDEO: “Comeback Road” Trailer

Copyright 2020, Spins on Music LLC

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