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Where to go and who to meet: Live entertainment in the Lansing area

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“I started out in friendships. I kind of started playing music for people who wanted to party,” said Ronan McLaughlin, the bar’s touring DJ. Note to DJ. Don’t regret it. I even have my own day since they let me do my own thing. I started a country night there.

McLaughlin mixed music alone in his apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he can work in some of the most popular bars in East He Lansing and has people dancing everywhere from Harper’s to he PT O’Malley’s.

“New Year’s Day passed and it worked,” McLaughlin said. I didn’t expect so many people to pull up[to a country night]. Probably over 2,000 people gathered on the first night. It was exactly like an agricultural school. There are a lot of people[at school]who are tied to the rural side. ”

McLaughlin said game days at the PT’s are a favorite event for DJs because they can play for students and their parents. PT’s have been around since his father started college, allowing him to play music for a more diverse audience than the usual night club scene at Harper’s.

“I consider myself a very open-form person, so I always try to see how many people respond to the genres I play,” said McLaughlin. sound cloud. There are a lot of people who don’t like it, so I’m not very inclined to roll with it. ”

McLaughlin has revealed the perfect song to play at any event. “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!” on Game Day. Midnight ‘Dixieland Delight’ and country nights.

McLaughlin said live music changes the atmosphere of the bar.

“I think live DJs are better than pre-recorded soundtracks because I see people wanting to get on the rhythm of the genre,” said McLaughlin. there. That’s really cool…because you’re there to have fun. You are not there just for work. ”

Eaglemonk Pub and Brewery

The Eaglemonk Pub and Brewery hosts outdoor and indoor shows throughout the year. This allows individuals and bands to play music from rock and roll to singer-songwriters.

The first Wednesday of the month attracts the most crowds, allowing storytellers to share new music using open mics. The pub also hosts his band on repeat, which draws from the masses, with popular bands playing the same week each month.

EagleMonk’s Sonia Buonodono said live music is very popular in the local community.

“Some of[the lure to live music]probably has something to do with the really strong band directors in high school and Michigan State University music programs,” Buonodono said.

The brewery’s beer garden sets it apart from other venues, but Buonodono also believes the real attraction lies in its creativity.

“What sets us apart is that it’s all original music in the public domain,” said Buonodono. “No one plays covers.”

avenue cafe

Nicholas Richard, a bartender and booker, said The Avenue Café adorns a “just come as you are” sentiment. He describes it as a hybrid of restaurant, pinball he bar and music venue.

“When we say, ‘Come on,’ we feel like a very diverse group of people,” said Richard. Punk rockers and a very mixed crowd. Before 9 o’clock the family comes, eats and has the kids play games, then after 9 o’clock he can be quite noisy like dive his bar. ”

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Richard explained that the bar really does it all. Every Monday is a very popular karaoke night for students. However, on weekends the bar becomes a concert venue.

“We have indie rock, MSU electronic and hip-hop college bands,” said Richard. We curate the night.

A small band tour has allowed The Avenue Cafe to return to its live music swing after hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Richard said he’s feeling the positive energy returning that he loves bartending.

Richard says the real appeal of this venue is that most of the shows are free, making it an affordable and free experience of the music that Michigan has housed for decades.

“East Lansing used to be where EDM played,” said Richard. We have probably the coolest music from the coastal scene.


Even away from live music, communities can find entertainment in quirky and odd places, such as local bookstores.

“Weekly events include game night. On Monday, someone will lead the dungeon (and) dragons,” said owner Matt Grossman. On Wine Wednesdays there is an extra charge for wine flights… On Thursdays there are ‘trust us’ wine flights where you can guess which wine varietal you are drinking… On Fridays there is an educator discount.

There are plenty of social events unique to the area, such as monthly book clubs and author events.

Hooked hosts a “Boozy Book Fair” modeled after the Scholastic Book Fair.

“We will be offering a discounted volume of book displays and specials on drinks so people can relive the book fair as adults,” Grossman said.

Hooked also hosts writing groups where local and experienced writers discuss their travels with guests. Yoga groups can also rent the patio to host yoga classes. Wine on Wednesday is the most popular event, but coffee tasting and flights are the most popular among students.

“There’s always work to be done,” Grossman said.


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