BY MIKE SHALER | Go Venue Magazine
August 28th 2021 was a long time coming; this was the opening weekend at the world-famous Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan with headliner Sponge after nearly a year and a half of being shut down due to the pandemic. With these doors open, it feels a lot more like things are getting back to normal or a new normal, I’m just glad to have live music back in my life.
Kicking off the show was Inkless, a high energy rock band out of Detroit, MI. Inkless had the crowd revving as we were all eager to enjoy live rock and roll again. Keeping the vibe going was another Detroit band, Spiral Crush. For 20 years now the Smail brothers, Scott and Shaun have been rocking the scene. With new bassist Dennis Smith on board, they brought that Detroit rock in full force for the fans to enjoy.
Keeping up with the theme of Detroit rock, Sponge made their much-anticipated return to the stage to a packed house. Busting into their hit “Wax Ecstatic”, the crowd quickly got into the groove as lead singer Vinnie Dombroski led the way through tons of great songs, “Molly (16 Candles)”, “Rainin’”, “Have You Seen Mary”, “Plowed” and some new material, “Stitch”, as the band has a new album out called Lavatorium.
With Tim Patalan on bass, Andy Patalan on guitar and backing vocals, Kyle Neely on guitar and backing vocals and latest addition on drums, Dave Coughlin, these guys were having a great time on stage rocking out and engaging with the crowd. There was even a special appearance on bass guitar with former member Tim Krukowski.
A much-needed break from the daily grind of life, a live concert with Sponge was just what the doctor ordered. I hope music fans embrace the new opportunity to enjoy live music once again, as it’s important to have fun in life and live music is key to that.