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Best Live Vocal Performance in Grand Rapids (This Year)

This year has rocked (we’re not kidding). With Nickelback, Opeth, Godsmack, and Rob Zombie being just a few of the bands that have slammed down in Michigan so far this early summer season, we’re not sure how things are going to get any better. And as our brains cells were being fried by guitar waves and head banging, we happened upon the question that possessed the power to change the rest of our lives: sure each band rocked, but which one rocked the MOST?

(See those caps? Yeah, it means we’re serious.)

After spending a sleepless week pacing circles in our offices, we finally understood how to successfully answer this question impartially (our statistics teachers would be proud). That is, in order to fully understand which band is the ultimate live concert champion of Michigan, we depend entirely on your feedback.

So here it is, part 1 of 4 of our Best Live Performance in Grand Rapids. First up are the vocalists. We present to you 17 finely tuned machines, each with a voice that sends the hairs on the back of our necks into a fever of rock. *********


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Chad Kroeger (Nickelback)


 
 

Born on November 15, 1974 in Hanna, Alberta, Canada, Kroeger taught himself to play guitar when he was 13. During the 90's, he toured in a cover band that included his friend Ryan Peake and his older half-brother Mike Kroeger until the band eventually broke apart. Afterwards, Kroeger introduced demos to a studio which led to him and his band gaining success in Canada before becoming introduced to the United States.

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Nickelback played at the Van Andel Arena on April 12th, 2012.

 
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Gavin Rossdale (Bush)

 
 

Gavin Rossdale was born in London, England on October 30, 1967, and didn't say his first word until he was four years old. Certainly not a setback for the talented vocalist, Rossdale formed a band in his teens which brought about minor success and opportunity. As did the second band he formed. Third try is the charm, of course, and Rossdale discovered fame with his talented voice, band mates, and knew guitar skills.

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Bush played at the Van Andel Arena on April 12, 2012.

 
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Getty Images

Shaun Morgan (Seether)

 
 

Shaun Morgan and his band mates hail from Johannesburg, South Africa, where Morgan was born on December 21, 1978. Stating that Kurt Cobain and Tool's Maynard James Keenan are two of Morgan's chief influences, Morgan also drives his lyrics to challenge personal trials and frustrations he's endured.

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Seether played at the Van Andel Arena on April 12, 2012.

 

Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth)

 
 

Originally a vocalist for Eurption, Mickael Åkerfeldt joined Opeth as the bassist, flexing his guitar talent. When David Isberg (Opeth's former lead vocalist) left the band, Åkerfeldt replaced him as vocals. And according to his personal bio on the Opeth official website, Åkerfeldt owns two cats, which is pretty damn awesome. Åkerfeldt was born on April 17 1974.

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Opeth played at The Intersection on April 14th 2012.

 
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Brent Hinds (Mastodon)

 
 

Brent Hinds shredded the banjo in his home town of Pelham, Alabama, and then took those skills to a guitar which lead to the style he plays today in Mastodon. Not limiting himself to just one venue, however, Hinds is also involved with Friend Without a Face, acting as the lead vocalist and guitarist.

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Mastodon played at the Intersection on April 14th 2012.

 
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Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie)

 
 

Ben Gibbard was born in Washington on born August 11, 1976, and had a passion for music since he was young. Saying that Jack Kerouac was one of his major influences, Gibbard remains conscious of the music he writes and has the conviction to create lyrics that will catch his audience's attention.

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Death Cab for Cutie played at Calvin College on April 14, 2012.

 
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Eric Nally (Foxy Shazam)

 
 

Eric Nally grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and found in influence from the city. Although he admits his personal life varies greatly from his musical personality, Nally works to use his history to influence his songs... and "foxy shazam" may or may not mean cool shoes, although we hope it does.

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Foxy Shazam played at The Orbit Room on April 29, 2012.

 
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Tyler Connolly (Theory of a Deadman)

 
 

Born in North Delta, British Columbia, Canada, Tyler Connolly and his band mates grew up within blocks of each other. After taking guitar lessons, Connolly started the band with a fellow classmate and friend before signing a record deal when Nickelback's Chad Kroeger listened to their demo tape. Connolly has also performed as a guitarist for Kroeger.

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Theory of a Deadman played at The Orbit Room on May 1, 2012.

 
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Sully Erna (Godsmack)

 
 

Although Sully Erna is known for his voice and songwriting from Godsmack, this artist began his music career at the age of 3 as a drummer (we're sure he kicked a*s). Born and raised in Boston Massachusetts, Sully Erna has achieved success to the sum of 15 million Godsmack albums sold world wide. Recently, he has debuted a solo album titled Avalon.

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Godsmack played at the Kellog Arena in Battle Creek on May 9, 2012.

 
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Aaron Lewis (Staind)

 
 

Born in Springfield, Vermont, Aaron Lewis found inspiration for some of his song writing from his childhood, where he was exposed to country music and various experiences he'd later turn into songs. In 1996, Lewis recorded his first album with Staind and then began his solo career in 2011, exploring the music genre.

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Staind played at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

 
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Lzzy Hale (Halestorm)

 
 

Coming from Pennsylvania, Izzy Hale has been an actively involved with music since the age of 13, where she sang vocals at various events. Later learning both guitar and piano, Izzy uses her talents in an effort to challenge the rock genre. Some of her listed influences include bands such as Heart, Metallica, Sevendust, and Alice in Chains.

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Halestorm played at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek on May 9, 2012.

 
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YouTube

Michael Poulsen (Volbeat)

 
 

Hoping to continue the success of Dominus (while also trying to go in a new direction), Michael Poulsen created Volbeat in 2001. Admittedly a big Elvis fan, Poulsen hoped to move away from straight heavy metal with Volbeat, and ultimately found success. Michael Poulsen was born on born April 1, 1975 and grew up in Ringsted, Denmark.

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Volbeat played at Intersection on May 15, 2012.

 
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Rob Zombie (Rob Zombie)

 
 

Robert Wolfgang Zombie, aka Rob Zombie originally gained fame with White Zombie, Zombie began his solo career with the debut of Hellbilly Deluxe. Since then, Zombie has continued creating albums while also exploring other creative venues, such as directing films, designing a Halloween maze for Universal Studios, and authoring a few comics...suggesting that Zombie may be the heavy metal king of multitasking.

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Rob Zombie played with Megadeth on May 18, 2012.

 
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Tom Gabel (Against Me!)

 
 

Around the time that Tom Gabel was 17, Gabel formed Against Me! and performed solo in Gainesville, Florida. Eventually being joined by three other musicians, Gabel continued writing songs that maintained an acoustic sound until New Wave, the first album without any acoustic tracks. Tom Gabel was born on November 8, 1980.

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Against Me! will be playing on June 6, 2012.

 
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YouTube

Matt Walst (My Darkest Days)

 
 

Matt Walst is originally from Norwood, Ontario, and formed My Darkest Days in 2005 rather than joining Brad Walst (his older brother), and playing in his band. Like other artists, Matt Walst found success after receiving recognition from Nickelback, whom he considered one of his influences. Walst's other influences included Nirvana and A Perfect Circle.

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My Darkest Days played at the Van Andel Arena on April 12, 2012.

 
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Myles Kennedy (Slash)

 
 

Acting as the feature vocalist for Slash, Myles Kennedy is also known for his lead vocals in Alter Bridge. Born on November 27, 1969 in Washington, Kennedy states that some of his influences included Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder, and after performing with other hands he joined Slash when the guitarist began his solo career.

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Slash played at The Orbit Room on May 17, 2012.

 
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Getty Images

Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

 
 

Eventually moving to California to live with his father, Kiedis discovered an interest in music during his high school career, where he formed a band with fellow classmates and friends. Eventually, this group would become the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but only after Kiedis spent some time testing out an acting career. Anthony Kiedis was born on Nov. 1, 1962, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers played at the Van Andel Arena on May 26, 2012.

 

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