Western Herald – Local Music Watch: Pleasant Drive party at Papa Pete’s

Local Music Watch: Pleasant Drive party at Papa Pete’s

Courtesy Photo

Stan Sulewski
A&E Reporter

Papa Pete’s was the place to be Saturday night as Kalamazoo’s own Pleasant Drive took the stage, opening up for Chicago-based experimentalists, Indigo Sun.

Pleasant Drive, a local four-piece band, is made up of vocalist/guitarist Jason Curtis, bassist Evan Kincaid, drummer Matt Curtis and Cris Kauffman on the keyboards and auxiliary percussion. The band was started by brothers Jason and Matt Curtis, but has been growing in popularity ever since.

“I really like them because they’re just so jam-tronic,” said Stace Waters, a Papa Pete’s patron and Pleasant Drive enthusiast. “They play for you to dance. I come see them all the time.”

Pleasant Drive gains their influences from different aspects of funk, jam, punk and rock music, creating a sound that is entirely their own, a sound dubbed on their Facebook page as “Punkfunky Jamrock.” The band brings about the same kind of musical diversity that Kalamazoo has become known for over the years. And with a street sign set up on stage bearing the name of the band, there was a real sense of hometown pride in the air during Pleasant Drive’s set on Saturday night.

“We’ve been around for about two years now,” said Kincaid. “We just started hitting more music venues over the past year though. Our goal is to just have a really good live set, and we’re just trying to perfect the art.”

The band is definitely getting close to achieving that goal, something that was evident after they blew the doors off their hinges at Saturday night’s performance. With the crowd singing and dancing along to their unique beat, it is no wonder why Pleasant Drive is a local favorite.

“What we want is to get the crowd moving,” said Kauffman. “If people aren’t up and moving around, we aren’t doing something right.”

Not only does the band have a friendly, upbeat stage presence, they are also welcoming and eager to hang out with their audience and promote the other bands on the bill.

“I’m not just trying to talk up my own band and get our name out there,” said Kincaid. “There are so many good local bands in Kalamazoo and they all need attention, and there are so many places here to do it. Kalamazoo has an awesome local music scene.”

Pleasant Drive will play Bell’s Brewery in downtown Kalamazoo on March 2. So if you want to dance, sing and hang out with one of Kalamazoo’s funkiest bands, you definitely won’t want to miss these shows. Check out their Facebook page if you need any more convincing.

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