Located along Dort Highway in Flint, The Machine Shop has developed a reputation big enough to draw performances from the likes of Kid Rock and Aaron Lewis.
“We’re bigger than most (locals) probably realize,” says Kevin Zink, who opened the live music venue in 2002. “People fly in from all over to see their favorite artists play here.”
Each year, The Machine Shop books about 150 shows ranging from local bands to some of the biggest names in rock and country — names like Blake Shelton, Eric Church and Scott Wieland (the former frontman of the Stone Temple Pilots).
Zink attributes the venue’s success to the “blue collar, Flint vibe that permeates through here” and the loud, fun crowds that frequent the establishment.
It’s not uncommon for artists to take advantage of the intimate feel of the small venue – which has a 550-person capacity – and mingle with the crowd before and after their shows, says Justin Sprague, a local guitarist who has played at the Machine Shop since its inception.
Justin Sprague of Sour Jane
“There are no bad seats in the house,” says Sprague, who currently plays with the rock band Sour Jane. “It is almost as if the ticket holder is getting a VIP show every night.”
Several upcoming shows are generating considerable enthusiasm, says Zink, noting that Saturday’s Black Stone Cherry concert is nearing capacity. The Hollywood Undead (May 16) and Pop Evil (May 30) shows have already sold out, and there’s been buzz around both Hatebreed and Granger Smith’s upcoming performances, on May 17 and June 12, respectively.
“And we’re always trying to bring in new artists,” Zink adds. “We’ve got David Nail coming in (today), and we’ve got Young Guns (May 12) and We Are Harlot (May 20). We average between two and four shows a week.”
For more information about The Machine Shop, at 3539 S. Dort Hwy., visit www.themachineshop.info or call 810-715-2650.
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