Across the nation in township halls, centers, clubs, back yards, bars, basements, churches, and any other place a P.A. system fit, the 90’s were filled with a collective of undiscovered passionate musicians. This music scene of punk, ska, hardcore, alternative, and metal bands was far cry from what anyone considered rock stars, making a living, or anything close to mainstream.
When they still toured in vans and carried their own equipment, bands like P.O.D., Underoath, Living Sacrifice, and Copeland played The Underground in Lansing, Michigan. Before he went triple platinum and won Grammy Awards with fun., Andrew Dost started out at The Underground in Anathallo. In the days before releasing top-5 singles and touring the world’s largest festivals in Grouplove, Daniel Gleason began his journey fronting local bands Anah Aevia and Blissfield. Local Michigan bands found themselves living on the road for years as touring artists like The Deluxtone Rockets, Johnny Respect, Still Remains, and Anathallo, all of whom played some of their first shows on a two foot tall stage that was barely big enough to hold their equipment.
Scene and Unseen isn’t just the story of those few who found fame, careers, and recognition in the music business. Each page tells the tale of a night down in that basement where talents were honed, friendships were made, bones were sometimes broken, and a community was built. Each flyer is the story of someone’s first show and possibly the one that changed their life forever.
For those fortunate enough to descend the stairs into the basement of the Christ Lutheran Church, this is our story, this was our time, this was our history, and this was The Underground. Through a few words and the DIY art of the original flyers, this is the story of 388 performances, by 197 bands, at 122 shows, with 113 flyers, from 1996 to 2003, all on one small stage at The Underground.