Since the release of their 2008 debut album, the songs of Frontier Ruckus have delivered a singularly detailed representation of the glorious yet grim minutiae of Midwestern life. Songwriter Matthew Milia’s obsessively crafted lyrical world is given color by David Jones’ spidery banjo and Zachary Nichols’ seemingly endless array of instruments ranging from obscure marching horns to melodica and musical saw. From stages at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo to the intimate living rooms of fans, this magnetic chemistry helped Frontier Ruckus garner a dedicated following across the United States and Europe. In 2017 the band released their 5th LP, Enter the Kingdom—co-produced by founding Wilco drummer, Ken Coomer. The record’s complex rhyme schemes and winsome charm were praised by legendary rock critic Robert Christgau. After taking a hiatus, the band now preps their 6th album for release to the anticipation of fans everywhere—promising more of the magic that led AllMusic to deem Frontier Ruckus one of the best things to come out of Michigan since Faygo Redpop.

Special Guest

Loren Johnson

Hailing from West Michigan’s vibrant creative scene, Loren Johnson has made her mark as a photographer, musician and performer; and is most recognized for her distinctive vocals and bright finger-style guitar. Between traveling and attending university, Johnson released a string of demos before publishing her first EP “Sleepsick” in December 2016, which rose to iTunes Top 10 best new singer-songwriter releases thay January. Spring 2020 brought the release of “Into the Morning” - Johnson’s second EP, which coincidentally was released the same week that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US. Touring plans scrapped, she dove deeper into her creative community and further honed her song-writing. In January 2021, she debuted an evolved new sound with the release of her first single “Patterns”, featuring Emilee Petersmark and Kate Pillsbury of The Crane Wives. Throughout the next couple of years, Johnson zeroed in on her songwriting and collaborating with other musicians to bring her visions to life. In April of 2023, her debut album How to Change entered the world; featuring an all-star cast of Michigan musicians and a slam-bang full-band release show at The Midtown. How to Change was very positively received, and Johnson is currently setting her sights toward touring for the first time since 2019 - now with a full band of friends and collaborators. Johnson is also an accomplished portrait and concert photographer, and runs Sunfire Studios in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The only thing as good as the show? The drink you have after


A few short steps from Midtown is One Twenty Three—our neighborly New American Tavern, serving hearty dishes with modern flare.