At The Ramsdell Events

Awesome Distraction Open Mic Night Review

by Nancy Ferguson 

Young talent lit up the stage at the Ramsdell on Thursday night. Presented by the new Ramsdell
Regional Center of the Arts and hosted by Manistee’s own, Awesome Distraction, the evening was part concert, part open mic, and all outstanding entertainment. Awesome Distraction a young band with a rapidly growing following, took the stage first. This group is Nick Veine, Kyle Garber, Chloe Pepera and special guest artist, Rodolfo Grimaldo. Accomplished musicians with outstanding vocal harmonies, they have been playing a packed schedule all over the state of Michigan this summer; however, they not only found time for this home-town event, but helped to organize the open mic section as a opportunity for fellow musicians to play on the Ramsdell stage.

The participants in the open mic portion did not disappoint and provided a second hour of
musical entertainment. Mya Morin and Kimberly Carter filled the room with powerful vocals.
Dakota Johnson and Ben Kolk sang and accompanied themselves on guitar. Six year old Olivia Kaczmarek, accompanied by her Uncle Kyle Garber, sang a song she had written. Awesome Distraction pitched in with solos: Garber playing a tune for his mom, Grimaldo on keyboard and singing beautifully in Spanish, and Veine nailing a soulful rendition of “Georgia.” Brian Veine then joined his son, Nick on stage for a rocking duet. The finale was the premier performance of a new band, Pineapple Psychology. This talented group, includes Ruben Resendiz, Alex Dutton and Tucker Laws. Their set demonstrated a professional flair that made it clear there is a lot more to come from this trio.

This evening is part of the new programming being initiated by the Ramsdell Regional Center
for the Arts with the goal of bringing a wide variety of high quality events like this one to the
Ramsdell. The RRCA is seeking input from the community as to what people would like to see
at the Ramsdell: concerts, programs, performances, workshops, classes, and more.

Message us on facebook or by email at

IMG_1305 (002)