12 ways to spend Thanksgiving Eve 2019 in Detroit, the biggest bar night of the year

Nov 20, 2019 at 1:00 am
Danny Brown performs at the Majestic Theatre for the annual Bruiser Thanksgiving.
Danny Brown performs at the Majestic Theatre for the annual Bruiser Thanksgiving. Joe Gall/Red Bull Content Pool

It's almost T-Day. Your Trump-loving relatives are in town, all the cooking prepwork has been done, and now there's nothing to do but play the waiting game. Well, there's a reason the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year. And there's no better way to pass the time than knocking back a few drinks at these events — and soaking it up with turkey and stuffing the next day.

Danny Brown's 6th annual Bruiser Thanksgiving

Detroit's own Danny Brown released his fifth studio album, uknowwhatimsayin?, in October to critical acclaim. Produced by Q-Tip, here the two minds meet, creating a trippy, jazzy, and authentic portrait of Brown as he reminisces about his past and theorizes on his future — all while paying homage to his beloved hometown. It's his first local performance since Movement. Sada Baby, Zeelooperz, Shitty Boyz, and Fat Ray will also perform.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-9700; majesticdetroit.com. Tickets are $30 advance, $35 day of show.


Twenty-five years ago, local hard-rock band Sponge caught the attention of the grunge-hungry MTV masses with its debut studio record, Rotting Piñata. Time sure flies when you've crafted radio-resilient bangers like "Plowed" and "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)." The band, led by original frontman Vinnie Dombroski, reunited with its original lineup last year for a performance at the Detroit Music Awards and most recently made a headlining appearance at Metro Times' Best of Detroit party. Crud, Solid Frog, and Voyager round out the bill.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; Saint Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-8961; saintandrewsdetroit.com. Tickets are $21.

Kevin Saunderson

Kevin Saunderson kicks off a new techno-focused DJ series on Fridays and Saturdays at Savant, which opened earlier this year. Saunderson is a good place to start — as one of the "Belleville Three," he's considered a pioneer of the genre. Savant will also roll out a new late-night menu during the same hours, with all items priced at $9.95. Just be sure to save room for Thanksgiving, OK?

From 11 p.m.-2 a.m.; Savant, 51 W. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-285-9294; savantmidtown.com. No cover. Ages 21 and older only.

The Universal Wub Tour

For fans of bigger, flashier, and bassier electronic dance music, Pontiac's Elekricity is hosting a joint tour with LSDREAM and Shlump. The lineup is rounded out by Dorfex Bos and KNGHT. Meanwhile, the Bass Brothers, Chidi, Mr. Dill, and 2 Beard Crew will perform on the patio.

Doors at 9:30 p.m.; Elektricity, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-599-2212; elektricitymusic.com. Tickets are $20. Ages 18+.

The High Strung

It's been a busy couple of years for author Josh Malerman. The end of 2018 saw the Sandra Bullock-starring Netflix adaptation of his book Bird Box, and earlier this year, Malerman released a new book, Inspection, which tells a story about 26 boys sequestered in a mysterious remote compound in northern Michigan. When he's not writing dark thrillers, Malerman fronts the High Strung, an indie rock outfit he's led since 2000, where he brings a similar knack for storytelling to the band's lyrics. Soul-pop outfit Ronny Tibbs & the 305s is also on the bill.

Doors at 9 p.m.; Bowlero Lanes & Lounge, 4209 Coolidge Hwy., Royal Oak; 248-549-7500; bowlerodetroit.com. No cover. Ages 18+ in lounge.

Bars of Gold

Do you like guitars? Well, then Detroit's Bars of Gold is the band for you. The band has four of 'em, and every single one of them is necessary. The band is celebrating "Almost Thanks" with fellow local rock bands Oscillating Fan Club and Milk Bath.

Doors at 9 p.m.; Outer Limits Lounge, 5507 Caniff St., Detroit; 313-826-0456; outerlimitslounge.com. Tickets are $8 advance, $10 day of show.

Sound Odyssey 7 with Mike Huckaby and Isaac Prieto

Tastemaker, educator, and producer Mike Huckaby headlines the bill for the seventh iteration of Sound Odyssey, which also invites minimal acid house beatmaker Isaac Prieto, whose label Detroit Vinyl Room represents some of Detroit's most notable underground artists.

Doors open at 9 p.m.; UFO Factory, 2110 Trumbull St., Detroit; facebook.com/ufofactorydetroit. Tickets are $6-$10.

Paxahau presents Josh Wink and DJ Bone

Paxahau has teamed up with Homeless Homies, an organization that raises funds for the city's homeless through the sales of Subject Detroit vinyl, digital, and merch. For this special fundraising event, Homeless Homies founder DJ Bone will be joined by Philadelphia's Josh Wink, who has left a trail of dance club hits in his wake, most notably 1995's "Don't Laugh" and "I Am Ready." DJs Michael Geiger and Ladymonix will also perform sets in TV Lounge's side room.

Doors open at 9 p.m.; TV Lounge, 2548 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-965-4789; residentadvisor.net. Tickets are $20, or $15 with a donation of five canned food items at the door.

The Edgar Winter Band

Get ready for a night of classic rock. Winter is a multi-instrumentalist who performed at the original Woodstock festival in 1969 with his late brother, Johnny Winter, and the 72-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down, now reportedly working on a new album with special guests as a tribute to his late brother. Steve Cox & the Detroit Hammers are also on the bill.

Doors at 7 p.m.; The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com. Tickets are $30+.


Detroit psychedelic rockers Warhorses celebrate the release of their new record, Shadow Gold. Damien Done — aka Damien Moyal, the frontman of Florida hardcore punk band As Friends Rust — shares the bill, as do fellow local psych-rockers Cosmic Light Shapes.

Doors at 9 p.m.; The Old Miami, 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830; facebook.com/theoldmiami. Tickets are $5. Ages 21+.

Como's first annual holiday kickoff dance party

Like any good makeover, Ferndale's classic pizza joint Como's emerged from one nearly unrecognizable earlier this year. And now, there's time for one more: The longstanding restaurant will kick off its holiday lights display with a one night-only dance party, clearing out its tables and chairs to create a dance floor for DJ Powdrblu. For anyone curious about chef Zack Sklar's new menu, which includes playful twists on Detroit-style pizza, Como's will serve its full menu until 8 p.m., with finger foods after.

Starts at 8 p.m.; Como's Restaurant, 22812 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-677-4439; comosrestaurant.com.

Thornetta Davis

Detroit's Queen of the Blues will headline a set at Detroit City Distillery's Whiskey Factory. Davis will perform songs from her 2016 release, Honest Woman, as well as plenty of blues standards, and there will be plenty of Detroit City Distillery whiskey, vodka, and bourbon to sample as well.

Doors at 6:30 p.m.; The Whiskey Factory, 1000 Maple St., Detroit; detroitisdifferent.com. Tickets are $20 or two for $30.

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