The crush-worthy Boston band’s return to Meijer Gardens was nothing short of an energetic, crowd-pleasing spectacle — amid perfect weather after the threat of storms in a packed amphitheater. Review, photos.
Unlike oil or fresh water, crush-worthy bands are a plentiful natural resource in today’s music-rich environment.
Even so, it bears mention when a particularly endearing act crosses one’s orbit, as Lake Street Dive did during its bewitching performance Wednesday evening at the outdoor amphitheater at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
The Boston-bred, Brooklyn-based neo-soul/indie/rock four-piece — vocalist Rachel Price, drummer Mike Calabrese, upright bassist Bridget Kearney and guitarist/trumpeter Mike Olson — was unrelenting in a 90-minute set, picking and choosing from a collection of material from its 10-year, seven-album career during the Grand Rapids stop on the band’s North American tour.
While original cuts like “Side Pony” (the spunky title track from the band’s 2016 critically-acclaimed album) and “Seventeen” (from 2014’s “Bad Self Portraits”) fared well, many of the evening’s highlights arrived in the form of covers.
This includes spirited, loving takes on The Kinks’ “Lola” (dedicated to each person’s right to love whom they choose) and Prince’s “When You Were Mine” (dedicated to the late, great Purple One).
The literal and figurative showstopper was an encore of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” amid groovy lighting after the sun went down. Bold move, Lake Street Dive, bold move. Price and crew paid fitting tribute to what is perhaps the greatest rock anthem, ever, written and performed by the greatest pop vocalist ever. (Rest in power, Freddie Mercury.)
Missed the Gardens’ show? You can watch the band’s Halloween tribute to Queen, complete with stick-on Mercury mustaches, slinky white costumes and fog machine magic, on YouTube. Cue heart-eye-swoon-emoticons now. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqEiWN44L3M
Boston-based four-piece Darlingside (think Band of Horses meets Beach Boys harmonies, plus Great Lakes Swimmers arrangements) warmed up the evening with an undeniably charming/dreamy 40-minute set, earning a rare standing ovation from a crowd that typically reserves its high praise for the headlining act.
A monologue drawing parallels between each band member and local icon/merchant Frederik Meijer certainly did its part to win the audience’s good humor.
PHOTO GALLERY: Lake Street Dive, Darlingside at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Anthony Norkus