Talented multi-instrumentalist packs amphitheater for third year in a row, inspiring crowd to move to energetic mix of jazz, funk and rock. Review, photos.
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While fans of all things EDM converged on Double JJ Resort in Rothbury for the uber-popular Electric Forest festival, music lovers who packed into Thursday’s sold-out Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue performance at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park partook in a more analog sonic experience.
The Grand Rapids amphitheater was enlivened with multi-instrumentalists sharing and creating together in spontaneous, but focused, art.
(To be clear: This isn’t to imply live instrumental performance is superior to electronic or digitally driven music. This publication and reviewer aren’t here to yuck anyone’s yum, or chase the young folks off our lawns. All music is valid. Except, of course, the song “Hey Soul Sister.”)
For the third year running, New Orleans native Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews drew a capacity Meijer Gardens crowd, attracted no doubt by the musician’s reputation for lively, polished performances.
Bayou-like heat and humidity did nothing to dampen the crowd’s spirits during the 100-minute set. Much of the audience was on its feet for the majority of the dozen-plus-song show, which included popular hits such as “Here Come the Girls” and a show-closing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
Mixing New Orleans-style jazz with funk, pop, rock and hip hop, the danceable performance was reliably fun, with Andrews wowing the crowd with his prodigious trombone and trumpet skills. Orleans Avenue, as always, brought the heat, giving West Michigan a taste of how things are done in the Big Easy.
Steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier earned a standing ovation with a tight 30-minute opening set of jazz, funk and pop-influenced material.
PHOTO GALLERY: Trombone Shorty at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Eric Stoike (On the Run Photography)