The Austin rock/pop band delivered a weekend-ending romp on the same night that the Death Grips and The Regrettes boasted sold-out shows at two other GR venues. Browse the photo galleries.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES OF FASTBALL, DEATH GRIPS AND REGRETTES
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The song choice couldn’t have been more apropos, considering the setting and the timing.
About two-thirds of the way through its Listening Lawn show Sunday night at downtown Grand Rapids’ Studio Park, Fastball unleashed “Soundtrack” from its 2022 album, “The Deep End,” featuring the lyrics:
‘They played that song all summer long, and the movies in my mind are running all the time.”
Delivering the tune under a big screen outside the Celebration Cinema movie theater bedecked with promotions for “Barbie” even had singer and guitarist Miles Zuniga joking about the smash movie flaunting “so much pink” (while conceding that, no, he hasn’t seen the flick).
Of course, the Austin rock-pop band’s small-but-very-enthused bunch of West Michigan fans who turned out for the weekend-ending show under blue skies and devastatingly pleasant weather saved their most ardent support for the late 1990s hit songs that put Fastball on the map: “The Way,” “Out of My Head” and “Fire Escape.”
But Zuniga, bassist-singer Tony Scalzo and the rest of the band proved throughout the evening that their music is about, well, way more than just “The Way,” an admittedly unusual and insanely catchy anthem of summer, freedom and escape.
With healthy bites of humor and fan interaction interspersed between songs, Fastball uncorked all manner of infectiously upbeat material following a fan-pleasing opening set by Grand Rapids’ own pop-hued rock mainstay, Valentiger (who stuck around to cheer on the headliners).
Fastball’s Grand Rapids tour stop featured new songs from an upcoming new studio album as well as a high-speed cover of The Doors’ “Touch Me.”
And at the end of the night, that gleeful crowd had pressed forward to the front of the stage to applaud the final song and encore making everyone “happier there today.”
That same night, Grand Rapids boasted two sold-out shows at other downtown venues: Experimental California hip-hop group The Death Grips fired up fans at GLC Live at 20 Monroe (after fans lined up around the block to enter the venue) while L.A. punk rockers The Regrettes rattled the stage at The Pyramid Scheme. Browse the photos below.
NEXT UP IN THE LISTENING LAWN SERIES: Indigo Girls play Studio Park at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Standing-room-only tickets, $66, available here.
PHOTO GALLERY: Fastball, Valentiger at Studio Park
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
PHOTO GALLERY: The Death Grips at GLC Live at 20 Monroe
Photos by Anthony Norkus
PHOTO GALLERY: The Regrettes, Snarls at The Pyramid Scheme
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker