The second national concert at the new waterfront stadium packed the venue with baby boomers who reveled in classics ranging from “Amie” to “You Are the Woman” and more. The Local Spins review, photos.
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Prior to Thursday night’s concert at Grand Haven’s Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, music lovers lined up for several blocks in the toasty summer sunshine waiting to enter the venue to see ’70s and ’80s country-rock stars Poco, Firefall and Pure Prairie League.
With about twice as many attendees packing the second national concert in the Summer Sessions series compared with the inaugural July 1 show starring Los Lonely Boys, the attraction proved to be as hot as the evening’s temperature.
By the scheduled starting time of the show presented by Seven Steps Up, Third Coast Recording and the city of Grand Haven, the line of fans was still flowing into the picturesque 2,500-capacity venue.
For many in the throng of baby boomers, it was worth the wait for a nostalgic array of hits that began with Pure Prairie League playing a mix of songs spanning the group’s history. That included an early tribute to songwriter Merle Haggard, as well as favorite tunes from the group’s heyday such as “Let Me Love You Tonight.”
The band — featuring original members John David Call on pedal steel and bassist-singer Michael Reilly — kept the crowd cheering throughout the set with their humor and songs laced with country twang.
By the time the group closed things out with its runaway 1972 hit, “Amie,” band members had fans singing the chorus back to the band, letting everyone join in on their finale.
Firefall followed by turning up the summer heat right from the start, the crowd still singing right along with classic hits such as “Lunacy” and “You Are the Woman.”
With its 1978 single, “Strange Way,” the group truly lit up the crowd as original band member David Muse let loose a truly inspired flute solo during the instrumental break. The multi-instrumentalist – playing flute, saxophone, piano, and harmonica – earned a deserved standing ovation from the crowd.
Poco — with founding member Rusty Young — wrapped it all up for the evening, launching its set with a medley that included a beloved classic from the band that first made a splash in the early ’70s.
Later in the set, a newer tune had Poco looking back over the last 50 years of playing in the band — the songs, the friends they made along the way, and most of all, the loyal fans that have supported them.
It was an appropriate way to embody an evening of memories that looked back on a significant era in music.
The groups noted that while their rosters have changed over the years, one thing has remained constant: their loyal and loving fan base.
It’s helped their songs stand the test of time and left concertgoers cheering … as they did Thursday night.
PHOTO GALLERY: Pure Prairie League, Poco, Firefall in Grand Haven
Photos by Loren Johnson