The Iron Town duo played outdoors Monday in the sunshine to a nearly full patio of diners and drinkers who seemed unfazed by COVID-19 concerns. Remarked one patron: “It’s time to get back to life.”
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For some Michiganders, the theme or rallying cry or takeaway from Monday night’s resumption of live music in Grand Rapids – a performance by Iron Town at The Score – was this: We’re ready to get back out there.
A large outdoor crowd basked mask-less in the sunshine amid The Score’s palm tree-festooned patio as the Grand Rapids duo cranked out sets of familiar covers in the first area concert since bars, restaurants and venues were shut down in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although The Score’s capacity was limited and employees were wearing face coverings, diners and drinkers weren’t required to wear masks as they entered and they seemed completely unfazed by any coronavirus concerns.
“I’m not worried a bit,” one customer at a table of four told Local Spins, noting he’s been working regularly since the pandemic began. “It’s time to get back to life.”
Indeed, getting back to life and getting back to normal seemed to be the general idea on the first night in months that Michigan’s bars and restaurants could reopen with certain restrictions.
The Score, 5301 Northland Drive NE, has wasted no time getting back at it: The bar and restaurant has scheduled live music performances every night this week, with plans for continuing that pattern all summer.
I was struck Monday by the casual nature of those gathered on a gorgeous summer evening as if the coronavirus was just a fading memory or a forgotten dream. Perhaps being outdoors – which health officials concede is the best option for live music with COVID-19 still hanging around – added to that relaxed vibe.
The guys in Iron Town – guitarist Tom Thelen and drummer Daniel Wait – were tickled to be the first band to play The Score this summer, and one of the first in West Michigan to perform publicly since the stay-at-home order began.
“This is a great venue because it’s outdoors,” said Thelen, noting that while the patio was filled with folks eager to patronize a bar and listen to live music again, tables were “spread out” to provide some social-distancing.
“Some people are going to be ready; some people are not.”
On Monday, those gathered at The Score seemed more than ready to put the pandemic behind them.
Only time will tell if the virus actually allows that to happen.
See a listing of other live shows this week in The Not-So-Big List at Local Spins.
VIDEO: Iron Town at The Score (6/8/20)
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