A weekend of impeccable weather came to an end with rain Sunday, but it didn’t deter the phenoms or their fans from reveling in dazzling, acoustic guitar-driven rock. Review, photos.
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The threat of rain on Sunday night didn’t keep eager fans from lining up in front of the newly renovated Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park amphitheater for a wild night of uptempo music from guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela.
And while the rain did in fact deliver, leaving the crowd soaked several times over, the instrumental pair also delivered, dazzling the attendees amid a sea of umbrellas and ponchos.
In between songs, the duo of Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero thanked the crowd for coming out despite the soggy conditions.
“We know, the weather is cold and rainy,” Sánchez said. “But we will do our best to make you feel warm and cozy all night with our music.”
That night began with acoustic guitarist and songwriter Justin Townes Earle. Armed with only an acoustic guitar and a microphone, Earle opened the show with a variety of stories and songs, including many from his newest album, “The Saint of Lost Causes.”
Following his set, the crowd enthusiastically welcomed Rodrigo Y Gabriela back to Grand Rapids, five years after the duo last wowed fans at Meijer Gardens.
The pair played an evening full of high-impact, instrumental rock songs from their new studio album, “Mettavolution” — from energetic originals to a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” a song that carries a message which flows throughout their new album, which focuses on meditation and reconnecting with your own humanity deep inside.
INVOLVING THE CROWD AND SPOTLIGHTING A LOCAL MUSICIAN
With cameras attached to each guitar head stock, the crowd was able to watch on-screen from fret-level, with the musicians showing off their skill and speed on the strings.
In mid-set, a Grand Rapids sound therapist — Geoff Lamden, co-owner of Sacred Springs Kombucha — got a little stage time as well after he impressed the duo with his performance when they stopped at his shop earlier in the day.
Barefoot and sitting cross-legged, Lamden performed on his didgeridoo while creating resonating sounds on a series of bowls. The audience appreciated this extra sonic enhancement — a local touch that made the evening even more memorable.
All the while, the rain continued to fall on concertgoers. And while some in the crowd of about 1,400 left early to seek shelter, many fans, huddled under ponchos, tarps and umbrellas, moved along to Rodrigo Y Gabriela’s intoxicating music, with several pockets of dancing fans in the amphitheater.
At one point, Rodrigo Sánchez called for everyone to stand up and join in — and literally everyone in the amphitheater stood up to dance and clap along with the tune.
It was a dramatic affirmation of the duo’s musical “Mettavolution.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Justin Townes Earle at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Anthony Norkus