Staged at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids, the eight-show series launches with Tank & The Bangas on July 12 and features local faves The Crane Wives and The Verve Pipe. The full schedule at Local Spins.
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Summertime has spawned a new tradition when it comes to outdoor shows in downtown Grand Rapids.
For the third year, the Studio Park piazza south of Van Andel Arena will host a summer concert series featuring national touring acts as well as some of the region’s most popular bands.
The 2023 Listening Lawn series boasts everything from the legendary folk-rock of The Indigo Girls on Aug. 2 as they tour behind their new album, “Look Long,” to the bluegrass/country fervor of North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers on July 21 and the indie-rock of Soccer Mommy to close things out on Aug. 7.
“This year, we went for just a handful of big shows for about a four-week period of time,” said Quinn Mathews, Studio Park’s music and programming director and Midtown’s talent buyer.
“Outdoors, we’ll show movies (on the large Studio Park video screen) in June. The stage will go in for our Listening Lawn series early July to August, then back to movies to end the summer. Very excited to bring some of these acts to downtown Grand Rapids and really bring some big crowds to our piazza.”
The series sponsored by Mercantile Bank kicks off with the funky, soulful hip hop-infused music of New Orleans’ Tank & The Bangas on July 12, followed on July 20 by another New Orleans band, The Soul Rebels, who weave jazz, funk, rock, pop and hip hop into their brass-fueled attack.
Two regional powerhouses are on the bill, too: platinum-selling alt-rock band The Verve Pipe on July 22 and the return of folk-rock’s The Crane Wives on Aug. 5.
July ends with Austin rock band Fastball, which may be best known for the 1998 hit, “The Way,” but also released a new album, “The Deep End,” in 2022.
Ticket prices for each show vary, ranging from $20 for general admission standing tickets to The Crane Wives to an $86 premium seat option for The Indigo Girls. Tickets are on sale now at themidtowngr.com. Seating capacity will vary, depending on the show.
A full bar and snacks also will be available at the shows, which take place on a piazza surrounded by restaurants.
Preceding the Listening Lawn series, Studio Park kicks off the summer season on Saturday (May 20) with the second annual Local Spins Fest featuring performances by In the Valley Below, Earth Radio, Kari Lynch Band, Sarena Rae, Lokella and Grace Theisen Band starting at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the rain-or-shine, one-day event and available online here.
VIDEO: Tank & The Bangas, “Oak Tree”
VIDEO: The Soul Rebels, “Greatness”
VIDEO: Steep Canyon Rangers, “Every River”
VIDEO: The Verve Pipe, “The Freshmen” (City Winery in NYC, 2023)
VIDEO: Fastball, “Growing Growing Gone”
VIDEO: Indigo Girls, Tiny Desk Concert
VIDEO: The Crane Wives, “The Wolf” (Dogtown Studio 2023)
VIDEO: Soccer Mommy, “Feel It All the Time”
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