Two of St. Patrick’s Day’s biggest events in Grand Rapids drew euphoric crowds on Saturday. Ogle the images at Local Spins, along with photos and videos from other fan-pleasing concerts from GR to Kalamazoo, including Walk off the Earth.
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In more ways than one, these were buzz-generating events drawing high-spirited throngs on Saturday for markedly different spectacles.
First, the eighth annual Irish on Ionia street party hosted by BarFly Ventures in downtown Grand Rapids benefited from sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s as upwards of 20,000 green-garbed revelers celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with plenty o’ green beer and performances by Paddy’s Cure, Cross Bow, Wakefire, Leprecons, The Tosspints, Ardan Academy of Irish Dance, Motor City Irish Dance and a solid slate of DJs on two stages from morning till late evening.
On Saturday night, Ohio electronic rock band Papadosio and Grand Rapids jam band Desmond Jones christened the city’s newest nightclub and music venue for an ebullient, sold-out crowd: Elevation in the lower level of The Intersection downtown. (The Intersection hosted a soft opening of the 1,100-capacity venue on Wednesday, with more photos here, but this was the first official concert in the new club.)
As Intersection barfly and radio personality Aris Hampers put it: “This place looks even better with a sold-out crowd having a blast: Cozy, comfortable, sounds great and the added plus of the ability to get a breather from the action back in The Mint VIP room. I love it when things are done right.”
Desmond Jones drummer John Nowak, meanwhile, had similar raves from a performer’s perspective: “It was an honor and a privilege to be the first to play Elevation. To set the tone with our original music and energy was very special to us. The atmosphere was electric and exciting. We had so many supportive friends and family in the crowd, which always creates a positive and fun environment for us. … The vibe on stage matched the exciting atmosphere in the room.”
Beyond that, music fans also were celebrating elsewhere this past week:
• At Van Andel Arena, The Eagles made their return on Thursday regaling devotees with crisp, harmony-propelled renditions of their classic songs. Read the Local Spins review and browse the photo gallery here: Eagles ‘Take it to the Limit’ with remarkable vocals; Joe Walsh’s rock revelry at Van Andel Arena
• At Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill on Friday night when The Zannies, Deerfield Run and Crooked Spires competed in the first round of the Cowpie Music Festival’s first-ever battle of the bands (aka “The Path to the Pasture”) aimed at selecting the final band to play the August festival. The Zannies won the first round. Check out video snippets below.
• At various locations in Kalamazoo for St. Patrick’s Day, with The Moxie Strings getting the day started at Shakespeare’s Pub, followed by a parade that featured the Kalamazoo Pipe Band and a Bell’s Brewery fundraising “hooley” for Healing with Music headlined by Fonn Mor. The night closed out with Fauxgrass at Old Dog Tavern, with Kaitlin Rose joining them on stage for a few songs.
• At Founders Brewing on Saturday night, toasting the return of Grand Rapids psych-rock band Heaters (along with Divino Nino, Wing Vilma and Frankie & Myrrh.)
• At 20 Monroe Live, to close out the weekend on Sunday, Canada’s Walk off the Earth played a crowd-pleasing affair.
• Across the street at Van Andel Arena on the same night, Pink delivered a dazzling display, covered in a separate review and photo gallery at Local Spins here: Pink pulls no punches with dazzling acrobatics, choreography, pyrotechnics at Van Andel Arena
PHOTO GALLERY: Irish on Ionia
Photos by Anthony Norkus
PHOTO GALLERY: Papadosio, Desmond Jones at Elevation
Photos by Eric Stoike
PHOTO GALLERY: St. Patrick’s Day in Kalamazoo
Photos by Derek Ketchum