Five years ago, Harry Connick Jr. played his first Meijer Gardens concert — one of the hottest ever at the amphitheater. On Monday, he returns to Grand Rapids, but indoors. Revisit his 2013 show.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This review first ran at Local Spins on July 17, 2013, after a very steamy concert at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park with temps well into the 90s. At 7:30 p.m. Monday, with temperatures literally 60 degrees colder, Harry Connick Jr. will return to Grand Rapids to play a holiday show at DeVos Performance Hall. Early Monday, a few tickets remained for the show online here. Revisit the 2013 show here.
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With the mercury in the 90s and the heat index hitting triple digits on Wednesday, it couldn’t have gotten any hotter at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
That is, until a certain charismatic singer took the stage to frantic waves and hoots of delight from many in the female contingent in the sold-out crowd of 1,900 at the outdoor amphitheater.
Harry Connick Jr.’s Meijer Gardens debut generated plenty of heat, musically and personality-wise, mostly because the 45-year-old singer, pianist, trumpet player and actor oozes charm from every pore of his body.
Of course, it helped to have a lively 13-piece jazz orchestra along for the steamy ride, too, especially New Orleans trombonist Lucien Barbarin, who served as a vocal, instrumental and comedic duet partner with Connick at times during the 2-hours-plus show.
“It’s frickin’ hot, but the breeze is nice,” Connick declared early on before crooning the classic, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”
The singer with the suave, Sinatra-like demeanor and endearing stage banter noted he’s played many fine venues in his day, “but I don’t know if I’ve ever played at one as beautiful” as Meijer Gardens.
He added that he now intends to return regularly and even set up shop in the sculpture park.
“I want a small house … under that big horse out there,” he chirped, before vowing that he and his band would deliver the most “enthusiastic, hard-working, pedal-to-the-metal show you’ve ever seen.”
Many in the crowd likely would agree … and hope he actually does move in.
PHOTO GALLERY: Harry Connick Jr. at Meijer Gardens (7/16/13)
Photos by Anna Sink
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