The revamped amphitheater will also host summer shows by Foreigner, B-52s, Mandolin Orange, Steve Miller & Marty Stuart, O.A.R., CAKE, Andrew Bird, Amos Lee and more. Member tickets on sale April 27.
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Series first-timers Sarah McLachlan, Dawes, Iron & Wine, The Stray Cats and Mandolin Orange will join popular returnees Foreigner, CAKE, Styx, Trombone Shorty, Steve Miller, Michael Franti and Lake Street Dive at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park this summer.
The 30-concert 2019 series, which kicks off June 6 with Nahko & Medicine for the People, will showcase touring stars in a renovated amphitheater, with a two-year remodeling and expansion project set to wrap up before the summer’s first show.
Touted as the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens, the 2019 series also will feature some special double bills, among them Dawes & Margo Price (July 31), Buddy Guy & Kenny Wayne Shepherd (June 10), Calexico & Iron & Wine (Sept. 18), Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart (June 24), The Mavericks & Los Lobos (July 25), and The Temptations & The Righteous Brothers (July 28).
Although 21 of the 30 concerts feature artists who’ve performed at Meijer Gardens previously, many of those same shows include performers making their first appearance at the outdoor amphitheater, such as Justin Townes Earle on the bill with Rodrigo Y Gabriela on June 9, The Wood Brothers joining Lake Street Dive on June 12, and Big Head Todd & The Monsters sharing the spotlight with Toad the Wet Sprocket on June 20.
“The theme for me this summer is some of the co-headlining shows. The list just goes on and on and on,” said Chris Mautz, the Utah-based promoter who books the Meijer Gardens series.
“You split pretty much all of those in half, and they could be headlining on their own – every one of them.”
Discounted tickets go on sale to Meijer Gardens members at 9 a.m. April 27, available online at StarTickets.com, by phone at 800-585-3737 or in-person at Meijer Gardens. That pre-sale period ends at midnight, May 10, with tickets going on sale to the general public on May 11. Many concerts sell out during the members-only pre-sale.
Public sale ticket prices range from $40 (for Nahko) to $125 (for Steve Miller and Marty Stuart), with an average price tag of $67.07 for this year’s concerts, a 4.5 percent drop from 2018. Ticket prices don’t include handling and convenience fees for online and phone orders.
‘A PERFECT FIT FOR THE SERIES’ AND SOME UP-AND-COMING STARS
There’s little doubt that some stars making their debut at Meijer Gardens – award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan performing with an orchestra on Aug. 8, Tex-Mex indie-rockers Calexico with indie-folk’s Iron & Wine (who release a joint album in June) wrapping up the series on Sept. 18, and California rock band Dawes with fast-rising country singer Margo Price on July 31 – will sell out their shows quickly to members.
Mautz said McLachlan – whose hits include “Building a Mystery,” “Angel” and “I Will Remember You” – has “always seemed to be a perfect fit for the series” and has come up in past conversations. He said when the opportunity arose to book her as part of her special orchestra tour, “we were not the least bit hesitant” to add her to the series. The show will feature McLachlan performing with an orchestra comprised of locally hired musicians. (She also plays Aug. 10 at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre in Rochester Hills.)
And he called it “truly remarkable” to land the reunited Stray Cats for one of their few U.S. tour dates, and the rockabilly band’s only show announced for Michigan.
The series also will feature up-and-coming acts such as 23-year-old Australian psych-rock/pop/reggae sensation Tash Sultana (Sept. 8) and Americana-folk duo Mandolin Orange (Sept. 4).
Then again, it probably wouldn’t be a Meijer Gardens series without the return of Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (July 26) and The Beach Boys (Aug. 1), who’ve essentially become “house bands” at the amphitheater, not to mention the likes of Lake Street Dive, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Styx and Trombone Shorty who’ve also made the venue a regular tour stop.
Mautz insisted the series has “stuck to the core values” of bringing in a mix of artists since the first year in 2003.
“The philosophy and mindset and overall intent of how we collectively approach each year,” he said, “has been the same since the very beginning: Don’t try to get too far over your skis and be open to things that are interesting and different and to unique opportunities.”
‘NOT RESTING ON ITS LAURELS’ WITH MAJOR AMPHITHEATER IMPROVEMENTS
This year’s series will unfurl in a dramatically revamped amphitheater, with construction crews currently finishing work on a new concessions building that’s twice the size of the previous structure, a renovated entry plaza, new restrooms and box office and other improvements. It’s part of a two-year remodeling project that also includes new green rooms for performers and new acoustic treatments on stage.
Read more about the project – part of a $115 million park-wide, multi-year expansion of Meijer Gardens – and take a video tour courtesy of Local Spins.
Those improvements have drawn attention from touring artists and the music industry in general, Mautz said.
“What’s been nice to share with artists and their management teams is that Meijer Gardens continues to be a spot that’s not resting on its success or its laurels,” he said. “That doesn’t happen everywhere. Some places just sit back and let it do its thing, and that’s not the Meijer Gardens way.”
In addition to getting first crack at concert tickets, members enjoy a slight discount over prices charged the public. Find information about memberships ($50 individual or $90 family per year) online here.
2019 MEIJER GARDENS CONCERT SCHEDULE
• Nahko And Medicine For The People, June 6, $35 presale | $38 member | $40 public
• Rodrigo y Gabriela + Justin Townes Earle, June 9, $52 presale | $55 member | $57 public
• Buddy Guy + Kenny Wayne Shepherd, June 10, $77 presale | $80 member | $82 public
• Lake Street Dive + The Wood Brothers, June 12, $55 presale | $58 member | $60 public
• Big Head Todd and The Monsters + Toad the Wet Sprocket, June 20, $55 presale | $58 member | $60 public
• Old Crow Medicine Show, June 21, $47 presale | $50 member | $52 public
• Steve Miller Band + Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, June 24, $120 presale | $123 member | $125 public
• O.A.R. + American Authors, June 26, $75 presale | $78 member | $80 public
• Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, June 27, $50 presale | $53 member | $55 public
• Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, June 30, $50 presale | $53 member | $55 public
• Three Dog Night, July 11, $48 presale | $51 member | $53 public
• Amos Lee, July 15, $48 presale | $51 member | $53 public
• Andrew Bird, July 18, $40 presale | $43 member | $45 public
• Gipsy Kings + Simi, July 21, $75 presale | $78 member | $80 public
• The Mavericks + Los Lobos, July 25, $62 presale | $65 member | $67 public
• An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, July 26, $63 presale | $66 member | $68 public
• The Temptations + The Righteous Brothers, July 28, $62 presale | $65 member | $67 public
• Dawes + Margo Price, July 31, $45 presale | $48 member | $50 public
• An Evening with The Beach Boys, Aug. 1, $64 presale | $67 member | $69 public
• An Evening with CAKE, Aug. 7, $70 presale | $73 member | $75 public
• Sarah McLachlan with Orchestra, Aug. 8, $92 presale | $95 member | $97 public
• An Evening with Styx, Aug. 9, $72 presale | $75 member | $77 public
• Foreigner, Aug. 11, $79 presale | $82 member | $84 public
• JJ Grey & Mofro + Jonny Lang, Aug. 14, $66 presale | $69 member | $71 public
• Stray Cats, Aug. 15, $97 presale | $100 member | $102 public
• Michael Franti & Spearhead, Aug. 23, $48 presale | $51 member | $53 public
• Mandolin Orange, Sept. 4, $37 presale | $40 member | $42 public
• Tash Sultana + Leo James Conroy, Sept. 8, $45 presale | $48 member | $50 public
• The B-52s + Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark + Berlin, Sept. 11, $88 presale | $91 member | $93 public
• Calexico + Iron & Wine, Sept. 18, $45 presale | $48 member | $50 public
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC