The popular Tuesday night shows starring regional acts — from The Soul Syndicate to The 6-Pak to Valentiger — will kick off in late May and run through late August. Get the full schedule at Local Spins.
Ask any performer pumping up this season’s expanded edition of the Tuesday Evening Music Club concert series and they’ll gush that there’s nothing like getting a chance to play the big stage at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
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“We’ve been very fortunate to play some fantastic venues over the years and this will be our fourth time at Meijer Gardens, but we all agree there’s something really special playing outdoors at Meijer Gardens,” said Tom Taylor, drummer for The Soul Syndicate, which will play the regional music series on June 13.
“The crowds, stage and sound crew and venue design are unique, and concertgoers in West Michigan should feel very lucky we have this wonderful place in our backyard.”
The universally popular, family-friendly Tuesday series kicks off earlier than it ever has with a May 30 show featuring Motherland Cultural Connections and Sarena Rae, followed by 13 weekly shows starring local and regional acts.
The series – sponsored by WYCE (88.1 FM) and Ayers Basement Systems – wraps up with two shows that have become a Tuesday tradition at the amphitheater: Ralston Bowles & Friends on Aug. 22 and The Grand Rapids Ballet on Aug. 29.
The low-cost summertime shows emceed by Bowles, which are free to Meijer Gardens members and feature regular gardens admission prices for non-members, often attract capacity crowds and have become a high-profile showcase opportunity for many Michigan artists. The concerts begin at 7 p.m.
“This series is such an incredible opportunity for music fans in West Michigan to take advantage of our vibrant, local and regional music scene,” noted Phil Tower, station manager for WYCE.
“It’s also a terrific benefit for members of Meijer Gardens to be able to see any or all of these shows for free as a benefit of their membership.”
With more than 20 acts hailing from Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and elsewhere across the state, this year’s 14-show series features several returning favorites such as Franklin Park, CrossBow and The 6-Pak, as well as first-timers Cole Hansen & The Heartbeats, Hatchwing Rider and Lighting Matches.
“It’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to be a part of the Tuesday Evening series and to have the opportunity to play the Meijer Gardens stage,” said Rachel White, of the folky Grand Rapids alt-rock band Lighting Matches, which will make its Tuesday Evening Music Club debut on Aug. 1.
“It’s easily the largest stage we have played so far, and we are very honored to play on the same physical stage as some of our favorite bands.”
She added that “it’s wonderful that such an amazing venues gives local and regional bands the opportunity to be part of the experience and to share their music with the Meijer Gardens audience. People can expect a rockin’ fun time from us on Aug. 1. We are all extremely excited so our energy will be high.”
Brent Shirey of Grand Rapids rock/pop band Valentiger, which returns to Meijer Gardens on July 25, said he’s “always felt outdoor shows have a little bit of extra magic. The music mixes with the extra elements and creates a free and airy atmosphere.”
And guitarist Steve Hilger noted that it’s “wonderful to be on a big stage with an engaging audience and to know that we are standing where so many great musicians and performers have stood, and where so many more will stand in the future.” Steve Hilger & The River City Rollers — a high-energy blues offshoot of The Steve Hilger Band — plays the series on Aug. 8.
The Tuesday series supplements Meijer Gardens’ 30-concert main Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts series that kicks off June 8 with Nickel Creek and Gaby Moreno. Read more about that here.
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