The weeknight series starring regional acts also stars Kathy Lamar & Robin Connell, Hacky Turtles, Lipstick Jodi, Hollywood Makeout, Six-Pak, Eric Engblade, Watching for Foxes and more. See the full schedule.
The Hacky Turtles call it “a great opportunity” for exposure as a relative newcomer to West Michigan’s music scene.
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The Soul Syndicate, meanwhile, is eager to leave “a lasting impression” on a crowd that might not be familiar with the band’s exuberant, vintage R&B approach.That’s the reaction of just two of the regional acts selected to perform this summer as part of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s Tuesday Evening Music Club series.
The nine-show series in the outdoor amphitheater begins July 3 and runs through Aug. 28, when Tuesday Evening Music Club founder and singer-songwriter Ralston Bowles wraps things up with his traditional “Ralston & Friends” concert featuring a host of special guests.
Meijer Gardens today official announced the 2018 lineup, with Hannah Rose & The GravesTones and and “American Idol” contestant Rachel Curtis kicking off the concert series in early July.
The series covers a broad spectrum of music from the jazz and soul of Kathy Lamar & Robin Connell (July 10) to the rock/pop of Lipstick Jodi and Hollywood Makeout (July 31) to the Celtic-hued strains of The Moxie Strings and Nessa (Aug. 7).
Because entry to the family-friendly shows is free for Meijer Gardens members or just the regular admission fee to the gardens for non-members, the weeknight concerts draw large and lively audiences who can also wander through the entire facility.
“Support from our audience has been tremendous,” said public relations manager John VanderHaagen. “The growth of this series has been phenomenal, as is evidenced by the packed amphitheater … on Tuesday nights every July and August. It is so fun to see people of all ages enjoying local and regional music and to see families dancing the night away.”
For regional acts, it’s an opportunity to play the same large stage as the national stars who pack the 1,900-capacity amphitheater for the regular concert series, which kicks off May 30 with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
“Excited is probably an understatement,” said Diego Morales, lead singer for The Soul Syndicate, when describing the opportunity to play Meijer Gardens on July 10. The vintage soul ensemble has long drawn enthusiastic crowds for shows at venues such as Billy’s Lounge, but Meijer Gardens adds another element to performances.
Fans heading to Meijer Gardens are expecting “a helluva show” even when they’re not familiar with the act on stage, he said.
“The venue is known for quality. So, like any good bread, we rise to the occasion,” Morales said. “We’re hoping to leave such an impression that we get asked to come back and maybe open for someone or do another hit there at some other time.”
For The Hacky Turtles, a Michigan-bred funky rock/folk band that moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago last year, it’s a chance to play a venue that other bands have raved about.
“We are elated,” said singer Marc Kanitz. “This show will be an absolute highlight. The venue is beautiful and (it’s) such a great opportunity for us as a newer band in Michigan.”
CHECK OUT LOCAL SPINS COVERAGE OF THE 2017 TUESDAY EVENING MUSIC CLUB FINALE: Larry McCray, Thornetta Davis add blues power to Tuesday Evening Music Club finale
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