The first Tuesday Evening Music Club show in nearly two years filled the amphitheater for sets by The Accidentals and Roosevelt Digs. Recap, photos and video.
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That fitting title for a song written especially for the return of Tuesday Evening Music Club concerts at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park by The Accidentals and folk singer Ralston Bowles told the story of a celebratory night of music on Tuesday.
The first concert at Meijer Gardens’ outdoor amphitheater in 22 months had all the makings of a musical homecoming party with families filling the lawn, children and dancers twirling in front of the stage and Michigan bands The Accidentals and Roosevelt Diggs rolling out spirited performances for approving fans.
It all started in emotional fashion with Bowles joining The Accidentals on stage for that freshly written tune which gave more than one attendee chills as fans came to the realization that, yes, live music for a big outdoor crowd is finally back.
(Scroll down to a watch a video of that performance and visit bandcamp.com to purchase and download a newly mixed and mastered studio version of “Welcome Back,” recorded just this week.)
The COVID-19 pandemic that scuttled amphitheater concerts in 2020 seemed like a long-ago dream as cloudy skies and a slight breeze gave the 2,000 or so concertgoers a respite from the sizzling sunshine.
On stage, it was a scorching spectacle, led by Traverse City folk-rockers The Accidentals and West Michigan Americana band Roosevelt Diggs, kicking off the series that spotlights local and regional acts.
“It’s unreal,” Accidentals drummer Michael Dause said of performing again for a huge audience after a 16-month layoff.
‘CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE’ IN A SAFE SPACE
“Very sweaty and overwhelming, and we’re incredibly happy about it,” added Katie Larson.
“That’s what music is all about, is connecting with people. And we’ve been in our rooms for so long just waiting to come back. It’s just a surreal feeling to be back in a safe space playing music.”
The trio’s energetic performance – featuring signature instrument switches by multi-instrumentalists Sav Buist and Larson – provided tasteful anticipation and adept percussive articulation as the musicians worked through old favorites, unique covers (Fleetwood Mac to Coldplay), new tracks from the recently released “Time Out”: Session #1” EP and fresh songs from the yet-to-be released “Vessel” coming out this fall.
Roosevelt Diggs followed with a foot-stomping, full-band-set.
“There’s nothing better than what’s happening right here, right now,” Bowles declared at one point.
Affirmation of that came with the concert-ending, crowd-involving rendition of The Accidentals’ “Michigan and Again,” which brought Bowles and musicians from both bands on stage for a rousing finish.
“We’ve been coming here for two or three years now on Tuesday nights and seeing some of the more national acts on weekends,” said attendee Jim Torrey.
“So it was really nice to come back on a Tuesday. To see this many people in one place is pretty special. It felt great.”
The Tuesday Evening Music Club series continues in July with performances by retro-rock’s Franklin Park on July 13, ’60s pop group The 6-Pak on July 20 and ye-ye pop and gypsy jazz-inspired Via Mardot and raw blues/rockabilly’s Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish on July 27. See the full schedule online here.
The regular main concert series kicks off July 18 with Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Grand Rapids Symphony. Already, 15 of the 28 concerts have sold out to Meijer Gardens members; remaining tickets go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Saturday (July 10) via etix.com.
View an updated list of sold-out shows here.
PHOTO GALLERY: The Accidentals, Roosevelt Diggs, Ralston Bowles at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Anthony Norkus
VIDEO: Tuesday Evening Music Club Opening Night Highlights
Video by John Sinkevics
Copyright 2021, Spins on Music LLC