West Michigan’s second-ever drive-in concert during the pandemic was a sellout on Saturday, with Nashville-based Beatles tribute band The English Rain playing amid bright sunshine.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERY
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
A “sold-out concert” seems like a foreign concept these days, considering the virtual absence of live music, not to mention social-distancing and other pandemic-related fallout.
But on a sunny Saturday in Hickory Corners north of Kalamazoo, the Gilmore Car Museum hosted a packed parking lot of vehicles for a sold-out, drive-in concert starring the Nashville-based Beatles tribute band The English Rain.
The unusual early evening show — West Michigan’s second-ever drive-in concert since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis that’s swept the country — had many attendees sitting in lawn chairs in front of their vehicles or tuning in their car radios to an FM radio frequency to hear a slew of Beatles hits churned out by the group on an outdoor stage.
The satisfying, 2-hours-plus journey through some of the Beatles’ greatest hits was summed up by the band from the stage at the end of the night: “This has done well for our souls.”
Indeed, live music on one of the best nights in terms of summer weather allowed many to kick back and relax, whether on a blanket in an open spot on the grass or just outside their vehicles.
The event — which featured special Beatles-related drinks at the outdoor bar and a mobile gift shop — required attendees to wear masks when walking to concessions or restrooms. The show boasted easy-in, easy-out access for the 600 or so vehicles, staggered parking for decent sight lines, good sound and respectful compliance with the rules.
Saturday’s show was the second drive-in concert staged in West Michigan since the onset of the coronavirus. Lakeshore groups Five Strand Fusion and the Bri Baron Band performed in the parking lot of Grand Haven’s Rycenga Building Center in late June.
And more drive-in concerts are in the offing: The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College outside Benton Harbor has announced a series of four drive-in shows to be staged starting in August in the Grand Upton Hall parking lot. The series starts Aug. 9 with jazz/pop artist Jenna Mammina, neo-soul jazz band The Andrew Fisher Quartet and the multi-genre group Doc Revolver. Get more details online at themendelcenter.com.
PHOTO GALLERY: The English Rain outside Gilmore Car Museum
Photos by Derek Ketchum