Performing sets Saturday on a wheeled flatbed trailer, the Grand Rapids band hit different West Michigan sites for an unusual “Traveling Road Show.” Check out this week’s live music photo galleries.
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Turn a flatbed trailer into a stage, then haul it to different parking lots for four rock shows in eight hours on the hottest day of the year in the midst of a pandemic.
Paradise Outlaw did just that on Saturday, unfurling its unusual “Traveling Road Show” for fans in Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Marne for its first live concerts in several months due to the COVID-19 breakout.
The Southern rock-fueled Grand Rapids band – Kevin Langeland, Colin Tobin, John Johnson and Nate Vredeveld – had actually planned five “tour stops,” but the fourth of the day, slated for Rylee’s Ace Hardware on the city’s West Side, was abandoned in early evening due to the threat of rain and storms.
Undaunted, the band packed up and moved on to its final destination – the parking lot at Mieras Family Shoes, 841 Leonard St. NW – for a rousing, rock ‘n’ roll finale with a cadre of about 50 fans enjoying the show from lawn chairs and the backs of their vehicles.
The novel road show saw the band hauling its gear, speakers, generator and stage from site to site, starting around 12:30 p.m. Saturday outside Interurban Depot Café in Marne before moving on to Shots off Lake Michigan Drive NW and The American Legion Roger B. Chaffee Post 154 in Wyoming.
Band members told Local Spins it was a fun and worthwhile expedition, though the sun and 90-degree heat were especially brutal at the earliest tour stops of the day.
“I’d say the best part was just performing again, especially at the last stop,” said Langeland. “We kind of knocked some rust off throughout the day and at the 8 o’clock show there was a good number of people, everyone was having a good time, we could interact with the crowd a bit more and it was just really fun to play again and see people enjoying it.”
Although Langeland said the band would certainly do it all again, he conceded “the physical aspect” of the road show was a challenge. “The setup and tear down over and over, the heat, the humidity, being on your feet the entire day, trying to stay hydrated and not run out of energy,” he said. “It was a long day, especially with that weather.”
Browse a gallery by Local Spins photographer Anthony Norkus, along with a brief video. – John Sinkevics
Then, check out photos from Megan Dooley performing at Kalamazoo’s “Beats on Bates” series on Wednesday and the Oat Bran Boys performing Thursday at Cutler Park as part of Cutlerville’s “Sounds of Summer” series — a couple of the very few community concert series in West Michigan still taking place this summer. See a full list of free community concerts online here.
PHOTO GALLERY: Paradise Outlaw at the Mieras Family Shoes Parking Lot (7/18/20)
Photos by Anthony Norkus
Thank you all for a successful rock and roll traveling road show! – Hope everyone enjoyed it!!
OAT BRAN BOYS AT CUTLER PARK
Cutler Park on Thursday was filled with Southern soul as the Oat Bran Boys and Tommy Foster took the stage to a scattered, but loyal crowd for Sounds of Summer’s third scheduled community concert in Cutlerville.
The audience set up a sea of lawn chairs, with pods of patrons spaced below the shade as the band kicked off its set.
The synergy between the Oat Bran Boys and Foster was apparent from the get-go, with their banter lighting up the audience between songs. With lead vocals bouncing around, the audience was treated to classic country, bluegrass hits and even gypsy jazz. Foster let loose his inner Johnny Cash, followed by Oat Bran Boys bassist Richard King shifting to Django Reinhardt’s “Minor Swing” — a display of the group’s dynamic experience.
The concert was a rare one in West Michigan as one of the few outdoor community series still on for the summer due to COVID-19. Families kept to themselves, sitting at least six feet away from other groups. Masks were less common, but mostly, fans were just thrilled to finally get to listen to some live music. – Nick Moran
PHOTO GALLERY: Oat Bran Boys for Sounds of Summer (7/16/20)
Photos by Nick Moran
Photos by Derek Ketchum