Question of the Week: What’s the best show you’ve seen at the Meijer Gardens amphitheater?
Local Spins’ Question of the Week (April 6, 2023)
What’s the best show you’ve seen at the Meijer Gardens amphitheater?
The winner in last week’s drawing of email subscribers who responded to our question of the week was reader Holly Martin. To be placed in a drawing for a Local Spins gift pack, sign up for email updates and the weekly newsletter here: https://localspins.com/subscribe-local-spins-mailing-list/
THE READER RESPONSES:
Jackie Cudd Blowers – Boy, there are so many. but I really enjoyed Harry Connick Jr., OAR and Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls. The Four Voices Tour, oh, and Matt Nathanson.
Holly Sillman Martin – Such a hard question! Dead South was SO good last summer. That one was the 2022 favorite for me. But through the years, SO many. Standouts were Lyle Lovett, JJ Grey, Decemberists and Bela Fleck with Sam Bush and others! But I know there are many more I can’t even think of right now. Can’t wait for the announcement for 2023.
Pete Owsianowski- Leon Redbone opening for John Prine.
Gary Milanowski – More of an interesting show than best, was when Los Lobos and Robert Randolph Family Band played after an amphitheatre clearing tornado warning. The Wolves played on borrowed instruments and they invited 50+ people onstage to play along with them. Los Lobos version of ‘Cinnamon Girl’ was a knockout. They were admittedly off but played through. A great night at the show.
Adam Robert – My favorite was Umphrey’s McGee 2021; runner-up would be Twiddle when they sat in for Moe.
Jamie Geysbeek – American Acoustic Tour with Punch Brothers and I’m With Her.
Kerrie Smallegan LeBlanc – Tash Sultana. Franti’s shows are always magic!
Michelle Fraser Thompson – Australian Pink Floyd & Lyle Lovett were the best two I’ve seen at FMG.
Anthony Anderson – Trey Anastasio played a very special solo show there last year. That’s the coolest and most special.
Mark Colton – Ben Folds a few years back was amazing. Trey last year was incredible. Nahko and Dispatch were fantastic. My vote however is any/all Michael Franti shows – so uplifting.
Darci Fawcett-Austin – Brandi Carlile
Gary Campbell – Way too many to choose, but the best audience participation was KC and the Sunshine Band!
Brian Haik – So many great shows at FMG. Santana and Tedeachi Trucks Band are high on the list, but my top two were Gov’t Mule and David Byrne (the first time he was there).
Steve Sly – I’m going to go with Umphrey’s McGee. I have seen them there several times and they always put on a great show, perfect for the outdoors. Honorable mention Gov’t Mule & The Decemberists, both of which were great shows.
Vonni Leaver – Goo Goo Dolls last year
Beth Nielsen DeWilde – Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt, Seal, Tedeschi Trucks
Rebecca Charbauski – Brandi Carlile for sure.
Jake Koelewyn – Umphreys McGee. They always throw down, but was especially fun seeing them here.
Brad Rick – The next one.
Jean Haynak – I think the Kari Lynch band is the best. Drew a big crowd the last time they were there.
Leisha England – Huey Lewis, Foreigner, Styx, Sara Bareilles
Terie DiMuzio Vickery – All of them. Ray LaMontagne was the most interesting though!
Andrew March – Umphrey’s McGee
Julian Garcia – Santana
Scott VanderWerp – Kansas, Five for Fighting, Peter Frampton
Linda Goulet – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. The music outstanding, and Steve’s comedy in-between amazing!
Stacey Rydeski Eldred – Los Lonely Boys
Sue McKee Raab – Dead South
Levi Hincka – Gary Clark Jr for sure.
Gina Calonder Karsten – Harry Connick Jr., Tedeschi Trucks, John Butler Trio, Steve Miller, Grace Potter, Wood Brothers, Michael Franti, St Paul and the Broken Bones, JJ Grey, so many great concerts.
Michael Kroll – Australian Pink Floyd, September 2022.
Kim Haynak Mashue – Kari Lynch Band: Was so much fun!
Tom Oumedian – Seal
Lindsey Lynch – Kari Lynch Band is definitely the best show I’ve seen.
Ronald Wondolowski – Tie between Lyle Lovett and his large band and Greg Allman.
Melissa Guzenda-Van Gessel – Sara Bareilles
Laura Lundy – Brandi Carlile
Vicki Stein – Indigo Girls
David Kuzma – Levon Helm
Mark Stankus – Gipsy Kings
Dks Kim – Kari Lynch
Michael Troast – Trey Anastasio
Stew Robinson – Steve Miller Band with Marty Stuart was pretty cool.
John Rankin – Ben Folds
Jayne Stegman – The Indigo Girls
Jeff Grossklaus – Grace Potter
Jessica Kirchen Lyons – Michael Franti and Spearhead
Tom Morley – Gov’t Mule
Doug Bostian – Peter Frampton playing the entire “Frampton Comes Alive” double album setlist in order of the original concert.
Derek Reed – Pat Metheny. By far.
Ross Field – Andrew Bird, the time a hawk came to rest above the roof of the stage, checked out the crowd and music for a while and then flew off. Or, maybe last year when The Decemberists encored with “Ben Franklin Song.” Or the twin bill of Femi Kuti and Bombino. So many great nights over the years.
Kim Bouma Powell – Foreigner several years back, never sat down the entire show. Jay Leno (non-musical) was a close second.
Tom VanHammen – Trombone Shorty in the pouring rain.
Linda Kinney – Dawes
Cheryl Gourdie Scales – Nickel Creek and The B52’s
Jeff Larsen – Elvis Costello’s first appearance at the Gardens, on June 27, 2011.
Debra Maly – Too many to list. Harry Connick Jr, Lyle Lovett, Seal, Huey Lewis, Blondie.
Scott Buchholz – The Decemberists
Laura Johnson – Vince Gill
Dan Hammersmith – Mavericks.
Karyn Rabourn – Brandi Carlile. Wish she’d come back there but she’s too big now.
Greg Hagen – Trey
David Ellyatt – Chris Isaak
Lori Anne Hacker – The Accidentals
Melissa Lynn – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Ryan K Wilson – David Byrne and St. Vincent.
Brian Johnson – Tedeschi Trucks Band
Mark Wondergem – Too many to count.
Julie Bernat Swanson – The Gipsy Kings
Cathy Buchanan – Kenny Rogers
G. Kendall Kiel – John Prine.
Brad Hastings – Umphrey’s McGee for sure, but Lake Street Dive and The Wood Brothers is a real close second.
Darlene Cooper – John Prine w Leon Redbone
Ben Wade – Keb Mo and Robert Cray was pretty great.
Wendy Dykman Baker – Tears For Fears. We literally danced, sang & laughed in the pouring rain for most of the concert & I’ll never forget it – one of my all-time favorite concert memories.
Mark Zickefoose – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Dan Hildebrandt – I’ve only seen one concert there, and it was The Moxie Strings and Samuel Nalangira and it was awesome!
Mike Metchikoff – Too many to mention, but one artist that consistently puts on a great performance and has a tremendous group backing him up is Lyle Lovett!
Isaac Powrie – Punch Brothers, I’m With Her, and Julien Lage was a great one. Trey Anastasio solo was really special.
John Carpenter – I would add Buddy Guy to the list.
Greg S. Lewis – Surprisingly, I think Joe Jackson is my fave so far
John Nowak – Jackson Browne, Old Crow, Herbie Hancock
Bradley Raffenaud – The Dead South
Jack Leaver – Levon Helm and band. So glad I got to see him while he was still here.
Kat VanHammen – Trombone Shorty! Also danced in the warm pouring rain. He came out into the crowd and it was a blast.
Chad Stanton – Emmylou Harris!
Joel Schultze – The Shins
Paul Michael Magnan – I enjoyed Vince Gill’s performance with Paul Franklin, and having first meeting Vince when he was in Pure Prairie League.
Jim Shade – Michael Franti, every time he’s been there!
Chad Michael Wedeven – Squeeze and Patty PerShayla jump to mind.
Buck McDougall – Emmylou Harris
Kevin Riley – Probably have to say The Avett Brothers. But Gary Clark Junior was so good too.
Mario León – Bonnie Raitt (of course) and Buena Vista Social Club.
David Kirchgessner – Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Cliff
David Zeemering – Lake Street Dive
Tommy Schichtel – Blondie
Phil Tower – My top 3: 1) Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. 2. Joe Jackson 3. Trombone Shorty with ￼Tank and The Bangas, Dumpstaphunk.
Michele Terpstra – Crowded House!
Lee Chase – Neko Case, Vince Gill, Levon Helm, Calexico to name a few…
Pam VandeKerkhoff – Tedeschi Trucks
Lisa O’Hare – Gary Clark Jr., Grace Potter
Drea B Garcia – Ralston Bowles, hands down.
Ryan Birtles – Huey Lewis & The News! Their last tour, sadly.
Nancy Hart – KD Lang, Trombone Shorty the time it rained, The Mavericks
Michael J Vizard – We took our youngest granddaughter, Hailey Pranskaitis, to the Tegan & Sara concert there. Didn’t know what to expect. Loved the show and the crowd. Hailey danced through the whole show and got a shout-out from one of them. They asked her age and she yelled back ’10.’ This even made the GR Press the next day … a great memory…
Andrew Ogrodzinski – Jean-Luc Ponty with Stanley Clarke and Bela Fleck was my favorite. Epic would be an understatement.
Melissa Harmon – The Decemberists!
Dave Adams – Joe Jackson
Ed Vander Ploeg – Carlos Santana, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello
Todd Olson – Trey Anastasio 2022
Mark Jilbert – Tedeschi Trucks Band, Galactic, Troy Andrews, Dumpstaphunk with George Porter Jr…my favorites. But it’s cool to see everyone posting who they loved to see.
Mike Dodge – I’ve seen a number of them there but I think Live would be my favorite. They sounded as good as they did in their heyday.
Tricia Boot – Michael Franti, Tears for Fears, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, Trombone Shorty.
Dan Lauterbur – Squeeze.
Kathy Gagnon – Carlos Santana
Carol Cornett – Bonnie Raitt, BB King, Joan Baez with Mary Chapin Carpenter, and The Indigo Girls, and Jeff Daniels.
Taylor Shupe – Beach Boys! It was a perfect summer night. Sponsored by AARP .
Dave Martin – John Butler Trio!
Brent Godfrey – Ani Difranco
Carol Cornett – Ralston Bowles Tuesday Night Music.
Diane Yob – Los Lobos. So many good ones, and the vibe there makes every show seem like the best.
Chris Carr – Herbie Hancock or Tedeschi Trucks Band
JR Scott Weaver – Avett Brothers.
Karin Avery – Myron Elkins
Kevin Fein – Brandi Carlile
Debra Schutmaat – David Byrne, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle, John Hiatt and Taj. So many fantastic concerts!
Da’Veonce Washington – Larry McCray
Barbara Hass – Natalie McMaster x2. Greensky Bluegrass opened for her one of those times. And the legend Earl Scruggs who passed the following year.
Steve Talaga – It’s a tie: Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny.
Lori Moon – Potato Moon
Cynthia Timmerman – Loved the handful that I saw, but knowing how sick Levon Helms was made each song truly special. Bruce Hornsby and the Wood Brothers, Sheryl Crow. It is an amazing venue.
Tom Slendebroek – MFG is my least favorite venue. Long lines, hellish sun, crowded seating because attendees claim large sections of turf. At least they have ice cream and coffee at a moderate price.
Kevin Lyons – Gov’t Mule.
Michael R. Hampton – Lake Street Dive, also Andy Grammer. These two acts have gone on to headline big stages and demanding huge $.
Patrick Ryskamp – Tedeschi Trucks – Soul Stew Revival
Janet Lee Zahn – First time David Byrne performed.
Jay Farquharson – Levon Helm
Lazaro Vega – Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock and several by Uncle Lyle.
Stephen Aldrich – Randy Newman, best solo show I’ve ever seen.
John A Butler Jr. – David Byrne and Tosca Strings.
David Kuzma – I can’t believe that more people didn’t respond to the Levon Helm show. Picking one of the many fabulous shows I’ve seen, that was the one I picked. I guess I’m just an old relic that prefers to listen to the musicians instead of chatting and visiting. The venue has gone downhill in my humble opinion.
Nathan Purchase – Hands down Tash Sultana.
Robin Marckini – AG Silver & Verve Pipe!
Robin Kauffman – Seal
Tracy Kirksey – John Prine! ♥️
Sarah Fairbanks Keen – Definitely some great ones…but, the specific one jumping out at me right now is when Colin Oberst was backed by Dawes.
Terry J DeBoer – Enjoyed Lifehouse/Switchfoot in 2017…..
Ted Smith – Either Chris Isaak or The Stray Cats
Tamie Price – Rick Springfield and the Grand Rapids Symphony
Al Haaksma – Galactic and Government Mule
Barbara Hass – I forgot about St. Paul and the Broken Bones
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