West Michigan’s musical weekend featured some beloved icons (Lyle Lovett, The Temptations, Righteous Brothers) plus tour stops by Marcus Rezak, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Murder by Death. The images at Local Spins.
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“My Girl,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Get Ready,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.”
“Hold On, I’m Comin’,” “Unchained Melody,” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’.”
Between The Temptations and The Righteous Brothers, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park was jam-packed with hits on Sunday night to close out a West Michigan week that boasted an eclectic blend of music:
• Six Mix-a-Lot returned to Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo;
• Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening played the classics at 20 Monroe Live;
• Lyle Lovett & His Large Band came back for yet another show at Meijer Gardens;
• Murder by Death, touring behind its latest release, “The Other Shore,” stopped at Kalamazoo’s Old Dog Tavern;
• Guitar whiz Marcus Rezak played not only Grand Rapids’ Pyramid Scheme but Old Dog Tavern, too.
Check out the photos below, along with a review of The Temptations/Righteous Brothers show.
THE TEMPTATIONS, RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS PLAY THE HITS AT MEIJER GARDENS
Otis Williams would have loved to have seen it.
A little girl, maybe five or six years old, jumping up and down in anticipation of the Motown greats taking the stage.
“I can’t wait for The Temptations!” she gushed, twirling her brown hair. “They are the love of my life!”
Had they witnessed this exuberance, members of the Motown supergroup likely would have dedicated “My Girl” to her.
As it was, the sold-out crowd at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Sunday night was pretty enamored with the five-piece outfit, anchored by 77-year-old founding member Williams. Though the other four singers were considerably younger, “Big Daddy” kept up easily, dancing and employing his how-low-can-you-go baritone to great effect all night long.
There were top-of-the-mountain notes and bullfrog-y, bottom-of-the-swamp notes and every note in between. All that vocal versatility made for a mesmerizing listen.
Effervescent is the only way to describe these talented gents, resplendent in their golden yellow vests and royal blue suits. “The Way You Do the Things You Do” bopped along happily into “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Get Ready,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”
More dreamy and languid were “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and a remake of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” from their 2018 album, “All the Time,” sung tenderly by “Baby Face” Terry Weeks.
Backed by a 15-piece band (highlighted by lead guitarist Adrian Williams, nephew of original member Paul Williams), the Temptations were incredibly tight, and their harmonies soared into the fading light over the amphitheater. By the time the legends broke into their “national anthem,” aka “My Girl,” you could safely say everyone was on “Cloud Nine.”
Warming up the crowd was an even older outfit, or at least an older lead singer: The Righteous Brothers’ 78-year-old Bill Medley.
The often-hilarious Medley was joined by Bucky Heard, whose silvery voice echoes that of the late Bobby Hatfield
who died in 2003. “They used to call this (music) hard rock,” he quipped in his gravelly voice. “But now they call it elevator music.” Well, he said it. A few tunes, such as “Once in My Life” and “Little Latin Lupe Lu” would have fit right in on the way to the top floor.
Medley, though a charming showman, is slowing down and it showed in his iconic voice at times. “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” was a little off key, for example.
Still, the band that once opened for the Beatles and Yhe Rolling Stones had some magic left. Two highlights were Medley’s duet with daughter McKenna (a gorgeous vocalist) on “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and a poignant solo by Medley of “Unchained Melody.” Though it was recorded by the Righteous Brothers in 1965 with Hatfield doing the lead vocal solo, to hear Medley’s very different, lower and gravelly voice on the song made it a fitting and special emotional tribute. – By Lorilee Craker
PHOTO GALLERY: The Temptations, Righteous Brothers at Meijer Gardens (Sunday)
Photos by Kendra Petersen-Kamp
PHOTO GALLERY: Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening at 20 Monroe Live (Wednesday)
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
PHOTO GALLERY: Marcus Rezak, Trifocal at Old Dog Tavern (Friday)
Photos by Derek Ketchum