Our weekend concert recap focuses on Saturday’s inaugural downtown street fest that also boasted sets by Kari Lynch, Melophobix and more. Plus view photos from Joe Satriani at State Theatre.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES, VIDEO
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
With the temperature in Grand Rapids at 44 degrees on Saturday night, The Verve Pipe frontman Brian Vander Ark couldn’t resist making an apropos analogy as he introduced one of the alt-rock band’s songs near the conclusion of downtown’s “October on Ottawa” fest.
“This song is about northern Michigan. It feels like northern Michigan right now,” he quipped.
Chilly weather, Saturday football, a Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game next door at Van Andel Arena, other autumn pursuits and a $40 ticket price likely led to a disappointingly small turnout for the inaugural one-day, six-act event hosted by Social House, 25 Ottawa Ave. SW.
But the 200 or so folks on hand for the day’s final set by The Verve Pipe gave the West Michigan band a spirited welcome as it uncorked band classics such as “Cup of Tea” and “Spoonful of Sugar” (which Vander Ark dedicated to “anyone that remembers the old Intersection” in Eastown). along with a striking cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”
And The Verve Pipe, funk rock’s Melophobix, country’s Kari Lynch Band and other performers praised the first-year event, which took place under two mammoth tents running the length of Ottawa Avenue alongside the arena, with an elaborate sound, lighting and stage set-up.
“This is absolutely wonderful,” gushed singer and guitarist Stefan Schwartz of Melophobix, which delivered an energetic, early evening set.
Despite the turnout, Lynch told Local Spins that she’s confident that the October on Ottawa event will grow and hone its approach in future years, noting that organizers treated performers well.
Elsewhere, veteran guitar phenom Joe Satriani delivered an eye-popping set at Kalamazoo’s State Theatre on Friday, from the opening salvo of “Nineteen Eighty” to “Surfing with the Alien,” that closed the show 25 songs later.
Check out separate recaps and photo galleries from West Michigan shows starring Chloe Moriondo, Ani DiFranco, The Rodriguez/Martinez Jazz Duo and Second Hand Drugs here.
Plus bonus coverage: Tech N9ne, Cooper Alan, Blunts & Blondes at The Intersection.
VIDEO: Melophobix, The Verve Pipe at October on Ottawa
PHOTO GALLERY: October on Ottawa, Downtown Grand Rapids (Saturday)
The Verve Pipe, Melophobix, DJ Jay Vee, Kari Lynch, Blue Jay Bridge
Photos by Anthony Norkus and Jamie Geysbeek
PHOTO GALLERY: Joe Satriani at Kalamazoo State Theatre (Friday)
Photos by Derek Ketchum
Copyright 2022, Spins on Music LLC