The Labor Day weekend kick-starts with roaring bass and good vibes as one of West Michigan’s premier summer concert series comes to an exquisite end. (Review, photos)
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERY, SET LIST
In some ways, UB40 was the perfect choice to close out the 2017 concert season at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
The long-lived British reggae and pop outfit uncorked the right mix of nostalgia and upbeat, dance-inspiring music to kick off the Labor Day holiday weekend on Friday for a cheery crowd of 1,600-plus at the outdoor amphitheater.
On the 30th and final evening of live music for 2017, band legends Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue offered up what can only be described as a feel-good evening of roots-reggae.
The night began with Kingston’s own Raging Fyah, featuring tracks from the band’s 2016 Grammy-nominated album, “Everlasting.” Its energetic performance echoed throughout the venue, coupling with smooth melodies and ground-shaking bass.
UB40, as expected, took the experience to a different level and had most fans standing throughout its set.
The three original members guided an ensemble of on-stage musicians through some of reggae’s most recognizable lyrics and hits spanning the U.K. group’s 18 studio albums.
While the pop/reggae/dub band originally formed in 1978, these gentlemen continue to impress. With 70 million records sold worldwide, it’s no wonder Meijer Gardens decided to close the 2017 season by spreading good vibes on a thick slice of love.
If Friday night had been a temperature of porridge, it would have been just right.
Who knows what’s in store for next year’s concert lineup? Will Meijer Gardens finally succumb to the ever-growing demand for EDM, or will they stick to a successful business model and bring back more classics? Either way, it’s still one of the most intimate atmospheres to witness an outdoor concert and one of my personal favorites.
And with 24 of Meijer Gardens’ 30 concerts selling out in 2017, the mix of music continues to cater to a devoted audience. (FYI: Next week, amphitheater renovations and construction begin, including reconfiguring the sound and lighting area, adding 100-plus permanent fixed seats in the VIP “sponsor” area and creating permanent bars on the east and west sides of the upper amphitheater.)
Stefan Schwartz, aka Stefan Paul, is a member of the award-winning Grand Rapids band Melophobix. He previously wrote about the Beaver Island Music Festival and Railroad Earth for Local Spins.
PHOTO GALLERY: UB40, Raging Fyah
Photos by Anthony Norkus
SET LIST: UB40 at Meijer Gardens (9/1/17)
Courtesy of setlist.fm
1. Here I Am (Come and Take Me)
(Al Green cover)
2. Flying High
3. Wear You to the Ball
4. Homely Girl
5. Version Girl
6. 1 In 10
7. Cherry Oh Baby
8. Just Another Girl
9. Rat in Mi Kitchen
10. Wedding Day
11. Fijian Sunset
12. Kingston Town
13. Many Rivers to Cross
14. Food for Thought
15. Bring Me Your Cup
17. Can’t Help Falling in Love
18. Red Red Wine
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC