Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park’s summer concert series will feature a record-setting 30 different acts this year. The lineup for the series features a number of popular performers, including John Legend, NEEDTOBREATHE, Phillip Phillips, the Barenaked Ladies and the Beach Boys.
Meijer Gardens president and CEO David Hooker told Mlive.com that organizers originally hoped to book 25 different acts for the concert series, but when the opportunity arose to book more, they said yes. Hooker said he felt confident that, based on previous seasons, the concert series could support a few more acts.
The concert series, which is held in the outdoor amphitheater at the gardens, kicks off June 1 with 10-time Grammy Award winner Carlos Santana and wraps up on Sept. 7 with popular country artist and nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow.
Eighteen of the acts will be performing at the gardens for the first time, including veteran R&B performer and songwriter John Legend and the Barenaked Ladies, a Canadian pop-rock group.
“We target 25 because if we tell our guests that, we feel very confident we can deliver,” Hooker told MLive.com. “We’ve confirmed 30 that we judge to be real solid artists we want to play in the amphitheater.”
The concert lineup has already generated a lot of buzz among locals. Many are especially excited about John Legend’s June 18 performance. Legend stands out to Calvin junior and musician Jenny LaJoye because he appeals to a broad audience.
“He’s a classic. He’s got a killer voice, and he grooves like nobody’s business on the piano. He’ll satisfy the singer-songwriter type and the critical musician.”
LaJoye also encourages concertgoers to check out the less well-known John Butler Trio, as well as music veterans like Ray LaMontagne:
“Look [John Butler Trio] up on Youtube. He’s such a great guitar player. He shreds on an acoustic like nobody’s business. Ray LaMontagne is another absolutely classic singer-songwriter.”
However, LaJoye says she is most excited about seeing Nickel Creek, which just released a new album after a 7-year hiatus.
“They’re rootsy, organic, experienced, brilliant and some of the best musicians you’ll ever encounter. The skill level and creativity is ridiculous,” LaJoye said. “I will spend an irresponsible amount of money to see them perform live.”
Tickets for the concert series go on sale to the public on May 10. Ticket prices vary depending on the popularity of the performer. Prices for specific concerts can be found at http://www.meijergardens.org.