By K.D. Norris
The first concerts of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park summer concert series hit the stage this week, and most years aftermarket tickets are all that is available for the majority of the shows — and late comers pay the price: this week’s St. Paul and the Broken Bones show, original ticket price of $35, is sold out but available on StubHub for $102.35.
But this season, at last count, 16 of the 28 remaining concerts were not sold out. But, admittedly, many have only a few tickets remaining, with some of them having been returned for sale by the band.
Some of this month’s concerts with tickets available from Meijer Gardens include this week’s Diana Krall show, on Wednesday, June 7, as well as Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot! on June 18, Boz Scaggs on June 21, Daughtry on June 25 and Trombone Shorty on June 29.
For my money, the most surprising shows with original price tickets still available include Elvis Costello & The Attractions on July 17 — come on, Elvis will be in the building! — as well as the unique pairing and unique music of Andrew Bird and Esperanza Spaulding on July 24, and the always-great summer night with Lyle Lovett (with his large band) on Aug. 2.
Alas, possibly the show of the Meijer Gardens season, the July 27 visit by The Shins (aka James Mercer) and their inventive, modern alt-pop sounds, is sold out, with originally-priced $57 tickets now priced on StubHub at $111. At that price, you may as well head over to Chicago for the Sunday, Aug. 6, Lollapalooza day of concerts and catch The Shins with a ton of other great bands — StubHub tickets are currently $126.
The Meijer Gardens Summer Concert season will come to an end on Sept. 1 with the season-closing concert by English reggae and pop band UB40.
Starting in July, Meijer Gardens’ amphitheater will also host its Tuesday Evening Concert Series, with general admission to the Gardens getting people in for some great local and regional musical acts. Starting Tuesday, July 4, with Green On Blue and The Red Sea Pedestrians, the diverse two-month program features live bands with music ranging from jazz to indie rock to folk, all starting at 7 p.m. Two of the more interesting musical explorations will be the mid August visits of Kalamazoo’s Michigander on Aug. 8 and Slim Gypsy Baggage on Aug. 15.
For complete information on the concert series tickets and admission prices, visit meijergardens.org .