One of rock’s most legendary and defining bands, THE WHOannounced today that they will return to Grand Rapids to perform at Van Andel Arena for one night only on July 25, at 7:30 p.m. The London Souls will open the show.
Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, March 24 at 11:00 AM. Ticket prices are $39.50, $59.50, $82 and $139.50 and will be available at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place® box offices, online at Ticketmaster.com, and charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. VIP packages will be available via Ticketmaster. A purchase limit of eight (8) tickets will apply to each order and prices are subject to change.
Fans can expect the band to take them on an ‘Amazing Journey’ through their entire career from the days of ‘The High Numbers’ to classic albums such as ‘Who’s Next’ ‘Tommy,’ ‘Quadrophenia,’ ‘My Generation’ and ‘Live at Leeds’ up to the present day.
Fans making their way to Van Andel Arena for the Stevie Nicksconcert on Wednesday night will notice something bright and shiny on the front of the arena.
The holiday season has arrived once again which means Van Andel Arena will have itself wrapped in more than just a busy schedule of events. A giant, red ribbon has been installed on the face of the arena to celebrate the holidays.
This will be the third season the ribbon, decked out in many red lights to shine a bright and stunning display throughout the night, has been installed on the arena. It is eight feet wide and spans across the front of Van Andel Arena, reaching 300 feet all the way across.
As it has the previous three years, the ribbon will remain displayed on the arena throughout the holiday season.
In lieu of a tree, arena staff decided to do something a little different to celebrate the holidays in 2014 by installing the ribbon. Christmas Décor by Lakeshore Lighting built the ribbon for the arena and installs it each year.
The Avett Brothers, Nov. 12, at Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mi.
In an October interview prior to the band’s visit to West Michigan, Scott Avett said of the musical philosophy of The Avett Brothers band: “The fact that we run the gamut, that we are inspired by a lot of different types of music, that has always been us. That is always something that we just naturally do. We have never had to think about it.”
The truth of Scott’s words were clearly evident Saturday night during a 25-or-so song, 2-hour-20 set for a large, boisterous, appreciative but not-overwhelming or sold-out Van Andel Arena crowd – the band’s now decade-old set list runs from North Carolina bluegrass with a yodel or two thrown in, to straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll with lead guitarist Seth Avett up on a speaker shredding on his electric.
And, you know, it appears they did not have to really think all that much about it. The two hours just flowed by and the audience was left with a collective sigh and a feeling that they just heard a great band in their prime.
With no opening act – and none needed or desired – The Avett Brothers took the stage like men at work, opened with the banjo-focused “D Bag Rag” before sliding into the understated and melancholy “Down with the Shine” and then reaching full voice and stage presence with “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise.”
From there, with very little talk from the stage, the brothers took turns at the mic and at the forefront – with ample chorus and instrumental solo support from each other and from core band members bassist Bob Crawford and cellist Joe Kwon. Each brother also welcomed and encouraged audience sing-a-long on several more well-known tunes. They played their songs and played to their audience.
May I have more, please?
Highlights of the night, this being my first time seeing the band live and being a fairly new acolyte, was “Head Full of Doubt” early, “True Sadness”, “Ain’t No Man” and especially “Fisher Road to Hollywood” off their newest release, and a sweet, simple ode to the recently and dearly departed Leonard Cohen with “Hallelujah”.
And, of course, closing with “I and Love and You” — a perfect song to end a concert for family and friends — was a perfect encore ending.
It may be just grabbing for a lifeline in these troubling times, but it also struck me as I listened to “Head Full of Doubt” that I may be listening to the song which, 10 years down the American Road, will bring back the days of President Trump.
“There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light/In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right/And it comes in black and it comes in white/And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it”
Yes, the song was written almost a decade ago and released in 2009, so it was not and is not some political or social statement by the band. But that does not stop people from taking a current meaning from it — or the band giving a current meaning to it.
Van Andel Arena has been celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the party is set to keep going. The venue is inviting the community to celebrate at the Halloween Open House on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 12–4 pm.
The event is free and open to the public as a way for Van Andel Arena to show gratitude for the support of the community over the past 20 years.
Plenty of activities and freebies are planned for the Halloween-themed event. The first 5,000 people through the doors will enjoy a free hot dog, popcorn, and Pepsi, and the first 2,000 people will be given a treat – a 20th birthday cupcake.
Other activities to enjoy are costume contests, a live DJ, trick-or-treating and bag decoration stations, Halloween photo stations, self-guided tours of the building, ticket giveaways, and more, including a chance to take a slapshot on the ice, shoot hoops on the basketball floor, and have your picture taken with a Zamboni.
The event will be a fun-filled, family-friendly day and guests are encouraged to show up in costume to get into the Halloween spirit.
The area’s witches and warlocks, princesses and ninjas will be heading down the City of Wyoming Parks and Recreation’s annual Pumpkin Path Saturday, Oct. 8 at Lamar Park, 2561 Porter St. SW. The event runs from 4 – 6 p.m. and features area businesses and organizations handing out treats and items to those who come by. The event is free to the public. For more, check out the story.
Celebrating the harvest
The City of Kentwood wraps up its famers market season with a very special event this Saturday, Oct. 8, a Harvest Celebration. Music and games will be part of the activities with the market’s usual vendors in attendance as well. Produce, flowers and homemade goods are some of the items you can expect to find. The event is from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Kent District Library Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch, 4950 Breton Ave. SE. The event is free to the public.
Me and My Brother
Care Ballet kicks off its season with the Brothers Grimm classic “Hansel & Gretel.” No more than an hour in length, Care Ballet’s productions are a perfect way to introduce youngsters into the world of dance. The fall production is Saturday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. with all shows at the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, 2211 Lake Dr. SE. Tickets are $10/students and $15/adults and can be purchased through www.careballet.org.
For Good Measure
The production for this year’s Grand Valley State University’s Shakespeare Festival is the Bard’s darkest comedy “Measure for Measure.” The story tackles the twin evils of power and corruption with outrageous humor, giving hope to the hopeless and courage to the powerless. His city caught in a moral free-fall, the Duke of Vienna hands over power to Lord Angelo, who enforces long-dormant codes of chastity with zealous fervor. When Isabella, a pious young nun, pleads for the life of her condemned brother, Angelo’s response is surprisingly sensual — revealing a web of desire, deception, and hypocrisy that infects every corner of society. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 6 and 7 and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9 at GVSU’s Louis Armstrong Theatre, located on the Allendale Campus at 1 Campus Drive. Tickets are $14/adults, $12/alumni/seniors/faculty/staff, $6 students/groups. Call 616-331-2300.
Two for the Money
Two other performances highlighted earlier this week are the “I Love the 90s” show set for Saturday, Oct. 8, at Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton. The show is in celebration of the Van Andel’s 20th year with ticket prices at $35 and $20. The show is at 7:30 p.m. For more, click here.
Also the Grand Rapids Ballet kicks off its season with “MoveMedia: Made in America,” Friday- Sunday, Oct. 7 – 9, at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW. Showtimes re 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more, click here for the story.
With his home repair show and “Dancing With the Stars,” it is hard to imagine that Robert Matthew Van Winkle, a.k.a. Vanilla Ice, has any time to do much else.
But the rapper best known for the nineties song “Ice Ice Baby,” has been touring the past few months in the “I Love the 90s” show featuring himself and Salt N Pepa with the Spinderella, Kid N Play, All 4 One, Rob Base and Tone Loc.
And since the Van Andel Arena was open in the nineties — Oct. 8, 1996 — the “I Love the 90s” show is perhaps the perfect one to celebrate the arena’s twentieth anniversary. So the arena will be reliving the nineties on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
The entire night will have a 1990s theme to celebrate the Van Andel Arena’s 20th anniversary including a special $20 ticket price and 1996 concession stand prices.
Van Winkle made it big in the early 1990s with “Ice Ice Baby,” but by 1994 had taken a break from the music industry to become the No. 6 ranked sit-down Jet Ski racer earning a Kawasaki sponsorship.
In the mid-1990s, Van Winkle began to study real estate and started working on the side renovating and selling houses. In 2009, he started filming the reality television series “The Vanilla Ice Project,” which is on DIY Network. The show is now in its sixth season and lead to Van Winkle writing a book “Vanilla Ice Project — Real Estate Guide.”
Van Winkle continues to do a number of different things, including acting, along with performing. Most recently, he can be seen on the current season of “Dancing With the Stars” where in his first dance he performed a cha cha to “Ice Ice Baby.”
No word on whether he will do that cha cha at the Oct. 8 performance, but he will perform his hit “Ice Ice Baby.” Other nineties hits on the playlist are “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Shoop,” featuring Salt N Pepa with Spinderella; Tone Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina;” Rob Base’s “It Takes Two;” “ and All-4-One’s “I Swear.”
Tickets are $20 and $35 and available at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, online at Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Even though some of us may not be big fans of the cold weather, winter plays host to some of West Michigan’s most fun activities. Coats and boots may be necessary, so pack accordingly! Whether you enjoy speeding down the slopes or taking your time to enjoy the snow covered outdoors, West Michigan will keep you more than entertained during these winter months.
The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex
For some unique winter fun, check out the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, located in Muskegon State Park. They have one of the only four publicly accessible luge tracks in the country! They also have snowboarding, skiing, and sledding on their five miles of groomed track. If you’re not interested in hitting the slopes, there is an ice rink and tracks for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Equipment is available for rent.
The JW Marriott is helping you embrace and enjoy winter with the JW on Ice package! This package includes passes for ice skating at nearby Rosa Parks Circle, a holiday gift welcome amenity, and a complimentary breakfast from their delicious farm-to-table restaurant, six.one.six, to help you warm up.
Van Andel Arena & DeVos Place
Van Andel Arena will be home to the WCHA Final Five hockey championship on March 18. The men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is college hockey’s most historic, tradition-rich and successful conference and their premier conference tournament is coming to Grand Rapids. This two day event pits some the best college hockey teams in the region against each other. Visit the website for more ticket and group sale information.
January is National Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month and Crystal Mountain has you covered with their professional instructors and special lift tickets offer all of January. For January only, Crystal Mountain is bringing you an amazing deal with a ski and snowboard rental and 1-hour beginner group lesson for only $20. Advanced reservations requested.
Don’t need a lesson? Then bring a friend and enjoy the day with a two for one deal on lift tickets! Offer valid Mondays through Thursdays for the month of January. Whether you’re a newbie looking to learn how to shred the slopes or an experienced rider, Crystal Mountain is the place to be.
Shanty Creek Resorts
Shanty Creek, rated the “Midwest’s Best Downhill Terrain” by OnTheSnow.com, transforms themselves every year into a winter wonderland. There is something for every skill level from beginners to veterans who are always looking for a challenge. If the skiing and snowboarding doesn’t interest you, check out their tubing park, snowshoe trails, and cross-country trails. If you are interested in some snowy fun, Shanty Creek’s winter wonderland is calling to you.
Here in West Michigan we are lucky enough to experience all four seasons. This winter, get out and about and soak up the winter in a new way. The cold and snow isn’t going anywhere, might as well enjoy it while it’s here!