Festival of the Arts rocks Day 1 with sunshine, animated music

Festival of the Arts rocks Day 1 with sunshine, animated music

The return of Pageant to downtown Grand Rapids on Friday immediately after a prolonged, COVID

The return of Pageant to downtown Grand Rapids on Friday immediately after a prolonged, COVID hiatus attracted people and lovers of stay songs, food and art. Opening-day highlights, photographs and online video at Nearby Spins.

Friday Night time at Festival: Attractive Nightmare was a person of the last bands to enjoy the Calder Stage. (Image/Chelsea Whitaker)


With Festival of the Arts flags blowing wildly in a strong breeze late Friday afternoon, the Crossroads Resurrection band tuned up in preparation for the initial night of Pageant leisure in three yrs.

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When the band ultimately unleashed its funky, R&B-fueled blues, the strains ricocheted off the downtown Grand Rapids properties encompassing the Lyon Street Stage and quickly drew a lot more fans to the sunlight-splashed seating region, with dancers even bopping alongside at the back.

In truth, the thinner-than-regular crowds for a Competition Friday in comparison to previous many years — specifically taking into consideration the sunny, rain-no cost weather — grew immediately overall as night fell, with prolonged strains at lots of meals booths by 6 p.m.

The dwell tunes on the 4 outdoor levels seemed to increase in intensity and energy, way too, from the uber-talented younger Judah Guerra jazz band on the Calder Stage to the FlyLiteGemini rock ‘n’ roll duo on the Lyon Road Stage to Chandler Reed & The Sticky Keys’ uptempo, piano-driven pop-rock on the Fountain Street Stage.

Chandler Reed & The Sticky Keys (Photo/Neighborhood Spins)

“We only get a couple months of terrific climate, so when there’s an exterior competition in which we can delight in the solar and the community arts, you have to just take gain of it,” said festivalgoer Hugh Kallen of Grand Rapids.

By and huge, it was a triumphant return of a volunteer-pushed, absolutely free festival with a 50 %-century custom in Grand Rapids, coming back from a crippling pandemic that is stalled a lot more than 1 summer months party the earlier two decades. And there’s two more entire days of performances to arrive. Check out the preview and whole schedule at Regional Spins in this article.

Interestingly, Friday’s opening blast wasn’t the only live songs using position outdoor in downtown Grand Rapids. Just a several blocks away at Studio Park, south of Van Andel Arena, Listening Garden hosted the “soft opening” of its summer live performance collection on the piazza, with Ann Arbor’s Djangophonique unfurling its instrumentally adroit Django Reinhardt-influenced gypsy jazz for rapt supporters as the quartet promoted its new studio album, “Introducing Djangophonique.”

Right here are some 1st-working day Pageant highlights, alongside with a photo gallery and online video.

Author Benjamin Blackburn
Krystal Kleer – The eight-piece band Krystal Kleer introduced the Competition of the Arts off appropriate with a wonderful set of Southern blues. Doing on the Calder Phase underneath a wonderful blue sky, Krystal Kleer provided a effectiveness that demanded the notice of any passing competition-goer.

Brian Morris (Photograph/Holly Holtzclaw)

Brian Morris – Classical guitarist Brian Morris put in his set building wonderful soundscapes and gifting the indoor stage at the Grand Rapids Artwork Museum with a joyous ambiance. Sadly, due to scheduled design taking location again phase, some of the quieter segments were overtaken by banging hammers and raging saws. Morris was even visibly distracted at a pair of details in the present.

Karen Betz-Griewahn – Coming to the art museum with a handful of various woodwind instruments (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Karen Betz-Griewahn done an assortment of music from classical composers. Together with the tunes, Betz-Griewahn experienced a cheerful and friendly presence as she shared stories about her spouse and children in between tracks.

Writer Robert Novak
Tami Rene – Singer-songwriter Tami Rene performed a wholesome people-rock established on Friday evening. Her soft voice accompanied by her bluesy acoustic guitar-taking part in drew a crowd beneath the tent at the diSuvero stage.

The Prickly Pears (Photograph/Holly Holtzclaw)

East Town Swing – The 5-human being jazz ensemble, East City Swing, performed a assortment of new music from Miles Davis to Michael Bublé. The set at the diSuvero Phase showcased various solos from every single musician, highlighting each and every instrument current.

The Prickly Pears– The Prickly Pears’ passionate lyricism and upbeat instrumentals made a cathartic stay music encounter. The regional indie folks-rock band played an emotive and cohesive set at the diSuvero Phase that got audience associates dancing.

Image GALLERY: Grand Rapids Competition – Day 1
Photographs by Chelsea Whitaker, Holly Holtzclaw, John Sinkevics