By K.D. Norris
Two bands familiar to the audiences at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park summer concert series will be returning to the now partially upgraded amphitheater, as well as one familiar to listeners of ’80s American New Wave if not Lower East Side (NYC) Punk, are the first three announced acts at 2018 Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts series.
Just announced today, the Tedeschi Trucks Band with Charlie Parr will kick off the series on May 30, Blondie will be in town on June 29, and O.A.R.’s “Just Like Paradise Tour” with special guest Matt Nathanson will visit on Aug. 26. The complete 30-show lineup will be announced in mid-April, according to Meijer Gardens.
While both Tedeschi Trucks Band and O.A.R. are local fan favorites and, as with almost all of the Gardens’ concerts, usually sell-out shows, the appearance of Blondie and lead singer Debbie Harry may well be one of the must-see shows of the summer — especially if you are of a certain age and now have children you want to prove to that you had your wild side when you were their age.
“Here comes the 21st Century … it’s gonna be so much better for a girl like me,” Harry sang nearly three decades ago on her solo release Def Dumb And Blonde, the band’s website proudly repeats.
And life, and music, has been pretty good to singer-songwriter Harry, guitarist and co-writer Chris Stein, powerhouse drummer Clem Burke and their band-mates in Blondie who first burst on the scene in the late 1970s. But they have not lived in the past, as evidenced by their newest project, 2017’s Po11inator, the band’s 11th studio album and one featuring collaborations with Sia and Charli XCX.
For more information on Blondie visit blondie.net .
Not only will Blondie be new to Meijer Gardens audiences, but the 1,900-seat amphitheater will also have some changes as the venue is currently being expanded and upgraded. The work will take place over the next two years, according to Meijer Gardens, with the first year’s work to conclude for the presentation of the 2018 season, then resume, and be fully ready for the 2019 season.
While there will be some seating expansion after the second year of work, it will maintain “the intimacy of the venue”, according to Meijer Gardens. It will also increase the sponsor seating area, add new support areas for visiting artists, add a new support and concessions building (set to ready by the 2019 season).
Tedeschi Trucks and O.A.R. return with friends
Grammy-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band is a powerhouse, 12-piece ensemble led by the husband-and-wife team of guitarist Derek Trucks and guitarist-singer Susan Tedeschi. A touring juggernaut, the band is a jam band second to none, usually being on the road more than 200 days a year and reputed to having never played the same set list twice.
For more information on Tedeschi Trucks Band visit tedeschitrucksband.com .
O.A.R. (short for Of a Revolution) transformed itself from an independent college band to a Billboard chart-topper over the course of a long, varied career. The roots-and-reggae band has transcended jam band clichés to become one of the most popular live acts touring today. Joining them will be San Francisco’s Nathanson, who is rapidly gaining a reputation for his songwriting and his live performances.
And now the details …
Members of Meijer Gardens will be able to purchase tickets during an exclusive members-only pre-sale, April 28 through May 11. During the pre-sale, members receive a $5 discount per ticket. To join or renew before April 28 visit MeijerGardens.org/Membership .
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on May 12. More information on prices and purchasing locations will be available following the release of the full lineup in mid-April.