My last concert was February 27, 2020. Little did I know that that was going to be my last concert for a very long time. I can't explain the joy that I had when I heard the announcement that the Frederick Meijer Gardens Concert Series was a go this summer.
After our world went dark for so many months - losing loved ones to the pandemic, protesters walking in unity to make their presence and beliefs known, rioters storming our city streets and our Capitol - I have been more than ready to welcome back any kind of normalcy (as I'm sure you have been too).
As I took a quick break from photographing to enjoy the music, I was overwhelmed with gratitude at my surroundings.
I looked around at the nearly sold out crowd; music consumed the air, people were singing along swaying back and forth. I could see smiles, no more hiding behind a mask. People were laughing, conversing with one another without having to maintain a distance.
People were socializing. I was so grateful to be in that place at that moment.
The hot, humid air was sticky. My blowout went from sleek and shiny to thick, frizzy chaos the second I exited my air-conditioned car. Why did I even bother? I didn't care, I embraced my huge 'do.
The occasional breeze was a lifesaver, cooling everyone down. Brian Vander Ark, lead singer of The Verve Pipe, eventually made a remark on his hat and how it holds sweat in.
The vibes were nostalgic, especially when "The Freshman" flowed from the instruments of the band.
Despite the summer evening heat, goosebumps filled my arms when I heard the crowd start to sing along. As I was photographing, someone behind me commented "wow, do you hear that?!" and started recording on their phone. They were in the same state of awe that I was.
"For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and
We'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe
We'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen"
-The Freshman, The Verve Pipe
The Verve Pipe is outstanding live. Vander Ark's vocals are better in person, you get that rawness that recordings smooth out.
Along with their hits, they played new music from their new album "Parachute" which is out now.
The band did not disappoint the hometown crowd and I hope to see them back again soon!
To see all the images I shot of The Verve Pipe at Frederik Meijer Gardens, go here.
To purchase merchandise, go here.