Top 8 Music Venues to Visit in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Beer City isn’t the only thing Grand Rapids, Michigan is known for, there are plenty of great music venues to see shows, and here are some of the best.
Gigs in West Michigan
Before living in the Grand Rapids area, I used to drive across Michigan as well as Indiana to see shows in West Michigan.
Yes, I’ve been to concerts in Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, California, Texas, Florida and more places than I can remember, but Grand Rapids has always been one of my favorites.
One thing that sets Grand Rapids apart from other cities is that it’s such a clean and safe environment to see a show and the venues aren’t as large as those in the main markets, which makes even an arena show feel more intimate. .
Van Andel Arena
I’ve been coming to Van Andel Arena since 1996 when it opened. I’ve seen some amazing shows including Tool seen above, Metallica, Kiss, Bob Seger, Journey, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, and I can go on and on, but I think you get the point.
One thing I love about Van Andel Arena is that it’s right in the center of town, close to lots of hotels and restaurants. It’s easy to get in and out of and believe me I’ve been front row, back row and all sides of the room and it always sounds great.
Van Andel holds 12,000 and I think that’s the perfect size for an indoor arena. I’ve been in too big arenas and if I got bad seats I spent most of the time watching the video screens and I can do that on YouTube.
GLC live at 20 Monroe
When I first moved to the Grand Rapids area, my first show was at 20 Monroe Live, which is now GLC Live at 20 Monroe. The venue can accommodate 2400 people and you would be surprised to see some of the big names that have played in this size venue like Shinedown and Korn.
Over the past 4 1/2 years I have seen a plethora of shows. It’s a great place if you want to get closer to your favorite band. Plus they have balcony seating if you don’t want to stand and a really cool VIP room called Vanguard. If you really want a great experience, I highly recommend their Vanguard room, private bathrooms, bartender, and even a balcony if you need some fresh air.
DeVos Performance Hall
The DeVos Performance Hall is an exceptional theater to see an event. They host amazing concerts, comedy events and more. The venue seats 2,404 people and offers great seating and great sound.
The venue has been around since 1980 and is also home to the Grand Rapids Symphony.
I was lucky enough to see BB King there many years ago and it was one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen in a theatre.
The intersection was originally located at 1520 Wealthy Street SE but is now located at 133 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW.
The new location of The Intersection allowed them to have not just one location, but five. The main venue holds 1500, while a club downstairs called Elevation holds 800, there are two smaller clubs The Stash which holds 400 and The Mint which holds 200. In the summer The Intersection hold concerts” Rock the Lot” which hold 2200.
Often there is more than one show at the Intersection and they have great staff who know how to handle multiple events at once.
The pyramid system
The Pyramid Scheme is not only a concert hall, but also a pub and a pinball hall. The venue holds 420 seats for shows and comedy events.
Lots of local bands play here, but national bands like the Melvins play all the time. The Pyramid Scheme is a great place to get up close to some legendary acts.
Belknap Park is located in downtown Grand Rapids and hosts major summer festivals like Upheaval, Breakaway and Outlaw Music Festivals.
Belknap Park is a great place to experience a true outdoor festival surrounded by the big city of Grand Rapids. The venue has a main stage and a second stage on the hill and 40,000 is the maximum capacity.
Meijer Gardens is a 1,900-seat amphitheater that hosts a variety of family-friendly concerts. It’s a very family-friendly place with shows every summer and events that will give all the family members a good time. You’d be surprised at some of the major acts that hit this place.
Two Honorable Mentions – The DeltaPlex and the Orbit Room
The DeltaPlex is a place that has existed in the region for over 70 years. He had great shows like Ghost, System of a Down, A Perfect Circle, A Day To Remember, and too many to mention. Recently I saw Greta Van Fleet perform a sold out show and it was amazing.
Unfortunately, the DeltaPlex will be closing in July 2022. The impact of the pandemic was simply too great to keep the venue active and alive. There are a few other events before they close for good which you can find at the link above.
The Orbit Room is no longer open. It was originally called Club Eastbrook and hosted thousands of concerts. Many of which I used to drive across the state to see. The Eastbrook Club existed before there was an intersection or 20 Monroe Live and the completion with the building collapsing was just too much to keep its doors open. You ask some of the Grand Rapids concert veterans about the Orbit Room or Club Eastbrook and I guarantee they’ll have stories to tell.