5.15.15

10 Reasons to Check Out Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake

What’s That Sound?
Do you hear that?  It’s music.  And it’s coming from nearly every nook and cranny of the Grand Haven area. Being on vacation here doesn’t mean you have to give up your love for live music. In fact, you could schedule your vacation around a music event.  It is a rare night when one can’t find live music somewhere in the area year-round.

From buskers, solo acoustic artists, duos, 3 piece groups, dance bands, even EDM; we are blessed with eclectic talent. You can hear entertainers on downtown sidewalks, in brewpubs, bars and restaurants, festival beer tents, public parks, churches, local lodges, and dedicated concert venues.

For the record, not all of the music is memorable but some of it is mind-blowing amazing!  So amazing that I have to pinch myself that we here along the Lakeshore can enjoy some of the best musical acts on the planet right in our backyard thanks to Seven Steps Up Live Music and Event Venue.

Located in The Village of Spring Lake, Seven Steps Up is home to the Pin Drop Concert Series.  Owners Gary and Michelle Hanks have turned the former Masonic Temple, located at 116 South Jackson Street, into a world-class Listening Room comfortably seating up to 120 or so concert goers.  It all started with an idea that a high-quality music experience should not have to compete with the cacophony of a busy bar.  True music aficionados want to hear every note and every word in an environment so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Dadgumit! That’s it! And with that epiphany Pin Drop Concerts sprang to life.
Seven Steps Up Spring Lake. Photo: Facebook

In just a few short years, this gem of a music venue has quickly gained national attention attracting artists who are touring on the Singer-Songwriter Circuit.  For many of these singers, Seven Steps Up is a must-play venue.  Not only are artists talking about the venue, big city radio is too. Stations in Detroit, Chicago, New York, and California often talk about a little place in Spring Lake, Michigan as one of the top music venues in the country.

While Seven Steps Up is gaining momentum on the national music scene, it intrigues me that there are still so many West Michigan, even Spring Lake, residents who have not taken in a concert or even know about Seven Steps Up. It seems to get little attention from locals. Because, really, how good can it be if it’s in Spring Lake?

I’ll tell ya just how good it can be.

#1 – Killer acoustics!
This place has acoustics so sensitive that a whisper spoken at the front of the space can easily be heard in the back.  This quality makes performances such a thrill to experience because each note and word is so clearly defined when it reaches the ear.  A quick demonstration of the acoustics is provided before every show.
Michael McDermott & Heather Horton 5-11-13. Photo Courtesy of Seven Steps Up

#2 – Not a bad seat in the house!
The size of the venue allows concert goers to be seated no farther away than 10 rows from the stage with nothing to obstruct the view.  This coziness breaks down any barrier between the artist and the audience and creates the sense of a private house concert.

#3 – Beverage service in a non-bar atmosphere!
Where else can you enjoy adult beverages quietly served to your seat during a show? In keeping with the “so quiet you can hear a pin drop” ambiance, orders are taken with the raise of a hand and no money is exchanged during the concert.  Guests simply settle up at the end of the night.
Jonathan Edwards & Michael Pearsall Seven Steps Up Spring Lake. Photo courtesy of Seven Steps Up

#4 – Upcoming shows!
The list changes almost daily as new concerts are added to the line up. You will have to check out the Pin Drop Concert website and sign up for their email list to keep up with it.  You may not recognize the artists. Just Google or YouTube each of them and take a listen then book your tickets as quickly as possible.  The shows are almost always a sell out.

Here’s a sample of who’s coming to town this summer:

Friday, May 15 – Kyle Cook (of Matchbox Twenty)
Sunday, May 17 – The Ballroom Thieves
Saturday, June 6 – Melissa Ferrick
Friday, June 12 – Michael McDermott
Friday, June 19 – Ari Hest
Thursday, June 25 – Lindsay Lou, Joshua Rilko & Friends
Sunday, June 28 – Barnaby Bright
Wednesday, July 8 – Anna Nalick
Friday, July 10 – Brendan James
Saturday, July 11 – Griffin House
Sunday, July 26 – Haley Reardon

#5 Convenience!
Seven Steps Up is a short 10 minute drive from downtown Grand Haven with plenty of free parking! If concert-goers from Chicago can make the round trip in one night, can’t you drive the 10 minutes over the bridge from Grand Haven?
Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer Pin Drop Concert Spring Lake. Photo courtesy of Seven Steps Up

#6 – Pin Drop Concert Hotel Packages!
Seven Steps Up has partnered with Holiday Inn to offer accommodations.  Space is limited and rates are based on availability.  You’ll have to contact the hotel directly for details.

#7 – Courtyard Concerts!
In addition to the Pin Drop Concerts, the Hanks created Courtyard Concerts, a non-profit organization, to bring fundraising concerts to the community featuring national acts for the enjoyment of our community at a reasonable price.  Funds raised during Courtyard Concerts are used to:

  • Provide access to music for those who might not otherwise have the resources
  • Fund Liz’s Concerts for children ages 4-12 in a safe, family-friendly environment
  • Offer quick-response funds to support other local non-profits in emergency situations.

This year’s Courtyard Concert is set for Sunday, September 13 in the parking lot adjacent to Seven Steps Up. (I call it a parking lot, they call it a Courtyard. Crazy, I know.)  You will not want to miss Crystal Bowersox performing with a full band and special guest Seth Glier. Both artists have appeared in sold out Pin Drop Concerts and have large fan bases so be sure to get your tickets in advance.  You will not want to miss their duet “If I Could Change One Thing” which appears on Seth’s new album of the same title.

General Admission tickets $15 (Bring Your Own Chair) and special VIP section seating is available for $40. There will be food and beverage vendors as well so be sure to bring cash.

#8 – Liz’s Concerts!
Created to honor the memory of a beloved local dentist and mother who wanted a safe place for her son to be exposed to music at a young age, Liz’s Concerts are free to children 4-12 and feature a Pin Drop Concert artist. A recent Saturday afternoon Liz’s Concert event featured singer-songwriter Alice Peacock who performed a Pin Drop Concert the previous night.  Alice unplugged her guitar, sang and entertained the children gathered at her feet.  I’m not sure who had more fun, the children or Alice.  The next Liz’s Concert is coming up on Saturday, August 22 with Ellis Paul sharing music and stories from his work “The Hero In You.”  This will be a great way to spend an hour with your children while in the Grand Haven area!
Liz's Concert Seven Steps Up Spring Lake with Alice Peacock. Photo: Trish Schroeder

#9 – Interact with the artists!
So, what is the best reason to attend a Pin Drop, Courtyard or Liz’s Concert?  It’s interacting with the artists following the show. I don’t mean just having them sign the CD you bought. I mean actually being able to chat. Each artist who plays a gig at Seven Steps Up genuinely enjoys the connection they can have with you.  It’s why they do what they do.  The music brings us all together.
Pin Drop Concert Seth Glier Seven Steps Up Spring Lake. Photo: Trish Schroeder

#10 – There’s no place like it!
Don’t take my word for it.  See for yourself why Seven Steps Up is something special!

No matter the time of year you visit the Grand Haven area, be sure to check out all the live music opportunities. Also, check back here as I periodically highlight other opportunities to support live music in the Grand Haven area this summer.

Vacations are about creating memories. Let live music be your soundtrack.

Trish Schroeder{Guest Blogger Bio – Trish Schroeder}

Trish Schroeder has devoted her entire career to the enjoyment and delight of others through hospitality, tourism, and corporate event creation and management. Always on the look out for great entertainment and experiences, Trish is plugged in to what keeps us excited about the Grand Haven area and Pure Michigan.

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