Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kanye West Concert One of Biggest Productions in Van Andel Arena History

Following through on the promise of going big for the 20th anniversary, last night’s Kanye West concert proved to be one of the biggest productions Van Andel Arena has ever experienced.

With a completely levitating stage and a total grid weight of over 200,000 pounds, the concert had the heaviest production in Van Andel Arena history. The specialized rigging utilized 182 motors and required an extra day to load-in.

The stage was suspended from the ceiling, moved from side to side and end to end over the general admission floor, and tilted to bring Kanye even closer to his fans as he performed suspended above them throughout the entire show. There was absolutely no equipment or staging on the floor, barring a set of speakers lining the perimeter, a set-up that is rarely seen for concerts.

Kanye West "Saint Pablo Tour" at Van Andel Arena - Photo by Jim Hill
“While we certainly have seen bigger concert stages, we’ve never seen a stage quite like this one,” commented Richard MacKeigan, SMG Regional General Manager for Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place. “A show like Kanye’s with a floating stage and nothing but fans on the floor not only pushes the boundaries of what the concert industry is capable of but also what we are capable of as a venue in this community. It was very exciting to have him here in Grand Rapids.”

The Kanye West concert was the latest event showcasing the diversity of programming that SMG staff strives to offer at Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall, bringing in a wide range of entertainers across a variety of genres for the West Michigan community to enjoy.

Between the three venues, Grand Rapids has seen broad spectrum of events, from family shows such as Marvel Universe Live, musical icons such as Paul McCartney and Elton John, R&B and hip-hop superstars such as Lil Wayne and R. Kelly, all-star Christian line-ups in Winter Jam and Outcry Tour, Mexican singer-songwriter Gerardo Ortiz, cultural shows such as Celtic Woman and Shen Yun, Tyler Perry’s Madea On The Run, hard rock groups such as Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, and Rob Zombie, and many more.

“We’ve been working very hard to have a full schedule of shows that has something for everyone in it throughout the year. These are community buildings, and we want our programming to reflect the entire community,” said MacKeigan. “Being able to bring a show like Kanye’s Saint Pablo Tour to Grand Rapids is a great example of what we have been able to do because of the support of the diverse landscape here.”