The state of Michigan has a vast history with musicians such as Kid Rock, Eminem, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and Madonna growing up here. Grand Rapids, the second largest city in the state, is home to many bars, clubs, and venues.
The largest of these venues is the Van Andel Arena, located at 130 Fulton Street West. The Van Andel Arena has hosted some of the largest concerts ever brought to West Michigan, such as Metallica and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As you enter the venue, you’ll notice how massive the interior is. The surrounding corridor is where you will find merchandise, snacks, and drinks. Due to its massive size, the Van Andel Arena hosts sporting events such as football and hockey also. If you are looking for a more underground experience, The Intersection is within walking distance of the Van Andel.
Located at 133 Grandville Avenue Southwest, The Intersection is home to metal, rap, and local shows. Split into two halves, this venue attracts a variety of customers. In the front is a bar, complete with lounging and an array of alcohol. In the back of the venue is the stage and another bar. Seating is usually available but for sold out shows, you may be standing. The main floor is large enough for mosh pits and dancing and the venue layout allows for easy movement to leave and return. During intermissions, you can meet bands and performers at the merchandise table, which you will see immediately as you walk into the concert area.
If downtown city venues are not your thing, check out The Orbit Room located at 2525 Lake Eastbrook SE. With its own unique layout, The Orbit Room has an upstairs balcony and a large main floor so you can enjoy your concert from any perspective. I would only recommend this venue if you are of legal drinking age. The Orbit Room is not my favorite venue due to its location but is home to many good shows which makes the visit worthwhile.
Parking for The Intersection and Van Andel Arena will not be hard to find. Many meters become free after the evening rush, but if you can not find a parking spot, there are many pay-to-park lots located within walking distance of the venues. Parking can cost anywhere from five to ten dollars. Service is also most excellent at these two venues.