American rock band “The Verve Pipe” will be performing at the East Lansing Public Library Summer Reading Kick-Off. The concert will take place this Sunday, June 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Library’s parking lot, and guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic lunches.
The band will be playing family-friendly music from their albums: “Are We There Yet?” and “A Family Album", and the event is co-sponsored by Abbott Nursery School, Impact 89FM, Woodlands Library Cooperative, and a City of East Lansing Mini-Grant
Concert-goers will have the opportunity to get a $2 off pass at the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center, sign up for the Bruegger’s Bagels mailing list (and earn a free bagel), and learn all about the Library’s summer reading program, "Build a Better World," said Phyllis Thode, a community development specialist at the ELPL.
This is the first time the library is having band perform at their annual kickoff event.
Events such as this aid in community building and helping people realize libraries are not just about books anymore, said Thode.
Brian Vander Ark, lead singer/songwriter and guitarist of The Verve Pipe, said he made the decision to start writing music for kids after he had kids of his own. He writes a different type of kid’s music that he never heard before. "We were listening to a lot of kid’s music, but not the right kid’s music," said Vander Ark. "I thought, let's do it in our own Verve Pipe way."
He enjoys the spectacle of performing for kids, which includes using costumes during the show, adding that family shows are always fun and the members of the band put all of their enthusiasm into the performance, Vander Ark said.
Although Vander Ark’s inspiration came from starting a family of his own, he said he will continue to write family-oriented songs even after his kids are grown. “As a writer, I just want to write songs,” said Vander Ark.
The concert serves as the start for the summer reading program, which helps to avoid the “summer slide” where students’ reading levels drop in the summer, Thode said. It’s also important for students to read their “Goldilocks book,” meaning, a book that is perfect for them. “It’s just really important to keep our brains engaged,” she added.
The summer reading program normally receives between 500 and 600 registrations, with almost 300 participants completing the eight week program.
All of the library’s programs are free and open to the public. “That’s one of our core values, to give people the option of having a really enjoyable experience and not have to pay any money,” Thode said. “We’re just looking forward to a really fun event on Sunday.”
The Library is located at 950 Abbot Road. Since the concert is in ELPL's parking lot. attendees are asked to park at All Saints Episcopal Church, on Centerlawn, or at East Lansing High School.