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Posted on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

Liberty Street to close Thursday for free Mitch Ryder concert at Sonic Lunch

By Bob Needham


Mitch Ryder

The City of Ann Arbor has announced that Liberty Street will be closed during the day on Thursday due to the large crowd expected for Mitch Ryder's appearance at Sonic Lunch.

According to a notice distributed today, barricades will close the street about 5 a.m. Thursday to begin stage setup, with the area of Liberty Street in front of Liberty Plaza, the Sonic Lunch site, closed to traffic entirely. The concert is set to take place from noon-1:30 p.m., and barricades will be removed "as quickly as possible" after the show, with a goal of reopening the street entirely by 5 p.m.

Anyone with private parking in the block will have help available, but it is requested that drivers enter and exit from South Fifth Avenue and not Division.

Sonic Lunch is a series of free Thursday lunchtime concerts in Liberty Plaza, sponsored by Bank of Ann Arbor. This year the series is bringing some unusually big names; last week saw an appearance by the rising Detroit band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Mitch Ryder is likely to draw a large crowd this week. A true Michigan rock legend, Ryder initially made his mark fronting the Detroit Wheels in the 1960s with furiously energetic rock classics like "Devil With a Blue Dress" and "Jenny Take a Ride" that helped define the Detroit sound at the time. In the early 1970s, leading a band simply called Detroit, he recorded a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll" that remains a staple of album-rock radio; and in the 1980s, he enjoyed a commercial comeback with a hit cover of Prince's "When U Were Mine." He has continued to record and tour through the decades, and released a new album, "The Promise," earlier this year.

Anyone with concerns or suggestions about the street closure is asked to contact Rhonda Foxworth, vice president and marketing manager, Bank of Ann Arbor, at 734-327- 1413 or


T. Kinks Heiss

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 3:58 a.m.

Thank you Bank of A2 for bringing a true rock n roll legend to town. So big deal they close a street in A2. Bunch of cry babies .

Madeleine Borthwick

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

yeah, Kinks, these crybabies need to change their collective diaper...

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

I love the idea of Sonic Lunch. But, I'm totally bummed because I can't get to them since I work Thursdays and my lunch hour doesn't coincide with the concerts. Still......WAY COOL! I want to add, I listen to 107.1 at work, in my operatory. They have been jammin' lately! I love it. Tons of new music but also a lot of stuff that was popular, "Back in the day". (Yeah, I'm old. Sue me.) Still, great mix. I just wish I could make these concerts. Especially this one! Mitch Ryder is a Michigan legend. I'm bummed to miss it.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

Close down another street? You've got to be kidding me!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

I have never heard of this person and have more important things to do then be a gaggle groupies. Go for it, otherwise, count me out.

Madeleine Borthwick

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

jns131, I am not, nor have i ever been, a "groupie." i just know what i like. I suggest you go to the library and check out a Mitch Ryder CD before you decide it's not worth your time. you don't know what you're missing.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

Don't worry, he's never heard of you either.

Chip Reed

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 1:18 a.m.

Mitch's song "sock it to me, baby" was quoted by Richard Nixon on "Laugh-In". So, jns131, if you want to be less hip than RMN, go for it.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

Here we go again - Liberty Street closed AGAIN - I hope someone thinks about compensating the businesses for lost revenue - if the city cannot accomodate these events - HOLD THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Yup, I always hear about those businesses on Main Street and State Street complaining about the streets being closed for Art Fair, It DESTROYS their business. Not a single one of those businesses get more customers from Sonic Lunch, or Art Fair.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

We will see - how distruptive it gets - i hope people can get to the parking garages - they fill up with day workers as it is


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

The vast majority of business on Liberty is from foot traffic, not from the couple dozen parallel-parking spots that will be affected. People will park in one of the lots or garages within a block or two and walk, like they would anyway. This concert will draw in the four figures. If anything, most businesses should be positively affected by the increased pedestrian traffic, particularly restaurants.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

He played summerfest in Chelsea a few years ago, and I went. First thing I noticed was he looked old. The second thing I noticed was HE ROCKED! The man still has the same energy he had years ago and puts on a great concert. Thanks Bank of Ann Arbor.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

What a great job by Ann Arbor's 107.1 radio station and the Bank of Ann Arbor...our city is lucky to have both!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

Hopefully you have lots of EMS on stand by. I can imagine this crowd will have an average age somewhere near 100

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

Haha! I'm not quite 40. But, I'd be there if I could!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

I resemble that remark!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

I wasn't sure he was still alive! Glad he is and still kickin' jams.

Donna DeButts

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Hey Mitch Ryder fans! Not only will Mitch Ryder be the Sonic Lunch feature on June 21, he will also be at the Ypsilanti District Library, 5577 Whittaker Road at 7 pm talking about his autobiography, "Devils and Blue Dresses: My Wild Ride as a Rock and Roll Legend," and his recent, critically-acclaimed CD, "The Promise." This is a free event open to the public! Need more info? Call 482-4110 ext. 1303.

Madeleine Borthwick

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

thank you Donna, I didn't know about this!

Linda Peck

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.