There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on downtown, and it will continue almost the entire season, as Bayonne’s annual Summer Sounds by the Bay continues at DiDomenico-16th Street Park, between Avenue A and Newark Bay.
A city tradition, the Wednesday night concerts run from June through August, and feature all genres of music, from country to jazz, and with something for everyone, according to Supervisor of Recreation Pete Amadeo.
This summer’s schedule has already featured 1940s, doo wop, and classic rock and roll. Still on the agenda are the Beatles tribute, Motown hits, and others.
Postponed twice because of weather conditions but still highly anticipated are the Cameos later in the series.
Free of charge and open to city residents, the summertime concerts are a way to kick back, relax, and enjoy some good music and the company of friends and neighbors.
“It’s just so enjoyable,” said Kathy McAlarney of Broadway, who was at her second concert this summer on July 30 to see Larry Chance and the Earls. “It’s a perfect location; right on the water.”
McAlarney, who works in an office for a South Plainfield company each day until 3:30, has no problem making the concerts’ 7 p.m. start time.
For Steve Gregory, 71, of 18th Street, it was his first time at a Summer Sounds performance. He read about the Larry Chance concert in The Bayonne Community News and knew he wanted to attend.
“Well, I know they’re from the 50s and 60s,” he said. “That was my time; I was a teenager. It takes you back to what you used to hear.”
Christina LaGatta of Parkside Lane came to the concert with her sister, her girlfriend, and her girlfriend’s husband.
“We try to make all of them,” she said. “We’re looking forward to the Mahoney Brothers; that’s our era.”
Amadeo said the concerts are very popular among city residents, and have been offered at least for the last 15 years. There are usually eight a year, and this year there may be one or two more.
The biggest concert thus far this summer was the performance of The Nerds, a band popular at the shore.
“They have a huge following,” Amadeo said. “We had a great crowd that night [July 9], with 700 to 800 people.”
A concert two years ago was memorable because it was wet and wild, but fun.
“We had a horrible thunderstorm with a large crowd. Everyone was really wet,” Amadeo said. “Everyone stayed and was soaking wet. The concert went on. It was a crazy night – and everyone loved it.”
Because of a couple of weather-related cancellations, the series will run until Aug. 27 this year. The week of Aug. 17 will feature two concerts; The Cameos on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and the Mahoney Brothers on Aug. 20.
The Summer Sounds by the Bay concerts are sponsored by Inserra Shop-Rite Supermarkets, Judicke’s Bakery, Bayonne City Yellow Cab, Kenrich Petro-Chemicals, and Ken’s Marine.
Concerts can be cancelled at any time because of inclement weather, so call (201) 471-7590 or visit bayonnerec.com to check on the status of each concert.