When I first started working at Borough Hall, I was told that one of my responsibilities was to help run the Sunset Summer Concert Series. In addition to helping with pre-show planning, I’d have to attend them as well, which meant giving up nearly all of my summer Thursday nights.
Even though I love live music, I was not super excited about this prospect. I had visions of the local shows I had gone to in high school, where the bands were, at best, really loud. (Apologies to my friends who played in those bands.)
“Musicians who will play for free?” I scoffed. “How good could they be?”
I’m happy to admit that I was 100% wrong. From the very first concert I attended, I realized that these bands and singers were actually good—in some cases even terrific.
I stopped dreading Thursdays nights and started looking forward to them. Every Thursday after we’ve set up the show, I unfurl my picnic blanket, lie down in the grass, and relax to some great tunes. It’s the perfect outlet for me to unwind from the stresses of work and life in general.
The music itself ranges from classic rock to jazz to big band to punk. And of course, we have our special doo wop show featuring Vito Picone and the Elegants, so there’s truly something for every music lover.
I’ve become a big fan of some of our recurring acts and have gone out of my way to see several of them perform at other venues. I recently paid a lot of money to see Charlie Romo and the Barry Levitt Trio perform at Lorenzo’s (you can catch them for free on June 29th at Fort Wadsworth). Whenever Cause and the Effects plays a local bar, you can usually find me dancing right up front (they are closing our series at Wolfe’s Pond Park on August 24th).
We are lucky to have so much talent on Staten Island—and even luckier that these artists are willing to donate their talents to entertain us. So this summer, grab a blanket or chair, join us at the park, and enjoy great music performed by some of your talented neighbors. And if you’re really nice and friendly, I might even consider letting you share my blanket!
Check out the full schedule here: statenislandusa.com/sunset