'Rock the Docks' concert series underway in Norwich

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Mon., Jul. 22, 2013
Audience members enjoy a performance by local classic rock band Rewind at Howard Brown Park in Norwich. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Audience members enjoy a performance by local classic rock band Rewind at Howard Brown Park in Norwich. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

In the thick of a week-long 90-plus-degree heat wave, a sizeable crowd dragged their lawn chairs down to Howard Brown Park on the Norwich waterfront July 17 to usher in this year’s edition of the “Rock the Docks” open-air concert series. And heat wave notwithstanding, many people got up to shake a leg on the dance floor to the classic rock music of Rewind, a local six-piece band cranking out oldies from the 1970s and '80s.

Eric, age 6, clearly had no problem with the heat; he did his own freeform street dancing, complete with breakdance moves, to every single number, even when he was the only one on the dance floor. The Bridgeport youngster was visiting his grandparents in Norwich.
“If I could just have half that energy,” sighed Kathy Pooler of Norwich, watching Eric dance. “He didn’t miss a beat.”

“He’s definitely gifted,” agreed Pooler’s friend, Sue McElaney, also of Norwich. The pair had arrived early to claim a spot in the shade. “It’s nice to have all these people show up. It’s kind of nice here. We can sit under the trees and eat our grinders.”

The concert, hosted by the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce, was sponsored last week by Dime Bank, which had employees on hand handing out free beach balls, and the Three Rivers Young Marines, who offered informational brochures on local attractions and historic sites. Other Chamber members will sponsor other concerts in the series.

Angela Adams, director of marketing and membership for the GNACC, said that the threat of severe thunderstorms forced the cancellation of the first week’s concert. She estimated that about 350 people turned out for this year’s inaugural event. “We’ve got people across the street, we’ve got people across the harbor,” she said. “It turned out to be beautiful – it’s a free event by the water.”

Bob Chabot of Uncasville agreed, as he danced along the sidelines in an old-fashioned embrace with Mary Lu of New London. The heat didn’t much bother them, either. “They say you’ve got to exercise, and it’s cooled off,” he said. “Any time they have a thing like this, we like to get out and dance.”

The schedule for the remaining Rock the Docks concerts includes: the James Road Band on July 31; the Fat Cats on Aug. 7; Eight to the Bar on Aug. 14; and Melaena on Aug. 21. Performances take place from 6 to 8 p.m. and there is no charge. Local restaurants and pubs are providing food and beverages for concert-goers.

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