In the days before cell phones and microwave dinners, the big social event of the year was the county fair. Everyone would spend months preparing for that one special day and making it look better than the year before.
Today, towns and small cities have the rough task of putting together events that will bring in economy, spur tourism and more importantly, unify the surrounding community. Many projects are either unsuccessful or divide the town.
But on Wednesday, September 28th, I witnessed something rather unique – my community, the people I called my neighbors for over two decades, in full swing at a large-scale event. Huntington, New York’s The Paramount (QRO venue review) opened its doors to the public for the very first time. Referred to as the ‘Soft Opening’, the folks at this upscale venue turned the charm to ten and the volume to eleven.
The 1,500-person theater welcomed jam band Rusted Root, who played a lengthy set. It’s been a long, long time since I have seen this eclectic a crowd – young children sitting intently in seats, twenty-somethings admiring the view and bar and Generation X in large numbers – at a concert venue, let alone a fair or festival.
The true highlight of the evening was the venue itself. With vintage brick walls, hallways of hand-written music lyrics, a state-of-the-art PA system and stage lights and modern architecture, this venue is quite unlike any that I have seen. The acoustics were phenomenal, the bars were fully stocked and the staff extremely professional and courteous.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters (QRO live album review) and Third Eye Blind perform this opening weekend. While tickets are sold out for Elvis Costello’s performance, tickets are available for Third Eye Blind.