From The Editors
Erie had its Best Summer Night, but can we do it again?
In last issue's cover story, Cory Vaillancourt wrote about what he alluded to as a "rickety wooden rumor" that a certain folk-rock supergroup was supposedly stopping in Erie -- and not just to gas up on its way to another city. As proved Saturday, June 23, that rumor was true, as the Presque Isle Partnership brought Crosby, Stills, and Nash for Erie's first Best Summer Night.
Or more mathematically put: PIP + CSN = BSN. Fun, right?
Now back to our previously scheduled program with words. With a troupe from the Erie Reader attending the event, we can indeed attest that what the gods of rock brought you and me cannot be forgotten. It's easy to think about how many times we shake our heads, thinking about how often this city has failed in its musical duty and potential, as better bands hear the larger voices from larger cities calling and bands past their prime come to our city to squeeze whatever few cents remaining in the wringed-out dollars of only a few songs we'd even recognize. In fact, for some head shaking, see this issue's Upfront.
But let's be clear: thanks to all of those involved in planning and carrying out the Best Summer Night, the concert exceeded expectations. First, CSN still rocks, blending beautiful harmonies still as tight as they were over 20 years ago -- and the sound levels, especially for an outside show, were balanced and blended.
Second, it'd be hard to argue that better use of Beach 11 has ever been made. Tucked away between a wall of trees and the water, the stage faced the bayside of the isle. With boaters cruising up to listen from the waves, the picturesque view of the city seemed surreal, as day slowly gave way to night and buildings began gleam.
Third, getting to and from the location and on and off the isle was, well, surprisingly easy -- even though many didn't want the night to end.
But now that we saw the Best Summer Night for the first time and understand why Erie planned it as such, here's the $64 million/billion/trillion question: Can we do it again? Or, can we do it better?
Many Erieites might throw their hands in the air and claim impossible. But the truth might be that such an accomplishment isn't too big or beyond our reach -- after all, we've seen our potential, and even more could be ours.
Proof, you ask for, ready to shake your head? That rickety wooden rumor came true, right? CSN came to Erie, right? Yes, and yes. Now that we have something to boast, we have to take the next step forward, not backward. Bands as good as CSN? Better than CSN? An act great enough to bring Erie its second Best Summer Night next year? Erie, now's your time to speak up, get involved, and shape this city's future. Please, send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make sure your thoughts become part of the conversation.
After all, we need to realize the promise we could make to ourselves, the promise that another day like this --or better-- is coming. We'll see you next year Best Summer Night -- now let's get to work on making that happen.