Luke Hendrickson performs at Mayo Park for Rochester Civic Music’s first Down by the Riverside concert since July 11, 2021. (John Molseed / [email protected])
That the Down by the Riverside concert series would return this year was a certainty. It was not known if the crowds would follow until Sunday evening.
Hendrickson opened for headliner Lindsay Ell.
âWe didn’t know what to expect after COVID, if people would want to attend an event like this and be surrounded by other people,â said Steve Schmidt, director of Rochester Civic Music.
Steve Schmidt, director of Rochester Civic Music, presents the music at the first Down by the Riverside concert since July 11, 2021. (John Molseed / [email protected])
The city’s “forWARD” concert series had an encouraging turnout, he said.
About 2,000 people entered Mayo Park on Sunday evening under clear skies.
âI’m really happy with the turnout,â Schmidt said. “It’s not packed, which is good because people can spread out.”
People fill out Mayo Park Rochester Civic Music’s Down by the Riverside concert on July 11, 2021. (John Molseed / [email protected])
For regulars, the concert was a return to a routine and familiar faces.
âWe picked up where we left off,â said Steve Kerchberger.
From left to right, Reid Meyer, Jeff Ihrke, Kathy Ihrke and Steve Kerchberger, seated near the stage before the music begins at Rochester Civic Music’s first Down by the Riverside concert since July 11, 2021 (John Molseed / jmolseed @ postbulletin. com)
Kerchberger and his band of friends arrive in the early afternoon to claim their first place in front of the stage.
Familiarity was reassuring after the live events were canceled until 2020 due to the pandemic.
âIt looks like the last gig was a long time ago,â Dave Sick said.
Prince’s band, The Revolution, closed the final season of Riverside with their concert on August 18, 2019.
âIt’s just great to see everyone again,â said Tom Bellinger.
âYou see a lot of familiar faces,â added Jeff Ihrke.
Bellinger said he wasn’t sure how long he had been coming to concerts. A glance in his closet might give him a clue, he said.
âMy God, I could have a 15 year series of concert t-shirts (Down by the Riverside),â he said.
On two occasions, a member of the group has won a signed guitar – the raffle prize that Think Bank offers at concerts.
Reid Meyer, a fan of Lindsay Ell and her music, was approached by another fan who mistakenly thought he was selling Ell merchandise. This was an understandable mistake, as Meyer, clad in an Ell t-shirt, was spreading his Ell blanket near his chair. The cover has captured the artist’s attention in the past.
“We’ll see if she notices it” (this time), he said.
Like her friends, Meyer staked her spot ahead of time early, so she could spot it through the crowd.
The next Down by the Riverside concert will feature Chastity Brown, with Bluedog opening, on Sunday July 18th.