Stones show wows fans at Gerry Park

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Stones show wows fans at Gerry Park
Let It Bleed performing July 24. (Photo by Sandy Branciforte)

By RICHARD BRANCIFORTE

Roslyn area residents who took their usual runs through Gerry Park July 24 were surprised to hear what sounded like Mick Jagger singing in the distance. While the Stones’ tour will come no closer than MetLife Stadium, a great crowd of nearly 200 residents turned out to see Northwell Health present Rock In The Park with Let It Bleed, the premier Rolling Stones show.

The show, sponsored by The Roslyn Chamber of Commerce, was its annual concert in Gerry Park and a huge success. The weather, unlike previous years, was spot on — plenty of sun, a cool breeze. Absolutely perfect! Sitting on the lawn, it was a really festive evening for everyone.

Let It Bleed, a top-notch Long Island band with many veteran musicians, enthralled the crowd, performing a 2 1/2-hour set of more than 30 Stones favorites. This was a true party in the park. Many of those attending knew the words to every song and sang along.

Opening with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” lead singer John Marino had the crowd dancing throughout the park. Marino is perfect for his role as Jagger. He has the same tall, wispy look and his vocals are crystal clear and he clearly channels Jagger in every way. Throughout the next 30 songs, he pranced across the stage, jammed with his bandmates, and set the tempo for the night, which was high energy. He also was a good host, regularly thanking the crowd for their enthusiasm and mentioning the sponsors.

Let It Bleed showed its versatility and depth with songs from many periods, including “Wild Horses”, “Angie”, “Satisfaction,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” and a killer version of “Gimme Shelter,” a standout of harmony and tightness.

Raecine Coles and Kelli Baker shared the backup vocals, and when they were allowed to wail, they captured the crowd. We would have liked to have heard more from them.

There are many Stones bands out there, but you have to congratulate Let It Bleed for putting together such a strong group of musicians. This included lead singer Marino, David Leeds on drums, Paul Cote on bass, Gary Dawson on guitar, Al Speed on keyboards, and our own local hero, the Rev. Elroy P. Jones III, who had the vision to find these talented musicians.

The concert in the park was a perfect opportunity for neighbors to share some cheese and a bottle of wine, which many did.

All ages were in attendance, but the fan award has to go to two women who danced nearly nonstop for the full 2 1/2 hours. Now that’s energy!

It was easy to tell that the band was very popular, at times it looked like half the audience were taking pictures and videos. Eat your heart out, Mick!

As it headed to the midnight hour, (in this case, 9 p.m.), it was amazing that there was still a large crowd there. The band’s closing number, “Jumping Jack Flash” had everyone up on their feet, singing and dancing, and reminded us what great resources we have here in our own backyard.

And as for Mick Jagger, who celebrated his 76th birthday only a few days later, he would have been proud. We hope his MetLife show is nearly as good.

Lou Federico, Roslyn Chamber of Commerce Concert chairman said, “This was one of the best concerts the chamber has ever put on, and Let It Bleed showed why they are Long Island’s premier Stones band. On behalf of all our sponsors, we thank everyone for coming out.” We can’t wait till next year.

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