Looking for different things to do on dates with your mate? Look no father than the edge of the ocean. Atlantic City did it again. No, not another real estate tax hike, rather its second beach concert featuring Rascal Flatts, the popular country band.
While many folks make the beach concerts an all day affair by arriving as early as 11 a.m., the show actually started at 4 p.m. with singer and songwriter Ashley Monroe. She played some songs from her newest album, “The Blade.” Ashley was well received and got the crowd in a good mood for when Grammy-winning trio Rascal Flatts took the stage and began with “Stand” from their latest album. And stand they did as concert goers got up on their feet to enjoy the sounds and feel the spirit of country music. If you look up the history of the band you will find that their career extends back to at least 2000 and they have an interesting demographic that draws from all age groups including teens.
An important aspect of the beach concert series involves security issues. One reader of this column complained about Sunday’s Maroon 5 concert being too rowdy with fights breaking out, over crowding and people straying into the VIP sections without having tickets. After interviewing several attendees as well as AC police officers, it seems they are getting their act together. Kathy, from Galloway, a Borgata sign holder, there to make sure Borgata guests found their way to their sponsored VIP section, pointed out that this concert, with around 30,000 people versus 50,000 at Sunday’s concert may have accounted for a better experience.
The personal concert experience may also have much to do about the type of concert. At a country music gathering the crowds seems a bit more relaxed than you might find at a pure rock concert and certainly more sedate than what you might find at a heavy-metal or a hip-hop concert. Carol Crawford from Galloway and her sister Geri Demedici from Egg Harbor Township described a good time with no concerns about security. They enjoyed the music and felt that a fun time was had by all.
It looks like the AC Beach Concert Series is golden. It brings together many folks who are out to have a good time. These concerts bring in needed revenue and stature to the city. Do they need some work? Certainly. It would be nice to have more entrances to the beach and roped off sections to keep the crowd from…well, crowding each other out. However, when you get tens of thousands of people together on the beach drinking beer and scorching in the sun for too many hours, you have to expect some hassles. Is it worth it? You just wait. In a few years the heat, the sunburn, the inability to see very well, except for those up front, the standing in lines, the search for a bathroom will all be forgotten. All you will recollect is what a great time you had. Remember… you never remember the ants at a family picnic. You remember the fun, the family and the friends. Okay, if Uncle Fester gets drunk, falls in the pool and squirts mustard all over himself and Aunt Flossy while trying to dress a hot dog, you’ll remember that, too.
Let’s hope Atlantic City keeps the beach concert series coming again next year. Lets hope they find more creative ways to bring in the crowds. Maybe sponsor an International beach volleyball competition or have more local bands playing the sand lot. Its all about using the amazing facilities the beach and ocean have to offer. You won’t get this anywhere else where gambling is happening. And maybe, if things go well, the city will get some signage that is tourist friendly so you can figure out where to turn to park at the many casinos, and it would be nice to actually not miss exits on the way to the several casinos in Brigantine.