ROCK ON, RYE
By Jana Seitz
Does anyone even remember what FUN looks like? Good, clean American fun with Old Glory flapping in the breeze, waves rippling in the sun, and LIVE music? Memorial Day came and went unheralded. We were still too dazed to be anything but thankful to still be standing.
July Fourth found us grateful to be allowed to somewhat socialize with people from other pods. But by Labor Day, things were looking good enough to allow a floating concert in Milton Harbor dubbed “Rock the Boat” with “proper social distancing” protocol in place: few masks (each boat or float was a separate pod fully six feet away from others), no hand sanitizer (harbor water and tequila did just as nicely, thank you), fully funded police officers on patrol with smiles on their faces and no mention of the dreaded C word. Proper. Social. Distancing.
“Rock the Boat” was the brainchild of local Andy Bodnar, who in the early days headlined with his band the Dragon Coasters. He took a few years off but roared life back into it this past Sunday as a producer rather than musician, enlisting four local bands (dads and moms who returned to the grind on Tuesday). Audio Circle, Mind the Gap, The New Regulars, and The M62s played from 2 to 7 on a makeshift floating stage powered by generators. It even had a “green room” of sorts stage left, and a “dancing” area roped off at front for swimmers only.
Musicians got rides to work on boats or the American Yacht Club launch. Fans arrived in everything from yachts to inflatable swans. People came in canoes, dinghies, rafts, floating pools and docks, kayaks, jet skis, on paddleboards, and in life jackets worn like diapers. They came together to laugh and sing and SMILE collectively. A host of smiles on faces is a thing I will never take for granted again. Quite a sight to behold. The big, beautiful scene was like a wildly choreographed water ballet masked as controlled chaos. Or a scene right out of World War II in which the entire village of Dunkirk heads out in anything that floats to defend its way of life. The wind and tide tugged viciously, but everyone held course.
A magnificent sunset backlit the stage for the final song, Coldplay’s “Yellow” led by the M62s and sung by the entire audience. “Look at the stars (and stripes), look how they shine for you. And all the things that you do.”
Then, the tattered armada toddled back from whence it came, mission accomplished. Rock on America. Steady as you go.