WEST CALDWELL, NJ – The Performing Arts Committee and Recreation Department of West Caldwell kicked off the 2015 Gazebo Concert Series on July 2 in Crane Park. The concert featured The Cameos, an eight-piece band and vocal harmony group that revitalizes popular “oldies” songs from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Community members of all ages spread out across an expanse of green grass on blankets and chairs. Children ran and cartwheeled and dogs on leashes loped across the lawn, while friends greeted one another. Neighbors saved room for each other and purchased sandwiches from the Rusillo’s Restaurant stand.
Several factors of the event attracted audience members.
For Lincoln Park residents Eydie Puchalik and Fallon Delaney, The Cameos and the oldies theme were enough to warrant a trip to Crane Park.
“We like oldies,” said Puchalik. “We’ve seen The Cameos before and we liked them.”
Other community members said they simply enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and chance for an enjoyable night out.
Eva Rosa and Elena Mills, who said they have been attending the Gazebo Concerts for around five years, sat on picnic blankets and ate food from Rusillo’s, while watching their children play together.
“We live right around the corner, and the kids enjoy it,” Rosa said. “It’s a night out, there’s nice weather, it’s a nice venue, and I don’t have to cook.”
“And we get to hang out with all our neighbors,” Mills said with a smile, gesturing to everyone around her.
At 7:30 p.m., the audience turned its attention to the focal point of the park: the Gazebo. The Cameos, each members wearing matching blue and white outfits, greeted the park attendees and began their performance to officially kick-off the concert series. Melding their voices together into pleasing harmonies, they played their own versions of popular songs from bands including The Drifters, Jay Black and the Americans, Kenny Vance and the Planotones and The Duprees.
Throughout the performance, The Cameos encouraged the audience to dance, clap their hands and have fun.
“The more you dance, the harder we’ll work,” said vocalist Chris Cerullo.
Older couples boogied together and groups of kids spun in circles. Those who remained seated sang along to the lyrics or clapped their hands along to the rhythms of the classic tunes.
The 2015 Gazebo Concert Series offers performances from different bands every Thursday through July 30. Upcoming bands include Jersey Shore band Jobananno & The Godsons of Soul, Neil Diamond tribute ensemble Simply Diamond, New Wave Country group the Rachel Allyn Band and finally Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute band CSN Songs.
“It’s fun and it makes you feel like there’s a good reason to spend your taxes to live in a nice neighborhood,” said Rosa.