PORTSMOUTH — Are you ready to rock? Mark Defoe sure hopes so, as he hosts the Rock on the River concert series.
As a sister series of Final Fridays, Defoe hopes the concert series will draw a similar crowd Friday, July 9, with several rock bands performing. Final Friday by the River has been going on for a while now, and for those who have many different tastes in music, Defoe hopes the community will come out to “Rock on the River.”
“This is going to be the second of the concert series, this is going to be an annual summer concert series,” Defoe said. “Robert Black (Final Friday concert series) and me were talking and I’m really active in the music scene, but more of the rock side. I have a band myself called, Cry King’s Hollow’ and I said is there any way you could include different genres in Final Friday, instead of the old Blue Grass/Country thing? He was really interested but he was afraid of the branding that already the Final Friday already had. We put our heads together and we came up with the Rock on the River concert series.”
Defoe continued, “There are just some people who don’t want to get into the bar scene and maybe there are kids who can’t get into the bars to play music, they have a band but don’t have a place to play. It’s kind of a place for people to not have to get in the bar scene and get those people exposure and get those kids involved.”
This Friday’s concert will feature an all-high school band. The band is from the Coal Grove and South Webster areas. The band is Sirius, they are young and have a female singer.
“They are inexperienced, but this is what this series is for, to get exposure and some recognition and ‘get their feet wet’ with doing some shows,” Defoe said. “We are trying to get quality music in, and I’ve heard them before, they do some live streams and I thought they were great.”
Defoe said that so far, they have gotten a couple of acts for each concert from Columbus and that he likes to bring in one regional band and try to have the rest of them local.
“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and Black has really mentored me in direction and stuff,” Defoe said.
This week’s free concert is at Three Bridges Park, 132 Second Street, Portsmouth from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Groups that are listed to play are Trash Pageant, Sirius, Sebastion Shock and Dakota Free.
Defoe said that they were going to do three concerts this summer, this is the second one, so there will be one more this summer.
“We are hoping to do this because this is kind of a trial run and see where we are at and next year, we’ll be a little bit more organized as to getting some sponsorships and making it more like Final Friday events where they have vendors and stuff like that,” Defoe said. “People are more than welcome to bring blankets or chairs to sit or stand if they like. It is for all ages and it is free. It’ about another event to spotlight a different type of artist in the area. People can bring their own food and drink, plus he said Black does have a grill there that he fires up and has hot dogs and hamburgers and as this thing goes, next year I believe we’ll have more food, more vendors and things like that that we’ll grow to it.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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