Thursday, August 30, 2012

LI's Kidstock Growing On Us

Last Sunday, we attended Kidstock 2012, the second annual open-air family festival at North Hempstead Beach Park. The emcee was Roscoe Orman (Gordon from Sesame Street) and performers included the Bari Koral Family Band, Drummin' and Strummin', Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell & Family, and Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could.

From what we heard, the festival sprang from a suggestion that Drummin' and Strummin' made to a local legislator in early 2011. Later that summer, they had the first incarnation. We arrived late - managing to catch only one song from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo before seeing headliner Brady Rymer.

Due to our late arrival, we stayed pretty close to the main stage area and did not venture to the children's crafts tables or the childrens' services area. But when the concert ended, we took a look at the park amenities, including the bayfront.

This year, we arrived just prior to the start of the show. We circled around a bit, since the location had shifted from one of the ball fields to right next to the waterfront. This meant that attendees could listen to the music while letting their kids play in the sand on the other side of the boardwalk.

Ben did not seem that interested in the crafts tent, where kids could decorate marks, make buttons, or create recyclable lunch bags. So we stuck mainly to the musical performers. Matt was desperate to reach the beach, so Andrea took him to the sand – and he eventually wound up knee-deep in the water, requiring a complete outfit change later on.

Bari Koral opened the show and benefited from the extra setup time, since there were no major sound glitches. We saw Bari at Kindiefest earlier this year and she presented a solid set.

Drummin' and Strummin' are a local group and kept the event moving. Since they were the prime motivators for the festival, I have nothing truly negative to say about them. Of the four acts, they were definitely the lowest energy with some jazzy trio noodling.

Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell & Family traded off lead vocals on songs. Due to some attempted fast stage changes, they suffered from sound problems, which are painfully evident on my clumsy videos from the event.

Brady Rymer and company again closed the event. We move our seats to avoid the blinding sunset and then all went to dance by the stage for the band's rocking set. We have seen Brady several times - often at close proximity (look for my original Kindiefest videos from years ago). He and the band have never disappointed and Ben, a reluctant dancer, needed no prompts to get moving.

Everyone was talking about "next year's event," so we assume there will be a third incarnation. The DJ was playing as we left, and they were preparing an inflatable screen to show the movie "Rio" in the parking lot after the sun went down.

Based on how Kidstock turned out, we'll modify our arrangements and bring toys and a bathing suit for Matt in 2013. And definitely some more CDs for Ben to get signed.

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