Talk about a genre jumble!
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Village People, Squeeze, and Gladys Knight will be gracing the Seaside Summer Concert Series stage this season, Borough President Markowitz said as he announced a line up for his 34th annual music series that spans generations and musical styles.
But not everyone will be able to enjoy the concert series, which will again be held in a cramped W. 21st Street parking lot — irking longtime concert goers who remember the spacious green of Asser Levy Park, where the series was held for decades before being forced to relocate last summer.
“Asser Levy Park was a beautiful and classic location,” said Steven Centonzo. “I miss the grass and picnicking with a blanket.”
This year’s concert series will begin on July 12 with a tribute to Donna Summer, the five-time Grammy winner who wowed summer concert series crowds in 2009. Gloria Gaynor, The Village People, the Tramps, and Rose Royce will be among the 1970s performers paying tribute to the disco diva who lost a battle to lung cancer this past May.
A similar Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series at Wingate Field in Canarsie will honor the late Whitney Houston.
Markowitz promised that audiences at both concert series can look forward to weekly Thursday performances through August 20 — with the exception of a Friday concert featuring Squeeze and the Romantics. “Fight the Power” rap group Public Enemy and Salt-n-Pepa will also buck the series trend by holding a Friday concert at Wingate Field.
Seaside Summer Concert Series organizers will be offering 5,000 seats — at $5 apiece — near a makeshift stage, and provide room for 2,000 more concert-goers in the back. Asser Levy Park, in comparison, was twice as large and provided spaces for music lovers to lay out on blankets.
Markowitz held his Seaside Summer Concert Series at Asser Levy Park every year since 1991, but was booted from the greenspace after he announced plans to build a $64-million, 8,000-seat bandshell there.
Congregants of two synagogues abutting the park balked at the idea, calling the amphitheater a monstrosity that would destroy parkland and overwhelm their quiet street.
Synagogue officials sued to stop the amphitheater after blowing the dust off an old city regulation that forbid amplified music within 500 feet of a house of worship. Markowitz settled the lawsuit by agreeing to relocate to W. 21st Street.
Reach reporter Colin MIxson at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4514.