Following a mid-summer thunderstorm that forced festivities indoors on July 7, Brookdale Public Radio’s annual summer concert series finally took to the beach on July 14 with an evening of high-energy folk rock by the Ballroom Thieves, JT Makoviecki and James Black.
Hundreds of local music fans lined the Belmar beach between 16th and 17th avenues for the second installment of this year’s Songwriters on the Beach series, sponsored by 90.5 the Night, the Belmar Tourism Commission and the Monmouth County Association of Realtors.
The free concerts, which will continue every Thursday at 7 p.m. through Aug. 25, pair local musicians with national touring acts on a seaside stage, offering concertgoers one of the most unique entertainment experiences on the Jersey Shore.
Makoviecki and Black, two members of the Jackson-based group Thomas Wesley Stern, opened the July 14 show for rising Boston folk stars The Ballroom Thieves, showcasing their unique blend of folk, rock and Americana for a crowd of more than 200 sandal-clad music fans.
“It’s beautiful,” said Black, who played the series with Thomas Wesley Stern in 2014. “Usually you’re looking at a bathroom stall or small pub with people eating cheeseburgers or something. Here you have the ocean, the sand, a big crowd of music fans – you can’t really beat that.
“The exposure you get playing with bands from across the country – and even the exposure you get just with people walking down the boardwalk – it’s huge,” Black added. “This venue is a draw on its own, and you can attract a lot of listeners who just happen to be passing by… I think our music scene is getting a little bigger and a little better every day, and shows like this are part of that.”
The full 2016 Songwriters on the Beach concert schedule is available here.
Learn more about Brookdale Public Radio and the benefits of becoming a member here.
Check out more photos of the July 14 concert here.