6/20/2021 6:14:00 AM Alive After Five Returns Thursday
Wayne Howard Reporter
The Embers will kick off Lincolnton's Alive After Five concert series this Thursday evening (June 24th).
On Monday & Tuesday nights, the Embers will play at SOS. For anyone who doesn't know, SOS stands for Society of Stranders, not shaggers, although the big event, normally held in late April, does celebrate the dance that had its roots on the Grand Strand, and more specifically in North Myrtle Beach.
This year's SOS got delayed until June, and it continues through this Saturday. Fat Harold’s, the Pirate’s Cove, Duck's and the OD Lounge are the center of partying during the ten-day event, but other clubs are also involved.
The Embers are, of course, one of the best-known beach music groups. Their history goes all the way back to 1958. Their signature song has become perhaps the most revered of all beach music songs. "I Love Beach Music" was released 42 years ago (1979). It includes mention of several other beach music 'classics'--"Sixty Minute Man," "39-21-46" (the real name is 39-21-40 shape, but it's better known by the misnomer, even the record label says 46), "Ms. Grace," "What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)?" and "It Will Stand."
The Alive After Five concerts--like many other usual events--got put on hold during 2020 because of the pandemic. The free concerts are staged on the east side of the Courtsquare facing East Main Street. Traditionally, they've been held the last Thursday in the month, and in most years from May through September.
There was an attempt in 2013 to expand the musical offerings. That summer, when the concerts were held on the west side of the Courtsquare, a Johnny Cash tribute band and a bluegrass group did excellent concerts, but they just weren't what the people wanted. During the bluegrass event, the street filled with dancers only during the band's break when the DJ played beach music.
Once, because of rain, the concert got moved to the Farmer's Market location on West Water Street, but the east side location has hosted most of the concerts.
This reporter doesn't remember when the Embers have played Lincolnton's Alive After Five before (if ever), but their reputation and a longing to get 'back to normal' is expected (weather permitting) to draw a huge crowd this Thursday (June 24th). They were scheduled to play here last June--but like all the other events last year, that got canceled.
The Alive After Five lineup for 2021 may look familiar--it's the same lineup as 2020. After the Embers this Thursday, the rest of this summer's series has: Thursday, July 29 - Too Much Sylvia, with special guest Bo Schronce Thursday, August 26 - Black Water Thursday, September 16 - Cat5
Too Much Sylvia will play this Friday evening (6:30) in front of Maiden's Town Hall. Mount Holly will have the Cat5 Band at its downtown concert on Friday night. Bessemer City'a summer concert series will feature Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot Saturday evening. Dallas already had its Concert on the Square this month (the Catalinas on June 12th). Stanley doesn't kick off its Chillin' on Main Street concerts until July 8th.
The Alive After Five concerts are sponsored by the Downtown Development Association (DDA). The first two blocks of E. Main Street and the east side of the Courtsquare will be closed to traffic. A car show will be staged in the second block of E. Main. There will, of course, be vendors with food and beverages. It's a BYOC event--you need to bring a lawn chair to watch the concert; the area in front of the stage will be kept open for dancing. The fun begins at 6 PM; the band will take the stage at 7.
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