Seaside Summer Concerts rock Coney Island once again

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First term: Brooklyn Borough President Adams was very happy to bring the Seaside Summer Concert Festival back to Coney Island.
Belting it out: Up-and-coming Bensonhurst singer Isabella Koutros kicks off the concert with the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Two icons: JT Taylor performs in front of the Parachute Jump.
Comfort is key: Berta Umana and her two daughters, Panela and Daniela, were loving the show.

Gettin’ down with Coney and the Gang!

The Seaside Summer Concerts 2015 Festival rocked MCU Park in Coney Island last week, kicking off on July 22 with none other than JT “The Voice” Taylor, formerly of Kool and the Gang.

The concerts continued with ’80s rockers Starship for the second night of the festival, and rapping up with Latino Music by The Sea featuring Eddie Santiago on July 24.

The three-day festival combining funk, classic rock, and Latin sounds reflected the diversity of the borough, according to Borough President Adams.

“These shows are emblematic of the commitment to bringing our communities together in a celebration of the spirit that makes us one Brooklyn,” said Adams, who worked with organizers to resurrect the Seaside Summer Concerts after it skipped a beat last year.

This was Adams’s first time hosting the 36-year-old music series after it took a hiatus in 2014 after the its founder, former Borough President Marty Markowitz left office.

“I am excited to host my first year of Seaside Summer Concerts 2015 Festival at MCU Park, which will be a one-of-a-kind music festival,” said Adams.

The ballpark is also a first-time host as this year’s venue to the concerts. In recent years the shows were held in a cramped, vacant lot near the ballpark, after getting booted from their original home at Asser Levy Park by a lawsuit from neighbors.

MCU Park’s management was glad for the opportunity to showcase the Brooklyn Cyclones’ home field.

“We look for any opportunity for any amount of people to experience our ballpark,” said Billy Harner, director of communications for the team. “We consider our ballpark to be the best in the world.”

But this may be both the first and the last year the home of the Cyclones host the concerts, since their planned permanent home — a new amphitheater at the 90-year-old, boardwalk-adjacent Childs Restaurant building — is expected to be finished later this summer.

Regardless of where the concerts happen in the future, one fan who attends the free shows every year said the ballpark was definitely a step up from the previous venue.

“It was very comfortable,” said Berta Umana, a Brighton Beach resident. “In previous years I was so uncomfortable. [This year] was nice.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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