Buice column: Sound waves: Tunes crank up as weather warms; hidden dangers at the beach

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2019

Like the O’Jays used to sing, “I love music, any kind of music.”

And so it is with me and the arrival of summer and what seems like an endless wave of local concerts.

The Sounds of the Summer free outdoor concert series in Bermuda Run is already in full swing, starting with the Billy Joel Tribute Band the weekend before Memorial Day.

“The Stranger” put on a great show on a May night that had an early summer feel. I wasn’t able to make it to see the real thing when Joel came to Wake Forest’s BB&T Field last October, but I could close my eyes and feel like Joel himself was live in Bermuda Run.

That was followed by the most recent production when The Legacy Motown Revue came to town. A talented quartet of singers, accompanied by horns and the rest of the band, moved and grooved to the music while paying tribute to all the legendary icons of Motown, including the likes of The Temptations, The Spinners, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

It was an amazing performance on a gorgeous Saturday night — prior to the return of all the heat and humidity — before a huge crowd. It was estimated to be the second largest ever (behind last year’s On The Border Ultimate Eagles Tribute Band) since the concert series was created several years ago.

Shaggers, line dancers and any and all others filled the two dance floors and anywhere else there was any open space for a performance that went deep into the night. This group will definitely be invited back in the future to the town’s Village Green, which is located just across the Yadkin River from Clemmons on U.S. 158 off Kinderton Boulevard — the entrance to Town Hall and the WinMock Barn.

In between these two community-sponsored events, Lewisville’s Shallowford Square was in the spotlight Memorial Day evening when the Band of Oz played a great mix of beach music and an assortment of other popular tunes for a solid two hours, much to the delight of a large gathering.

Lewisville, which also provides free entertainment, will swing back into action Saturday night at 6 p.m. with its annual street party and food truck festival, which will feature a performance by The Extraordinaires. This is group that is acclaimed as a Lewisville “fan favorite” and loves to play the Classics/Rhythm & Blues.

Also on Saturday, Mocksville will host Summer Beach Days, a free beach concert at Junker’s Mill Outdoor Theater starting at 5:30 p.m., featuring Memphis Thunder, Moxie and Phatt City.

Wow, so much music, so many choices.

And all three of these cities have other concerts scheduled throughout the summer and into September.

As the late, great Barry White might have said and belted out in that deep voice, “Let The Music Play.”

• • • • •

There’s nothing quite like a week at the beach, and this year was no exception as our family always blocks out the first week in June to visit the Crystal Coast.

But even before we left, and certainly after arriving, there was much discussion about the unusual number of drownings off the Carteret County beaches where six of the seven N.C. deaths occurred before the calendar even turned to June — two at Atlantic Beach, three at Emerald Isle and one at Pine Knoll Shores.

Most were attributed to rip currents, so we took special care, especially for the little ones, as the waves lapped at our feet. I enjoyed taking some long walks on the beach, and we had our usual good time, but it sure seemed like the dangers of the ocean surfaced like never before.

On our annual visit to the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, I thought it was interesting to learn that one thing that might help would be having the same color-coded flags for all the beaches to indicate the current risk for rip currents and high surf. Why wasn’t it already that way?

A volunteer there showed us a map where Pine Knoll Shores flies a black flag when swimmers are prohibited from going into the water while Emerald Isle displays a double-red flags and Atlantic Beach does not have any particular flag to stop people from entering the ocean.

To avoid confusion, it sure seems like it would make sense for these municipalities to get together and have a consistent regional plan for beachgoers coming from many different locations.

It might not stop these all of these drownings, but it sure wouldn’t hurt. Certainly, more education about the dangers of handling rip currents would be beneficial, too.

After all, the beach should be our safe, happy place.