Let’s “Freak Out” on Saturday and do the “Moondance” on Sunday.
Forest Hills Stadium completes its concert season with two major presentations this weekend: an all-in disco party and a more contemplative night with a singer/songwriter and his daughter.
The Freak Out Let’s Dance Festival (or FOLD) will rule the roost on Oct. 8, starting at 5 p.m. Nile Rodgers and CHIC, the band he co-founded in the 1970s, will entertain with other Disco Era legends — including Earth, Wind & Fire; The Village People; DJ Cassidy; and Siano of Studio 54 fame. Plus, Bette Midler, who has won Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Golden Gloves awards, will join the fun.
This means that the audience might groove to “Good Times” and “Boogie Wonderland” at one juncture, before shaking it to “YMCA” and singing along to “Wind Beneath My Wings.” FOLD gigs often last five hours and attract high-energy, multicultural audiences of all ages.
On Oct. 9, Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison will set up shop at 7:30 p.m. It’s actually a return trip as he performed in Forest Hills last summer, too. This time he will share the stage with his daughter, Shana Morrison.
The ditties “Moondance,” “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Into The Mystic” brought fame, fortune and fan worship to Morrison, but his five-decade career actually began when he joined a traveling band at age 13. The Belfast native’s music defies boundaries as he mixes country, soul, jazz, blues and traditional Irish styles. Expect a magical night as Shana’s sound is also a mix of many genres, and her unique, wide-ranging voice adds spice to the atmosphere.
The Van Morrison show closes the third concert season at the resurgent Forest Hills Stadium, which closed in the 1990s and lay dormant. In 2013, the venue underwent a roughly $3 million renovation that included a complete structural overhaul, seat replacement, and the installation of a state-of-the-art stage. It re-opened that August with British rock band Mumford & Sons.
Since then, it’s attracted a wide range of performers, including Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, The Who, Santana and Drake.
Built in 1923, Forest Hills Stadium used to host the U.S. Open’s big tournament matches in conjunction with the West Side Tennis Club, which is located nearby. During the 1960s and 1970s, it was also an iconic concert venue where The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Diana Ross and even Frank Sinatra performed. In fact, Nile Rodgers and CHIC were there a few times.