Rock-n-Roll will never die. Especially not this weekend!

The Smells Like Summer Music Festival brings guitar riffs, drum solos, and lots of hair to the George Seuffert Bandshell at Forest Park on Saturday, June 29, from noon to 5 p.m.

This fourth-annual jam session features two singer-songwriters from Astoria, a Brazilian metal band, a Soul Funk ensemble with deeps roots in New Orleans, a celebrity deejay and three cagey veteran teams that have been part of the local live music scene for more than 30 years.

Attendance is free.

To get the party started, Emmy Liu-Wang, a local teenager who plays cello and piano and stars in many community theater productions, will sing the National Anthem.

Then to get the crowd in the mood, professional wrestler Eric James will step up as master of ceremonies. Treat him with respect, the Flushing native, who used to fight under the moniker “EJ Risk,” is one of the most decorated champions in the Victory Pro league.

The show’s headliner is James Avatar, a regular performer and barker at Queens Comfort in Astoria, and his band The Blacklist. Expect some surprises from this eclectic group, which can happily segue from a soulful “Love Train” by the O’Jays to an electric “World Gone Wild” by Journey.

Some of the other scheduled acts follow.

  • Unglued, a Stone Temple Pilots tribute band;
  • Mario Gonzalez, a teen solo guitar sensation;
  • Harmonic Asylum, which covers Rock-n-Roll from various decades;
  • IROC, which does the best of the 1980s;
  • Lyxx, which does Glam from the 1970s and Thrash from the 1980s;
  • Damaged Goods, a Long Island band with a sound they describe as a “mash up of influences from Elvis to The Dead, Don Henly to Paul Simon, Neil Young to John Mayer;”
  • Brazilian rockers Midnight Jack, who perform in Portuguese;
  • Singer/songwriters Ivan Polanco and Ay-Oh; and
  • DJ Ian.

Located off Forest Park Drive inside Forest Park, the George Seuffert Sr. Bandshell can accommodate about 3,500 people. It’s named after a local music teacher and concert violinist who established the Concordia Military Band in 1894.

Smells Like Summer is organized by Loss4Words Productions, which offers internships in the music-and-stage industry to students in Bayside High School’s Music Program. The primary sponsor is Staten Island-based Valenti Basses.

Images: Carmine Gonzalez


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