Stars in the Park is a live concert series put on annually by the city of Farmington Hills and broadcast on Bright House Channel 8 at SWOCC Studios. The following article briefly recounts events from the 2010 season.
Parrots of the Caribbean
Of many Stars in the Park performances that occurred in 2010, one of the first and most memorable acts was Parrots of the Caribbean on June 17th.
The first concert was the hottest. But that was no deterrent at all to the Parrots. This band from Ohio showed up with every flavor of outrageous outfit imaginable in tow. Lead singer Dave Albrecht performed one Jimmy Buffet tribute cover after another all evening, while massive numbers flocked to the Farmington Hills amphitheater to watch. One of the most memorable parts for visitors was his cover of "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." In spite happy faces and dancing children, there was a surprising lack of cheers from the audience. Even when he gave the audience numerous opportunities to sing lines with/for him, he was met with silence. Alas, he kept right on singing. The one time the audience did play along, it was barely audible from SWOCC microphones.
Finally, when the show was almost all over, there were some actual cheers from that tough crowd. A cover of "Brown-Eyed Girl" finished the show off.
- Lead singer: Dave Albrecht
- Guitar: Jeff Cline
- Keyboard: Kenny Rice
- Bass: Gary Rigmaiden
- Drums: Greg Martin
Rock and Soul
Bruce Pooley and Teresa Marbury performed both original songs and covers of Beyonce songs, among other covers, on July 8th. During a half-time break, a lady came on and mentioned that Bruce is an instructor in a music program as well as a performer. The two were locals of Farmington Hills.
A mediocre performance by a Rebecca Black look-alike over an unreliable mic connection was one guest act. The girl was identified as a "Hannah," and Bruce asked the audience if they were at all shocked to learn that Hannah had only just turned 13.
While he may not have had all the flare and insane costumes of "Parrots," Austin Scott easily held his own in Farmington Hills with his slightly rockified country tunes. Being a local worked significantly in his favor, as locals of Farmington Hills are always more inclined to be nice to a performer of their own than to some group from Ohio that most of them had never heard of before. Even so, Austin's tunes worked their magic with very little trouble. He played for about an hour and 20 minutes to a modest-sized crowd on August 5th.
A small army of country boys and country girls played fiddles for an hour and 43 minutes on August 19th. Meanwhile, children danced around the amphitheater and were hard for limited security to control. One highlight of the show was when the men did their own rendition of "Big Yellow Taxi".
Whether mild temperatures with mosquitoes everywhere or blazing infernos that made crew members hide from the sun inside of tripod cases before shows, the Intern Trio had to do a little bit of everything. At first, when the camera configurations for doing remote shows was a bit unfamiliar, Kat had to help show the crew members a few things. It was not long before the crew could set up and take down its own configs, however.
Cables had to be specially wrapped in some places, hidden in others, and snaked against concrete sides in still others, to keep the general public from stepping on a cable. There were often issues early on with audio equipment not working, which included bad mics. However, those issues were fairly reasonably resolved. Interns got fairly modest amounts of solar exposure near the amphitheater.
There was minimal security provided for the event, but what little existed tried to make sure small children didn't climb on stage...too often. Three cameras were placed around the amphitheater, to capture a variety of angles that focused on different band members and instruments for each show. Audience members did not respect the unwritten rule that the camera crews are to be treated as invisible. Instead, interactions with camera crew members instigated by the public ranged anywhere from casually friendly to projection-style suspicion coming just shy of outright hostility.
Intern Trio members often went home late from Stars in the Park shoots, having to help wrap up the cables when the show was over while avoiding a heavy mosquito population. Food poisoning and other issues occasionally made shoots uncomfortable for the crew, but the overall season was fun and productive.
Based on a variety of unknown factors, an actual estimate could not be made. However, the scenario average is stated below.
It's not yet to the point of being a serious endangerment of public money, but Stars in the Park could definitely be shaved off the city's budget in the event of a crisis.
- Stars in the Park official website
- Rock and Soul mentioned in The Oakland Press
- Austin Scott's official website
- Saline Fiddlers official website
- Parrots official website
Stars in the Park