The city’s summer concert series kicks off on Monday with a special performance by local rock ‘n’ roll legend Ric Mango, who is coming out of retirement to play the show.
“Our summer concert series is an incredibly popular tradition in the city,” said City Council President Scott Mandel. “We are looking forward to many spectacular nights on the beach this summer.”
The city has 30 free concerts scheduled for July and August, ranging from rock ‘n’ roll and big-band music to a Santana tribute band. The stage will rotate to a different beach for each show, and all concerts run from 8 to 10 p.m. At the July 1 concert, the Make-a-Wish Foundation will be giving out T-shirts to the first thousand people who arrive.
“In the aftermath of Sandy, it’s going to be a little unique this summer as boardwalk construction is ongoing,” said Gordon Tepper, director of communications for the city. “The July 1 concert will be a special event; it’s the first beach concert since the storm, and we’re really excited to have Ric Mango back for one-night-only.”
Mango, 67, retired from performing last June, with a final show at the Westbury Music Fair. He said he was supposed to perform one last time in Long Beach, but couldn’t because of Hurricane Sandy.
“I felt kind of cheated out of my last performance,” he said. “Long Beach is one of my favorite places in the world. The people mean a lot to me.”
Mango grew up in Valley Stream, but said that as a kid he spent a lot of time in Long Beach, and continued to bring his own family there later on. He has been performing on the beach since 1985, and said that he was able to bring many well-known musicians and comedians down to the beach to perform with him. Mango said he had a large following in Long Beach, and is glad he will be able to properly say goodbye to his Long Beach fans.
“I was flattered and honored that [the city] called,” said Mango. “It’ll be a great way for me to end my career.”
For the city, asking Mango to perform the inaugural concert was an easy decision.