The Town of Oyster Bay's Music Under the Stars 2011 season kicked off on Tuesday in style with a captivating show by former Santana and Journey founder Gregg Rolie and his band, performing popular hits spanning his illustrious career.
Playing live at dusk, the Greg Rolie Band attracted thousands of residents who rocked back and fourth rhythmically on their blankets and lawn chairs to the Rock, Blues, and Latin-infused beats coursing throughout the air as the sun went down and the stars came out over the fields of John J. Burns park.
Town of Oyster Bay supervisor John Venditto introduced Greg Rolie and his band, informing those in attendance that they were indeed in for a treat.
"I met the group backstage, they're a great group and we're going to have a lot of fun tonight." he said. "Let's get the Summer started the right way."
Gregg Rolie, now a spry and energetic 64, co-founded super group Santana with guitarist Carlos Santana in the late 1960s, and was partly responsible for many of their early hits. He later left the group in 1972 to pursue other endeavors, including founding the rock band Journey, and later, a successful solo career that continues to this day.
This evening, the Gregg Rolie Band concentrated it's set on Santana material, playing classic tunes such as "Black Magic Woman," "Evil Ways," and "Oye Como Va" and "No One To Depend On."
"Now you know," Rolie told the crowd. "I sang all those songs. For all of you that have gone to Santana concerts, and thought Carlos Santana sang those songs, you'd be wrong. And now you're right."
Rolie also treated the crowd to original pieces as well, including "Anywhere You Want To Go," and several extended instrumentals, all of which drove the large crowd into a heated frenzy.
Massapequa resident Mark Perderghast had been looking forward to this event for some time.
"I've been a huge Gregg Rolie and Santana fan for years," he said. "When I saw the line-up for this year's Music Under the Stars, and saw him on it, I knew I had to come. The concert is great so far...he hasn't lost his touch."
Seaford resident Beth Campbell enjoys the free, quality entertainment provided by the Town of Oyster Bay every Summer.
"I Santana and their music...I like all types of music," he said. "These shows here at Burns park are always a great night out...they have some really great shows. I'm really looking forward to Tony Orlando later this month."
Future performers at the Music Under The Stars series also include Eddie Money (July 23), Mel Tillis (July 26), and Air Supply (July 30).