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It was the final show of the season, but it felt like the closure of something else, too.
The singer’s raspy, bluesy voice weaved through the night air while the crowd mingled in luau shirts and flower leis.
There were food vendors and an artist painted animals’ faces on children. Young people ran around as cats and butterflies.
Julie Stewart and the Motor Kings completed the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series – which began in May – but during the concert it was felt as though the band and the crowd were bidding farewell to the summer season.
When the concert series begins, it feels like the series is the official start of the summer season and carefree days, when people do not have to worry about work or school the next day or completing household chores before it gets too dark. Instead, their time is flexible and therefore they are free to spend the whole night listening to live music. Even if people are not at the concert’s exact location, whether it is on Central Avenue, at Overlook Park, or a number of other venues, the music seeps everywhere; they can hear the guitars, the lyrics of a song while walking to the gym, or maybe from their home.
Even better is when the roar of appreciation from the crowd can be heard after a song is completed or when couples and little children are seen swaying and dancing unabashedly in front of the stage.
The concert series makes people stop whatever they were previously doing to listen. They get transported from the everyday routine and are given a treat, something as every bit as sweet as cola or an ice cream cone on a summer day.
Eventually, however, the carefree summer days have to come to an end. The days get shorter, pushing everyone back inside and back to work and to school.
The finale of the series symbolizes the completion of summer. As the weather chills and the days become shorter, it is time to pack up the stage and finish the concert season.
While the concert series are in hibernation and people refocus on work, they can still look forward to the day when summer arrives again and the blue and white-striped canopy along with a small stage reappears.