Bands on the Bricks creates feel-good atmosphere for all

Two thumbs up to the new Bands on the Bricks concert series unfolding this summer in Aurora.
There was a lot of energy on the downtown square for the debut event and the reaction from the crowd was unanimous. The smiles on the faces of youngsters playing with hoola hoops matched the relaxed expressions of twentysomethings and retired folks alike. Right out of the gate it was clear that this was a good idea for people of all generations.
Max Temple gets much of the credit. The South Dakota-based musician spends a majority of his time now coordinating community concert series through his Annie Creek company. Using his extensive contacts in the music world, Temple is able to bring top-notch entertainment to places like Aurora at a reduced rate, and more importantly gives local residents an opportunity to get together and have some fun.
And that they were!
Sara Sutherland and Chris Small recognized the potential in Temple’s concert series approach and ran with it. It takes a lot of energy and courage to try something new and unknown, yet they dove in head first and launched a six-week series as one of the hallmark events of the newly re-established Aurora Chamber of Commerce.
And oh by the way the music was terrific. It will be interesting to see how the remaining bands resonate with the crowd and how big that crowd is from week to week but you get the sense, at least on opening night, that this event’s appeal is based as much or more on spending time with neighbors and friends as it is knowing the words to all the songs.
From a community perspective, it’s good to see young people sharing their ideas and energy, which can be contagious. A number of young couples I spoke with were not only having a good time, but seemed to be soaking in the evening’s atmosphere as a feel-good example of small-town life. Aurora needs more of that, young people say, and community leaders seem to be listening to and responding to that feedback.
That, in itself, makes this series an early success.
Kurt Johnson

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