MORRIS – The beat went on and on as The Neverly Brothers entertained a crowd gathered on the Grundy County Courthouse lawn Thursday night.
It was almost the night the music died, as they suffered some technical difficulties a few songs into the opening night of the Morris Summer Concert Series, but after some adjustments to their audio equipment the show went on.
“I’ve come every year,” Jan Harsh, of Morris, said. “I like this kind of music, and they’re good.”
Linda Anderson, of Verona, sat next to Harsh and said it was the first time she’s attended.
“We came to hear the music,” she said. “People come from all over; it’s a good thing for Morris to have something like this.”
People attending brought lawn chairs and blankets and found a spot on the lawn where they could listen to The Neverly Brothers take them on a self-described “bus tour” between 1950s rockabilly era music and the music of the early 1960s British invasion. They took the crowd on a trip from Memphis, Tennessee, to England and back as they sang.
“Just settle into our bus,” lead guitarist and lead vocalist Kevin Giragosian told the crowd gathered. “Our tour bus has a time machine.”
He said they’d celebrate the great artists of rock ‘n’ roll starting in 1957, and as they picked up speed they’d hop the pond to 1964 London for the second half of their performance.
Delight and Jerry Belt of Morris, who originally organized the event in 2001 before handing it over to Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick, said they are thrilled with the response the town has shown.
“I can see where people really appreciate it,” Delight said. “It offers all different types of music; I’m so glad the city has taken to this event.”
Kopczick said it’s a great way for people to have an excuse to step back from their fast-paced life and see their friends and family they don’t often get to see.
“Anyone who wants to should come on down,” Kopczick said. “It’s a nice time and a chance to get out.”
Several couples in the crowd took to the sidewalk turning it into a dance floor, as they twirled each other around and danced to the songs from the bygone era.
“We come for the music, and it’s a beautiful night,” Robin Mikota of Channahon, said after dancing with her husband, Mike.
The series is held every other Thursday this year, except for July 3 which falls during Liberty Days.
“We are only having five concerts this year,” Kopczick said. “We didn’t want to compete with Liberty Days, which has its own entertainment, so we decided not to hold a concert that week.”
The event is free to the public. It is paid for by the city of Morris with the cooperation of the Grundy County sheriff’s office, which allows them to use the courthouse lawn.
Those planning on attending should bring lawn chairs or blankets. In case of inclement weather – be it rain, high heat or high humidity – Kopczick said the concert will be held in the auditorium at Morris Community High School.