by Jamilyn Hiskes
LANSING, Ill. (June 5, 2019) – As the opening groove of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” echoed from the bandshell, audience members clapped and cheered in celebration of the start of Fox Pointe’s second summer event.
About 500 people gathered at Fox Pointe June 5 to welcome cover band Final Say to the bandshell. Like the previous week’s event, food was provided by local vendors, security was ample, and dancing and singing abounded. The musical stylings of the band were different, however—while Hairbanger’s Ball covered 1980s rock and metal songs, Final Say had a more diverse repertoire. The band switched between contemporary Top 40s hits and Motown classics without even breaking a sweat.
“They were one of the first bands I thought of when I took this job,” said Fox Pointe director Tony Troncozo as he introduced Final Say. “They’re very old friends of mine.”
Vocalists Robby Celestin and Morgen Hare’s lively renditions of Pharrell Williams, Pat Benetar, and Michael Jackson tunes were impressive, as were guitarist Dave Carl’s killer Carlos Santana riffs. When the band launched into Shania Twain’s 1997 hit, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” dozens of audience members got up to dance along to the groove.
Final Say’s version of the Santana classic “Smooth” was another audience favorite:
“Give your town a round of applause for having the coolest “park district” site I’ve ever seen,” Celestin said during a brief break between songs.
The diversity of song choices wasn’t the only difference between this event and the May 29 show. TF South students acted as volunteer event staff for the evening. Shish-ka-bobs and Polish sausages were catered in by local catering company Ace Catering, and local brewery One Trick Pony provided craft beer options for the evening. According to Troncozo, One Trick Pony will be featured at most future Fox Pointe events.
Apart from food and volunteer variance, Troncozo said, there were virtually no changes in how the June 5 event was run compared to the May 29 concert.
While the vast majority of audience members said they thoroughly enjoyed the night, some brought up concerns about long food and beverage ticket lines and tripping over the round ground lights. One attendee said he’d like more than two ticket lines during the first hour of the concert.
About Final Say
Final Say is made up of Celestin, Hare, Carl, bassist Avi Kopernik and drummer Tyson Ellert. According to Chicago-Bands.com, Final Say is a Chicago cover band that combines “sizzling chemistry, incredible energy, and songs no one can resist” to put on highly entertaining shows at parks, weddings and other events. For more information, visit their Facebook page.