Rivermist: ‘Meh’ to ‘great’

By Chrysta Carroll - ccarroll@civitasmedia.com

ELIZABETHTOWN — A smaller-than-normal crowd turned out for the third installation of the second annual Summer Sounds Concert Series on Thursday night at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market to hear one of Fayetteville’s premier bands, Rivermist.

Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dawn Maynard introduced the band to the roughly 50 people who were there at the start saying, “Tonight we’re going to rock you out, and it’s going to be awesome.”

The six-member band, which bills itself as a classic rock group, started things off with the 1977 hit “Running on Empty” followed by the Doobie Brothers’ “Taking It to the Streets.”

The band received some unexpected feedback when lead vocalist Kenny Hoffman said, “I don’t know what you came here tonight for, but we’re a rock band and we’re going to be rocking into the night” and a crowd member requested country music. The band followed with a Boston song.

Keyboarder and White Oak resident Doug Bass started out a little sharp on “Listen to the Music” but quickly corrected while coming down off the stage to interact with the crowd and sing in his REO Speedwagon-esque voice.

The four guitarists showcased their skills on Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” especially electric guitarist Cliff Bender, who also shone on Toto’s 1978 hit “Love Isn’t Always On Time.”

Things slowed down a bit, and people took to the dance floor for “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates, but a crowd pleaser seemed to be “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” which gave eager shaggers the excuse they had been waiting for to start moving.

Dwayne Rogers said, “They sound great,” while waving his outstretched arms in the air side to side, just before going through the crowd dancing and trying to enlist others to join him in his revelry.

Compared to the first two concerts in the series, the weather was more cooperative, hovering around 90 degrees for the first hour, then dropping to only slightly warm, with a nice breeze around 7 p.m. The lower temperatures drew in more people, and the crowd swelled to around 300, according to Maynard. Bladen Community College’s Tiina Mundy was passing out fans to appreciative guests.

Albert Freeman, who was visiting White Lake from Burlington, said of the band, “They’re good at what they do.”

Reviews from other crowd members were mixed, however.

“Meh,” voiced Charlotte native Bruce Highbaum while shrugging and pointing out people leaving.

“I like the lead guy’s gravelly voice, and his fedora,” said Angela Harrison, who was also a visitor to the area. “I came to two of these concerts last year, and I’ve really enjoyed them.”

A somewhat awkward moment in the show came when when of the band members asked people to get out their phones and “like” the band on Facebook, then said, “Or don’t if you don’t want to.”

The band commended the facilities several times, once saying, “We’ve done a lot of these concerts, and this is one of the prettiest places we’ve seen. We’d love to come back.”

The next concert in the Summer Sounds series will be the finale on Thursday, Aug. 15, when Blackwater Rhythm & Blues will be performing at the Farmer’s Market from 6 to 9 .m.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.











By Chrysta Carroll


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