The main focus of the Salem Super Cruise may be the cool cars, but music lovers will have plenty of bands to help them move to the groove starting tonight with The Sonic Boomers.
The group based in Warren takes the Broadway Stage from 7 to 9 and promises to take listeners on a trip through the baby boomer era, offering all kinds of music for all kinds of tastes.
"We do a real cross-section of (music)," vocalist and trumpet player Doug Thomas said.
The classic rock band does everything from the Beatles to Elvis to the Kinks, playing a wide variety of danceable tunes. Besides Thomas, band members include Bob "Rollo" Miller on guitar, Dennis Csiszer on bass, Gary Sloas on drums and Liz Yockman on flute and vocals.
Thomas said the band is fairly new, but the members have been performing for years in other bands. He was in MF Rattlesnake and another band member was part of Mom's Apple Pie. Thomas used to be in a band called My Uncle's Army Buddy with local musician Gary Kekel, whose former band The New Breed is reuniting later this summer. Kekel is the theatre manager at Salem Community Theatre.
"Gary and I go way back," Thomas said.
This will be the first performance in Salem for the Sonic Boomers. Some of the other bands featured during the Salem Super Cruise will be very familiar to the crowds. City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said the bands don't get paid a lot and want to help the city's event. He said events like this give them more exposure.
On Friday, The Manhattan Band will play on the Broadway Stage from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m, featuring dance and pop music from the '60s thru the present era.
The Timberlanes Stage will feature Riverhawk, offering Top 40 country, classic rock, line dance tunes and a variety of music from 7 to 10 p.m. Scott Henthorne will be the featured act on the Second Street stage from 7 to 10 p.m.
On Saturday, The Lazy River Band will perform its brand of classic and country rock from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the Broadway Stage. Night Moves, featuring classic rock, rhythm and blues and rock 'n roll and blues from the '50s to today, will play the Timberlanes Stage from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with Uptown Saturday Night singing music from the '50s, '60s and '70s from 9 to 11 p.m. on the Broadway Stage. Scott Henthorne will again be the featured act on the Second Street stage from 7 to 10 p.m.
The Salem Super Cruise kicked off Wednesday with the Back to the '50s Annual Car Cruise at Essex of Salem. Kenst said city employees have been making an effort to clean up the downtown area, sweeping the streets as part of the preparation.
"A lot of people, this is their first impression of Salem - we want it to be a good one," he said.
This year's designated cruise route is a little different than before, with Second Street included in the mix, along with Ellsworth Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, State Street and Pershing Street. For parking for the public, he said there are no designated areas, with most finding space wherever they can.
Kenst said the groundwork was laid for him ahead of time from previous years and he's confidant they're ready this year.
"I think it's something the city can be proud of - it's a big attraction," he said.
He's planning a followup Super Cruise committee meeting at 7 p.m. June 27 at city hall to get feedback and review the event and start making plans for next year.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at email@example.com