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Band pulls fan on stage and plays her ‘Happy Birthday’ in Rockin’ on the Riverside concert

PRESQUE ISLE — One lucky fan got a special birthday surprise from Star City Syndicate on Thursday night at the first Rockin’ on the Riverside concert of the summer.

The band invited a Mapleton girl onstage during the second half of the show to sit next to a keyboardist. The girl is well-known within the band for her hopes of playing the keyboards in the group one day; she even made her own T-shirt to sport at their shows with “Future Keys” written on the back.

The band has become famous in The County the last several years for playing covers of classic songs such as, “Come on Eileen,” “Sweet Caroline,” and more. They received a standing ovation from the audience after playing their encore song, “Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs.

The Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee originally scheduled Star City Syndicate to play on Riverside Drive but moved the concert indoors on Thursday morning due to a forecast of rain and thunderstorms later in the evening.

That didn’t stop many concert-goers, though. Jordan Madore, secretary of the PIDRC, said she estimated at least 300 people attended the concert, despite moving the show indoors.

Kim Smith, resource development and public information officer, introduced Star City Syndicate and thanked Machias Savings Bank for sponsoring the event and the University of Presque Isle for allowing them to use Wieden Hall as a rain location free of charge.

According to the Syndicate, when the band first got together in 2016, they started with 11 members. As they gained popularity in The County, their numbers grew, too. The band has 19 players, now but not every band member is able to play all the shows and rehearsals.

Many of the players have full-time jobs and families, making it difficult to organize rehearsal and show times that work for everyone. Nevertheless, they find a way to get together and play music for the people of The County.

“We make time for it ‘cause it’s worth it,” said lead guitarist and singer, Brian Mosher.

Summer is the busy season for Star City Syndicate but Chris Morton, one of the men who organized the group and owner of KMH Music, said that they aim to perform only every other weekend. They can’t accept every gig offered to them, but want to play as much as their busy lives allow.

“We play to make people happy,” said Mosher.   

The next Rockin’ on the Riverside concert is scheduled for 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Pavilion and will feature the band Common Crossing.

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