News & Insights 2 August 2010

New York Daily News: 27 July 2010

“Lightyears ahead in Astoria – Energetic British band thrills young and old”
27 July 2010
Lisa L. Colangelo, New York Daily News, USA
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ASTORIA PARK was treated to a burst of British pop rock last week when The Lightyears took to the stage for a free concert…

The energetic trio charmed the crowd of 2,000 with a mix of old favourites and self-penned tunes.

“They really won over the hearts of Astoria,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “I have been going to these concerts for a long time, and I have never seen so many people at the end of the show looking for autographs and buying CDs.”

Vallone, a guitarist, even joined the band for a cover of The Monkees’ classic, “I’m A Believer”.

“It seems like our music has a connection here,” said keyboardist Chris Russell. “Americans are really open to that kind of uplifting, good old-fashioned pop music.”

The band’s eclectic set ranged from “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Hey Jude” to “Great Balls Of Fire” – a nod to the mixed crowd, which included 20- and 30-somethings along with seniors.

“They are really good at gauging what the crowd is looking for,” said Raima McDaniel, a fan who has seen the band several times in recent years. “They really know how to get a crowd going, plus they’re British, so that’s fun.”

The free Thursday night concert series features country, big band and even 1960s bubblegum pop.

But it’s rare for an up-and-coming young band to take the stage.

“It was the first time I had seen or heard of them, and I actually bought their CD,” said Astoria resident Teresa Ciattei, who has attended many of the Thursday performances.

Russell said he and his bandmates love visiting New York City for the people, the culture and the food. The steamy summer weather, however, is a different story.

“We really eat when we come here; the food is great,” said Russell. “We’re British though, so the heat is a bit much for us…”

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