When the second annual First Night celebration was staged last New Year’s Eve at Onondaga Lake Park, hundreds of young families enjoying a non-alcoholic holiday alternative turned out to ring in 2012.
When main-stage headliners the New Boyz delivered a suggestive and profanity-laced performance, however, audience members were outraged. A rap act from Southern California, the New Boyz song titles included “Tie Me Down,” “Backseat” and “Better with the Lights Off.”
So this year the Galaxy Events Company which produces First Night here hired R5 to headline.
“We’re so concerned with our First Night families that we went to Disney because we know this band is going to be clean,” said Galaxy’s First Night coordinator Pam Levine. “‘Austin and Ally’ is very popular with the tween crowd, and parents know that, and parents will know they don’t have to worry about this concert… After what happened last year we made a conscious decision to hire a band that would definitely be family-friendly.”
Liverpool When Central New Yorkers turn out for First Night on Monday, Dec. 31, at Onondaga Lake Park, they’ll be entertained by three up-and-coming pop groups including Louisiana native Taylor Mathews who was a finalist on television’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Headlining the third annual AmeriCU Credit Union First Night here will be R5, a Colorado quintet whose young musicians have ties to the Walt Disney Company. Guitarist Ross Lynch, one of four Lynch siblings in R5, stars in the hit Disney Channel sitcom “Austin and Ally.” Bassist Riker Lynch has a recurring role in Fox TV’s musical drama, “Glee.”
First Night producer Galaxy Communications also recently added a Georgia rock quartet named NameSake to the New Year’s Eve concert bill. NameSake is touring in support of its debut album, “Borders & Fences” featuring songs such as “Worlds Away,” “Saturday” and “A Million Good Reasons.”