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After a year of most public concerts being canceled or indefinitely postponed, the music industry has slowly started to return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, and Yorktown, Indiana saw a glimpse of what live performances will look like this summer in its second night of the Concerts on the Green series.
Toy Factory — a cover band with a myriad of musical influences including jazz and rock — offered a diverse set of songs May 21, including “Umbrella” by Rihanna, performed with a rock twist and high energy, which the crowd reciprocated with dancing and clapping along.
“We really try to connect with the audience,” said Daren Owens, the guitarist and founder of the band.
One of Toy Factory’s main goals in its performances, Owens said, is to try to replicate the attitude and energy of the bands they cover.
“I started trying to figure out what’s the difference between cover bands and the bands they cover,” he said. “The difference is that the cover bands weren’t really gathering the energy that the ‘real artists’ were doing, and I figured ‘well what if a cover band could gather that energy?’”
Alongside Toy Factory’s performance, food trucks, dessert caterers and a wine and beer cash bar were also available for those in attendance on Yorktown’s Civic Green.
The Civic Green has hosted two bands in May and will host its next concert June 11, welcoming the Grace Scott Band. The performances have helped town residents appreciate a sense of normalcy as the United States eases its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With where the country is right now, we need this,” Owens said. “We need to be able to get back out and play — not only for the bands, but the audiences need it too — so we can get back out and connect.”
Yorktown resident Rob Gamble also noticed the excitement people had for outdoor gatherings again.
“I think it’s good for the town,” he said. “I just came from the Little League diamonds and there was a buzz up there going around about this going on tonight. I think everybody is excited to get out of the house and see old friends.”