LONG BRANCH: "Your Love is Lifting Me Higher" was the song that the Tim McLoone and the Shirleys band used to kick off the music season at the Pier Village's Festival Plaza on Thursday evening at the 7 p.m. stage. The band was welcomed by Councilman Michael Sirianni standing if for Mayor Schneider, tied up for the event but with wife Pat Schneider taking his chair at stage-side.
Councilwoman Kate Billings was there at the start and John Pallone arrived later with his son, John Jr to enjoy a fun evening at the beachside.
While the music was sensational oldies and new tunes) one Shirley was missing, a health issue - not serious. The two Shirleys held the fort as Maureen led a tribute along with her other partner Amy, both missing Leone and sending her a "Get well quick" tune.
The crowd of about 350 stayed to hear "Under the Boardwalk", "You're Still the One" and another hour -plus of happy, dance inviting numbers. Some younger visitors added to the fun with choreography Tim encouraged. Several other dancers and groups also got their toes tapping to the rhythms.
The cordoned off area was well protected and traffic controlled by the LBPD team with pets on leashes and kids under watchful eye to avoid accidents.
Another great summer at Thursdays at the Beach, each week from 7 p.m. to 8:30.