August 18, 2019
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The first waterfront concert of the year wasn’t as loud as the city expected

BDN File | BDN
BDN File | BDN
Typically the first one out of the gate is the one when we get the most complaints.

Waterfront Concerts kicked off its summer concert series Saturday night in Bangor with a hard rock show that yielded fewer noise complaints than expected.

Twenty two people called police to complain about the noise during the Tool concert, and one person emailed an officer, City Manager Cathy Conlow said.

The concert was one of 10 shows on this year’s Waterfront Concerts lineup, which Conlow feared would generate the most noise complaints because of the nature of the music and the fact it was the first show of the year.

“Typically the first one out of the gate is the one when we get the most complaints,” Conlow said. “I expected Tool to be one of concern, but it appears they did a good job.”

The first show came in the midst of prolonged negotiations over a long-term contract between the city and the Old Town-based promotion company behind the concerts, and talks have included ways the venue can keep noise levels down.

City Council Chairman Joe Baldacci expects the council to review the show’s noise levels at a future meeting, but he doubted the complaints would impact contract negotiations. Meanwhile, Waterfront Concerts founder Alex Gray is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 14 for a domestic violence charge after allegedly attacking his girlfriend in March at his Portland condominium.

Last year’s season-opening act country music star Dierks Bentley drew just six noise complaints. But in 2015 and 2014, the venue opened with the all-day heavy metal concert Rise Above Fest, which garnered 86 and 124 noise complaints respectively. That concert will return to Bangor again on July 22.

An initial review of the decibel readings by city officials showed Saturday night’s Tool concert toed the line of meeting Maine Department of Environmental Protection noise level standards, except on one occasion during soundcheck, Conlow said. But she plans to send the sound level readings to the Massachusetts-based audio consultant firm Acentech for further review.

The Waterfront Concerts series continues June 7 with singer-songwriter Jack Johnson.

BDN writer Jake Bleiberg contributed to this report.


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