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Kids play, adults listen at concert

To their credit, the band never let the kids playing distract them from their music.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd were famously named after a high school gym teacher who disapproved of their long hair.

Nickelback is a reference to working at Starbucks, where almost all prices ended in 95 cents at the time a member worked there, forcing him to give a nickel back hundreds of times a day.

And Fallout Boy is, of course, a nod to the longtime sidekick of Bart Simpson's favorite superhero, Radioactive Man.

When lead singer Mike Tarara explained how the The Music Matters Band got their name Tuesday night on the Dover Town Library Green, his answer wasn’t quite as intriguing. It ends up Tarara owns “Music Matters DJ and Party Services” - thus, the band is “The Music Matters Band.”

But while their name’s origin story might not have been especially entertaining, the band itself was.

Consisting of Mike Tarara on lead vocals/rhythm guitar,  Jodi “Doc” Stevens on bass, Gabe Luxton on drums/backing vocals and Kevin Williams on lead guitar, the Millis-based band bills itself as “The ultimate rock, funk, soul, country, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today’s cover band!” the band lived up to the advertised musical diversity, with Tarara telling the crowd before he began playing: “if you don’t like a song, just wait three and a half minutes.”

The concert was a perfect family event or date night.

He wasn't kidding. Songs from the band included “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band, Spencer Davis Group's “I’m a Man”, The Rolling Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown” and Kenny Chesney’s “Beer in Mexico.”

But, as anyone with kids will tell you, there’s no amount of musical variety that will keep them seated and entertained for long. To deal with this issue, the Dover Town Library's Jim Weston explained Dover has come up with a unique solution. Scattered throughout the lawn are things that kids are both allowed - and encouraged - to play with, both before and during the concert, which were provided by a local company that specializes in entertaining children.

“They’re a game company that brings toys and activities for the kids,” Weston explained. “We’ve got a big pop-up tent, soccer, basketball and all sorts of games for the kids to play with while their parents listen to the band.”

A girl tries her hand at walking on stilts as the band plays.

Other things the kids could play with included a maze of strings through which they could squeeze their bodies, a giant parachute they could wave together, and a basketball hoop.

While one of the kids-specific shows was rained out and had to be moved all the way back to August, for Weston, just being able to bring back the outdoor concerts represented a victory.

“We’re just excited to have it back. The library is open now and it’s been great to see people in the building again … most of our activities are still outdoors, so it’s great to have families and the community back out here.”

Some intense badminton broke out just ahead of the concert.

As the kids played badminton and tried to walk on stilts, the band didn’t seem all that affected by the possible distraction. In fact, the only distracting child was Tarara’s toddler son, who briefly interrupted the show to say, “good job dad.”

With a concert able to equally entertain kids and adults, he could have added, "and good job Dover Town Library."

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