Lawn chairs, blankets and cool beverages, oh my! The Gates Four Summer Concert Series is wrapping up its third year of live entertainment and family fun at the club’s pavilion on Sept. 1.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Concert-goers are encouraged to get there early, set up their chairs, and enjoy several pre-concert activities such as door prizes and wine tastings.
This event is free to the public, but if you’re in the mood to treat yourself, a few VIP options are available for purchase. These exclusive tickets give access to covered seating, food and libations courtesy of On After and H8ters Bar and Grill.
Anyone interested in VIP tickets can purchase them online at the Fayetteville Dinner Theatre website www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com or at Gates Four Golf & Country Club. Ticket prices range from $25 for covered seating to $40 for covered seating and drinks.
According to Greg Adair, GFSCS organizer and drummer for Rivermist, the concert series has grown in more ways than one as one of the only music festivals that runs a six-month season in the Cumberland County area.
This year boasts a mountain of significant sponsors, including Certified Heating and Air, Beasley Media Group, Jay Dowdy Home Services, and Healy Wholesale, Inc. According to Adair, it will get “better and better” as “word of mouth” of the concert series continues to bring in bigger crowds each year.
This year the GFSCS is again being presented by the Fayetteville Dinner Theatre, with local businessman Bill Bowman at the helm. Bowman is also the publisher of Up & Coming Weekly. The Fayetteville Dinner Theatre’s mission is to bring a “full evening of fun and entertainment that includes much more than great theater performed by talented professional actors,” a mission that has come to fruition with the continued success of the GFSCS.
Set to headline the season-ending show is none other than Fayetteville’s favorite hometown band, Rivermist.
The band is known not only to local audiences, but across the region and have received numerous accolades and awards to include: nominated for the Rising Star CAMMY (Carolina Beach Music Award), named 2021 CCMA (Carolina Country Music Awards) Vocal Group of the Year.
Starting in 2014 as a classic rock cover band, Rivermist has lost and gained members and even added new genres of music to its repertoire, earning them a whole new audience in the music scene and solidifying what Adair calls “Rivermist 2.0.”
“It seems like God had a plan for us, and we just kept making a way.”
The band consists of five eclectic members, all from different backgrounds but united in their love of “God, family, and country.” Adair, drummer and vocalist, is a proud son, father, new grandfather, and an organizer of the Gates Four Summer Concert Series.
Flowing on the keys and the mic, Allen Pier's raspy voice and melodic work on the keyboard provide the perfect note for the cover band’s classic rock hits and R&B and funk.
Cliff Bender plays lead guitar, and local music store owner Tony Harrison jams on the bass guitar.
New to the group, but a natural addition is Rick Starling who joined the group in 2022. Starling brought his experience as band director at Jack Britt High School and John Griffin Middle School.
Although the band plays secular music, Adair says, “We are all active in our churches,” a reason the GFSCS stays true to its family roots and is strict on making sure all bands that are booked adhere to playing family-friendly music.
Even though the band has quite a following on Facebook (8,000 followers), Adair admits that doesn’t quantify their success. That comes from their connection with their fans at concerts.
“When we see people, we are really into them, we hug them … we hug them at the end of every show or when we can see them before the show ... and we are really thankful for them.”
With fans showing up at every show and having original songs on the music charts, Greg says the band doesn’t consider themselves famous. “We are just a humble bunch. We aren’t arrogant at all … we are really thankful and really humble.”
Despite his musical success, Adair says his favorite role is “grandpa,” but he says his children often pick about having a “rockstar dad.”
The band maintains a consistent schedule, ensuring fans have the opportunity to rock out and grab a laugh and a hug on the way out. While they consider themselves a cover band, they have a collection of harmonious and inspiring original songs. They just released a new song, “Right Place, Right Time” available on their website, www.rivermistband.com, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, and Pandora.
Tour dates, merchandise and booking information can also be found on the band’s website. They have a full schedule for the rest of the year with plenty of opportunities for fans to catch a show.
At the final GFSCS show of the season, Rivermist will hit the stage at 7 p.m. with a set full of songs to fit everyone’s musical palate, crossing several genres of music over several decades.
Concert-goers can expect smooth harmonies and electric energy from the band as they end the summer concert series dancing under a radiant Carolina sky.