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C. Paul Luongo's Published Columns

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beyoncé & The Summer Shack


The summer evening began with a cool pitcher of Peach Sangria at the SUMMER SHACK ($27) and it was so good that if it had not been for our tickets to see Beyoncé, I’d have stayed sipping all night! Olé!

The Sangria marinates for 24 hours with white wine, peach schnapps, oranges, pineapple and peaches, and a little sugar.

The Summer Shack as you know is our Best Seafood Restaurant in New England with locations in Boston, Cambridge, Logan Airport and Mohegan Sun. One will be opening in Atlantic City next year.

Despite the fact that their specialty is seafood, they also have the Best Hot Dog in Town at $5.50 from Pearl Kountry Club. It comes accompanied with fries and sauerkraut. They also make the best fried chicken wings in town and you can buy them singly for only $2.75 apiece.

My companion and I split their monster hot dog and chicken wings (buffalo and fried) followed by a Shack Surf & Turf special for $50, including 12 oz. of steamed king crab legs and a 16 oz rib eye steak done to perfection (I am finicky about meat being burnt to a crisp). I ordered it medium-well and it was wonderful. It also came with corn on the cob (my passion).

My companion is not a seafood person so he ordered the 12 oz. NewYork Sirloin with béarnaise sauce and fries for $26 with a special order of brown rice, $4. He approved.

For dessert I had a refreshing watermelon granite which consists of watermelon puree, sugar, ice and vodka and blended so that it forms crystals served in a cup, $8.

The Summer Shack is open seven days, 11:30AM-11PM on weekdays. ‘Til 1:30AM weekends, food service ‘til 11PM, late night menu ‘til 1AM.

All credit cards.

Reservations call (860) 862-9500.


Now about Beyoncé! My God. The show begins and pandemonium breaks loose as the screaming audience stands and dances in the aisles. A big fire is at center stage with fireworks, smoke and flashing lights all around.

Suddenly Beyoncé appears on stage at the top of the stairs in a silvery chic gown, which ultimately reduces to a short dress.

The band consists of ten female musicians, 3 back-up singers, 6 female dancers and 4 male dancers.

During the 2-hour concert with 5 costume changes, multicolored computer graphics and lights in the background, Beyoncé, who is very beautiful and has a powerful voice, begins to sing her set list which consists of CRAZY, FREAKUM, GREENLIGHT, BABY BOY, BEAUTIFUL LIAR, NAUGHTY GIRL, ME MYSELF AND I, DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE, FLAWS AND ALL, DESTINY’S CHILD MEDLEY, SPEECHLESS, I BE DAMN (GHETTO TANGO), RING THE ALARM, SUGA MAMMA, UPGRADE, BONNIE AND CLYDE, CHECK ON IT, DÉJÀ VU, GET ME BODIED, DEENA, LISTEN, and IRREPLACEABLE.

Many of the songs were co-written by Beyoncé and she has been honored by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) by receiving the Songwriter of the Year in 2005. In addition, that year, she received the most Performed Songs Award.

There are terrific keyboard and saxophone solos through the night and at a certain point Beyoncé floats down from the ceiling to the stage by gripping a giant umbrella.

There are ballet dancers and very athletic male dancers doing complicated choreography and Beyoncé even includes a DREAMGIRLS segment. The show ends with her singing Happy Birthday to everyone, which refers to her newest album B’day (short for Birthday).

Beyoncé is sure to be a superstar for a very long time.

Ticket prices were $150 to $90.75 and she packed the arena with 8,000 screaming fans.