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Neil Sedaka Kicks Off Controversial Concert Series In Brooklyn

Veteran performer Neil Sedaka kicked off a controversial free concert series in Brooklyn's Asser Levy Park on July 15, 2010. (credit: CBS)

Veteran performer Neil Sedaka kicked off a controversial free concert series in Brooklyn’s Asser Levy Park on July 15, 2010. (credit: CBS)

NEW YORK (CBS) – The old saying “the show must go” on certainly held true in Brooklyn on Thursday night.

The first of six free concerts at Asser Levy Park went off as scheduled despite efforts by some in the community to stop performances they call too loud and disruptive.

Neil Sedaka’s Brooklyn homecoming was memorable, but, by design, it was far from ear splitting.

This was a concert that almost did not happen.

Some neighbors and members of side-by-side synagogues across from the park tried to get the shows stopped, and prevent a new amphitheater project from taking over the small park.

The opponents, who had an old city law on their side, were foiled by a hastily created new law, pushed through the City Council and signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Concert Series Creator and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said this concert was quieter.

“We’ve always had sound requirements here, sound levels. We keep it within that we’re fine. This is not a heavy metal concert series. This is perfect,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said.

The show did not disrupt services at the synagogue Thursday night, but members are skeptical it will stay that way.

“This is a ploy to get away with it tonight and then they can do what they want to do afterwards,” Sea Breeze Jewish Center president Mendy Sontag said.

Sedaka said he was glad the show went on and predicted the music will ultimately bring everyone together.

“I think music is therapeutic. It is the international language and it beings people together and it’s very healing, it is,” Sedaka said.

The fight is clearly not over as those on both sides promise to return and measure the decibel levels at upcoming and possibly louder shows, including The Beach Boys and the B52s.

Those measuring the decibel levels at the Sedaka show said they need time to go over the findings. Opponents of the new amphitheater said they have collected more than 13,000 signatures from those who want the project stopped.

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