Dozens of people complained about noise levels from an outdoor concert venue in Westbrook during a meeting with the concert promoter Monday night.

About 50 people from Westbrook and Portland came to the meeting at the Westbrook Community Center and nearly everyone who spoke registered a complaint about the noise levels generated by the artists who have performed at the Maine Savings Pavilion this summer. The venue is part of the Rock Row development.

The venue hosted a doubleheader this past weekend, with rocker Alice Cooper performing Saturday evening and Grammy Award-winning musician and rock icon John Fogerty on Sunday night.

People at the meeting compared noise from the concerts that began in late May to Chinese water torture. One woman said the noise was so loud that it sounded like Alice Cooper was in her bedroom Saturday night. Many said the noise disrupted their sleep and that they could feel their bodies vibrating from loud bass music.

“It’s the bass. It is shaking my house. That’s just nuts,” said Steve Totman, who lives on Penwood Drive in Portland, near the Nason’s Corner neighborhood. Totman, who works the overnight shift, said the noise from the concerts has been disturbing his sleep. He owns the Baker’s Bench in Westbrook.

When asked, more than half of the audience raised their hands to indicate they lived at Nason’s Corner in Portland.

At one point, an exchange between Totman and Lynda Adams, community liason for Waterstone Properties and the meeting’s moderator, became heated, prompting Adams to say she might have to ask Totman to leave.

Totman, who spoke at length, left the meeting before it ended, claiming it was a waste of his time. He said he plans to take up his concerns with Westbrook city officials.

“They’re just trying to beat the people down. They want us to go away,” Totman said outside the meeting room.

Another woman, who did not identify herself, jumped out of her chair and walked to the front of the meeting room, where she accused the audience of being delusional. The woman said she had driven around the concert site this past weekend and could barely hear the musicians.

Bobby Shaddox  stood up from his seat to play a recording of “Dare to be Stupid” by Weird Al Yankovic. The recording was so loud that the audience could barely hear what Shaddox, who lives at Nason’s Corner in Portland, was saying. Shaddox spoke in a British accent, but later said it was all part of his attempt to draw attention to the noise issue.

“It was stupid to build a concert venue on top of a rock quarry,” Shaddox told the promoter. “If you continue, it’s quite probable that you will be leaving Westbrook.”

Jon Dow, the concert venue’s general manager, turned on a decibel meter as the song played. Dow said Shaddox was producing a decibel reading of 84, far above the 65-decibel limit imposed by the city. Dow works for Waterfront Concerts, which manages the performances.

Dow said the weekend concerts by Cooper and Fogerty produced significantly fewer complaints than earlier concerts, about 25 percent of what shows have averaged. He declined to be more specific.

When Dow indicated that the venue has a permit to host performances for up to five years, several residents asked if Waterfront Concerts would be willing to invest in erecting a soundproof wall, similar to the walls erected along highways to buffer neighborhoods from the sound made by passing vehicles.

“I don’t think engineering-wise it would be feasible, but we’ll certainly look into it,” Dow told the audience.

Three more concerts will be held this year at the Maine Savings Pavilion, with the final performance by country and western musician Chris Young scheduled for Sept. 28. A Market Basket grocery store is scheduled to open at Rock Row next spring.


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