kite flyer

Bob Rein

As a crowd gathered in front of the Atlantic stage to listen to Vusi Mahlasela's set, Bob Rein, of Burlington, had his eyes on the sky - or at least on the large kite that he had soaring above the afternoon crowd.

Rein was attending the show with his son, and came to Atlantic City with a plan. He brought a huge banner that he planned to attach to the kite string and fly over the crowd.

"On one side it says Dave Matthews Rocks AC, the other says Dave Matthews Caravan," Rein said.

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The kite is a throwback to the 49-year-old's relationship with his father, who once ran a kite shop.

"My brother and I helped him. I learned a lot about kites," he said. "Back then we had kites that could lift you and I off the ground."

Standing shirtless in the afternoon sun, Rein fed out string and kept his eyes on a Horizon blimp high above, circling the airfield. A steady wind that Rein estimated at about 15 knots kept the crowd cool and his kite climbing.

"I've never been to an outdoor venue like this. I thought the kite would be a good thing to try," he said. "It's something that people will like to look at. Something that they might say 'That's cool.'"

Rein had been at the show Friday, but things didn't go as well as planned. First, he forgot his string. Then he couldn't get the banner to hang right.

On Saturday, he thought he had those problems solved.

The kite was flying, and the wind seemed to promise no problems.

"I tested it before we came here. As long as the wind blows, it should stay up. the last thing you want is it crashing down. There would be string all over everybody," he said.

So far, Rein had encountered no problems with security, and he thought he could spend the day walking the airport grounds, flying his kite, and getting ready to unfurl his banner when Matthews and his band hit the stage.

"I shouldn't have any problems - as long as I stay away from the Ferris wheel."

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