By Fred Swegles
A list of more tribute bands than you will have time to see this summer
What if you could go to concerts this summer to see Journey, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, George Michael, Wham!, Aretha Franklin, ABBA, Foreigner, Queen, the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Neil Diamond and Earth, Wind & Fire—all within a handful of miles from home?
And all for free?
We decided to find out which tribute bands are set to perform this summer’s free concerts hosted by San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, local county parks and Laguna Niguel.
We found 11 groups whose mission is to musically mimic hit performers.
Dana Point is the clear winner in this South Orange County shootout. Not only does Dana Point offer the most summer concerts—weekly—but each concert has two or more bands. And tribute bands are the focus.
Here’s your guide to tribute concerts that you can see locally this summer. Hey, and we’ll even include a comprehensive non-tribute band free concert lineup for your enjoyment:
Events are from 3 to 6 p.m. at Sea Terrace Park, 33501 Niguel Road.
July 14: 3 to 4 p.m., Pyromania, The Def Leppard Experience; 4:30 to 6, Aeromyth, The Ultimate Tribute to Aerosmith.
July 21: 3 to 4 p.m., The Reflexx, rock covers; 4:30 to 6, Freedom, A Tribute to George Michael and Wham!
uly 28: 3 to 4 p.m., The Queen of Soul, Aretha; 4:30 to 6, AbbaFab, ABBA tribute.
Aug. 4: 3 to 4 p.m., 4NR, A Tribute to Foreigner; 4:30 to 6, Queen Nation, A Tribute to the Music of Queen.
Aug. 11: 3 to 4 p.m., Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind & Fire; 4:30 to 6, Hot August Night, A Tribute to Neil Diamond.
Aug. 18: 3 to 4 p.m., Tunnel Vision, reggae; 4 to 5, Polynesian dancers; 5 to 6:30 p.m., Surf City All Stars (featuring Al Jardine and David Marks from the Beach Boys, Dean Torrence from Jan & Dean).
The city’s concerts are 6 to 8 p.m. at the San Clemente Pier or Linda Lane Park; Ocean Festival concert is 6 to 8 at the Pier; Fiesta Street Festival is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Avenida Del Mar.
June 20: Lights, a tribute to Journey, at the Pier.
July 11: Kelly Boyz Band, country favorites, at Linda Lane Park.
July 20: San Clemente Ocean Festival presents Dead Men Don’t Surf, a surf band that includes two of the original Del-Tones, at the Pier.
Aug. 1: Wigs & Ties, rock, at the Pier.
Aug: 11: The Chamber of Commerce’s San Clemente Fiesta Street Festival presents some 17 bands ranging from OC British Invaders (’60s music) to Underhanded (the ’80s) and the surf band Pier Pressure IV.
Aug. 15: Tunnel Vision, reggae, at the Pier.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
Events are 6 to 8 p.m. at Historic Town Center Park, downtown.
June 19: Collective LA, a Motown tribute.
July 17: Rebel Souls, classic rock.
Aug. 21: Scotty Mac Band, country.
Sept. 18: The Trip, classic rock.
Events are 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Crown Valley Park.
June 21: Stone Soul, a Motown tribute.
July 4: Undercover Live, classic rock.
July 19: the 80z All Stars, tribute to the 1980s.
Aug. 2: The Answer, classic rock.
Events are 5 to 8 p.m., each presenting two bands, at Salt Creek Beach’s Bluff Park, including free parking after 4 p.m.
Aug. 22: Tijuana Dogs, rock and party band, and Family Style, blues, soul and rock.
Aug. 29: Crash Boom Bang, pop rock, and Lit, rock.
OH, AND HOW ABOUT THE BEATLES?
If you’re anguished to not see a free Beatles concert here, OC Parks has one coming right up—but it’s the same day as San Clemente’s Journey tribute, June 20, and you’ll need to drive to Craig Regional Park in Fullerton. The OC Parks event, 5 to 8 p.m., will feature the bands Greasy Spoons and Hard Day’s Night.
Fred Swegles is a longtime San Clemente resident with more than 46 years of reporting experience in the city. Fred can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.