By Jim Walker
Valencia Marketplace is well known as one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s favorite destinations for summer family fun. Each year, six summer Fridays feature great live music outdoors there in the pre-sunset hours.
Marketing Director Connie Cashin said, “Valencia Marketplace is pleased to present its 20th Anniversary Summer Sunset Concert Series for 2017. Our concerts have become very popular events in the community and many local residents look forward to them every year.”
She noted that several of the scheduled bands, such as the Hodads, have been wowing audiences at the venue for many years, and added, “The Platinum Groove is playing for the second year, and new this year will be Mirage, a tribute to Fleetwood Mac.”
All concerts are on Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and take place at the Valencia Marketplace outdoor amphitheater, where attendees may sit on the grass or bring their own chairs. They can also get up and dance. The amphitheater is located behind Starbucks and Jamba Juice, and there are other convenient vendors of snacks, food and refreshment nearby, including Baskin Robbins, Subway, Noah’s Bagels, Mod Pizza, Yogurteria and Urbane Cafe. Chili’s, Claim Jumper and Chuck E. Cheese’s aren’t far away.
July 14: The Hodads, featuring beach classics
The Hodads describe themselves as “five guys who don’t know how to surf but can really stir up a party.” Band member John Hatton said, “We excel at California beach music. Our show will feature the best of surf music and include the giant hit from the Surfaris, ‘Wipe Out,’ of course!” And he added, ”The Valencia fans are party music lovers. The dance floor will be packed, in spite of the heat, as we add some classics from Motown, Nashville, New Orleans and America’s top 40. The Valencia concert is one of our all-time favorite gigs and we look forward to it each year.”
July 21: Ride the Tide, playing pop and favorite oldies
Ride the Tide plays all the hits from The Beach Boys to Jan and Dean and the Ventures, as well as rocking hits that are all synonymous with the California sound, such as “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfin’ USA” and “Wipe Out.” The band also has a full repertoire of dance music, focusing on the hits that made the ’50s and ’60s rock.
Bandleader Dwight Kennedy said the group has been performing at Valencia Marketplace for several years in a row and that they really love the audience there. “It’s our favorite place to play,” he said. “We have a family-oriented show that is interactive for the kids. It’s a musical journey of surf tunes, rock and roll and family fun-time classics.”
July 28: Fort Worth West, with country hits
Fort Worth West is one version of a multifaceted musical group that can play in almost any genre. In this incarnation the group plays contemporary country covers as well as its own original songs.
August 4: Mirage, visions of Fleetwood Mac
The members of Mirage capture the look and sound of Fleetwood Mac, focusing on the group’s greatest hits in a five-piece authentic concert recreation. Band member Michelle Tyler (“Stevie Nicks”) said, “Mirage is looking forward to bringing the best of Fleetwood Mac to the Valencia Marketplace.“ And, as evidence of how good that can be, she recounted that once Stevie Nicks saw her perform in the Mirage show and told her, “You sounded great! You can take over anytime!”
August 11: The Platinum Groove, featuring pop, disco and dance favorites
Platinum Groove is a high-energy variety dance band. Performances implement a nonstop blend of many musical styles and choreographed dance routines into each set. The group incorporates a customized mix of material from Motown, top 40, disco, current dance, swing, big band, Latin pop, cocktail jazz standards, R&B and oldies.
David Hewitt of DMH Enterprises, the organizer of the band, said The Platinum Groove has been playing together since 2001 and that “the Valencia Marketplace is definitely a nice environment, with a cool vibe. It’s a super nice community out there.”
August 18: Sgt. Pepper, a tribute to the Beatles
Sgt. Pepper performs classics from every Beatles album plus songs by other British Invasion artists. And this is done with, “No wigs, no fake accents – we dress like them … recreating the greatest music ever written, presented with the energy and lighthearted fun straight out of the ’60s.”
The Valencia Marketplace stretches between McBean and Lyons along the east side of The Old Road in Valencia. The amphitheater is near the northern end. For more information visit valenciamarketplace.com.