Tomorrowland Terrace is in Full Swing this Summerby Todd Pickering, contributing writer
Back for a limited time this summer will be the bands performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Many of these talented musicians also play on the Downtown Disney stage, but there is something nostalgic and fun hearing the tunes blasting out as you exit Space Mountain on a balmy Disney evening. Are your feet tired from a long day walking? Grab a burger and sit and watch the kids jam to amazingly talented bands. You won't regret it. It seems that they are really popular and watch for updates on this article to let you know if they stay on through the busy autumn and into the holidays at Disneyland.
The 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s are all clearly represented on the Tomorrowland Terrace. What does the past have to do with the future you may well ask? When you listen to the tunes from a different millennium you can see the lasting power and energy these songs bring even today. You can see the future of music when toddlers cannot keep from dancing to "Play that Funky Music" or teens scream like fan girls when "Purple Rain" starts and we realize they weren't even born when that song came out. The tech crew really needs to be applauded making sure each number is lovingly filled with great lighting effects and really shakes up the sets. These unsung heroes really know how to put that magic Disney touch on each set.
Scot Bruce: A Tribute to the King of Rock and Roll
The 50s are beautifully represented on stage by this great Elvis tribute band doing the King's older music. You may hear such great tunes as "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," and "King Creole." This is definitely the younger Elvis years and the stand up bass and acoustic guitar (all miked of course) really add to that rockabilly foundation in Elvis's early songs.
There is quite a fan base to this amazing group and Scot Bruce was happy to take pictures between sets and meet some fans. Not sure if this is something that happens every night but the graciousness of these performers and great rapport with audiences was apparent across the board.
This band really knows how to bring the 70s back to life with a great set of funk and disco that makes you wish your trousers were more flared and you had blown out your hair. You may even sidle up to someone and ask them "What's your sign?" Polyester Express opened with an instrumental tune that sounded straight out of an episode of Police Woman or Charlie's Angels with plenty of groovy waka waka guitar. When the keyboard player whips out his saxophone the crowd goes wild.
The next number is "I'm Coming Up" with the lead singer coming to start the set with Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out" the band kicks into high gear.really getting the crowd going. She really knows how to work the 70s look and is a delight as her hair whips around and she gets funky. The connection and joy are palpable, especially with the kids out dancing introducing them to the power of live performance. Other great tunes include KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty" and some great harmonies on Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Good-bye" kept the crowd dancing all through the night.
80z All Stars
If it's 80s you crave, then you have come to the right place. Lead singer Nigel, bassist Devo 2.0, drummer Karate Kid, and very talented guitarist Jamie Starr really get the crowd going. Put on your shoulder pads, leopard spandex, and giant teal earrings, and head on out! With tunes like Dexy's Midnight Runner's; "Come on Eileen" and Modern English's "I Melt With You" it is almost impossible to keep from dancing. Jamie Starr's guitar solo on "Purple Rain" really brings the house down. This band also works the crowd beautifully and had a great interaction with the tech crew.
Nightly Through August 5
The Disneyland Entertainment schedule is your go-to guide to find out when these bands are playing. They have expanded the schedule from Friday, Saturday and Sunday to 7 nights a week up until August 5. Check this article for flash critiques of other bands such as Disneyland veteran Tomasina along with Undecided Future, Hard Day's Night-A Beatle's Tribute and Crimson Apple. At last count there were approximately 15 bands scheduled along with DJs.
These groups can be a perfect respite if you are in a group of three adults and three children wanting to go on Space Mountain. One of the little girls is scared of roller coasters so while the rest of the crowd waits in line and blasts off into space, do some time traveling back to the 1950s and dance to the king of rock and roll, Elvis himself. What a magical experience to watch a five-year-old's eyes widen before she giggles and dances to "Blue Suede Shoes," then asks to go back again to dance to that amazing music. Disneyland has once again worked magic and made young Hadley an Elvis fan. We'll see you on the dance floor of Tomorrowland Terrace.