It’s the feeling inside that bubbles out whenever you hear a familiar tune. The one that makes you lean forward to crank the volume. Your heart pounds. Your feet move. And, you know every single word because it’s the music of your youth. The soundtrack of your life.
We’re talking about the quintessential music of the 1980s performed by such groups as Journey, The Rolling Stones, Def Leopard, Van Halen, Joan Jett, Blondie… and more.
Today, some of the most requested bar bands from coast to coast are tribute bands.
“We created the Legends of Rock Tribute Music Festival because the music is familiar,” said John Henderson of Coach’s Corner, sponsor of the event. “These tribute bands have solid fan bases and people know what they’re going to get when they get there and the music begins. They know what they’re coming to see.”
Tribute bands can provide fans with a way to hear their favorite music in a live venue.
“These tribute bands have really taken off in the last three years or so,” Henderson said. “Before the pandemic, we had the tribute band, Departure—a Journey tribute band—and they were wonderful. The response was overwhelming. They were seriously better than Journey. And, it gave us the idea to start regularly bringing in these tribute bands.”
Henderson joked about how his selection process is simply picking music he likes.
“I was able to stay open and in business during the pandemic,” Henderson said. “So, we were able to load up with musicians. The only bands touring at the time were tribute bands.”
Henderson knew once the pandemic ended—or as close to the end as possible—he wanted to do a tribute band festival. “That’s what it became. I looked at larger venues, but that didn’t pan out. Still, I wanted to make it happen so I said we were just going to bring it to Coach’s Corner and make it happen.
Coach’s Corner utilized extensive outdoor seating and staging during the pandemic to provide socially distanced events. However, Henderson is hoping this festival will draw an impressive crowd.
“We’ve got a large stage in the back, it’s a great venue, and we’re shooting to make it the best we can,” Henderson said. “We’re really happy to see tickets selling quickly.”
The two-day event kicks off on Fri., March 25 with three tribute bands playing that evening and four more on Sat., March 26, for a total of seven bands.
Henderson is proud of the team at Coach’s Corner for promoting this event and the bands they have brought in.
“We’re trying to promote the best music and best music experience ever. It’ll be a great mixture of tribute rock where you’ll get everything from Pat Benatar to the Eagles; Van Halen to Journey; The Rolling Stones to Joan Jett.”
The excitement in Henderson’s voice resonates.
“Man, it’s a phenomenal thing,” he said, proudly. “We’re putting on something that hasn’t been done yet and we’re happy to brag about it.”
When asked what the music of this timeframe means to people, Henderson didn’t pause.
“The show is open to all ages, of course, and we hope the next generation will come out and hear some great music, support it and enjoy it, but… this is our music. The forty-plus. The Gen Xers. These are our songs and we just want people to come out and feel a part of it.”
One of the tribute bands performing is Hotel California, which is fully endorsed by The Eagles.
“They are 100% amazing,” Henderson said. “While The Eagles weren’t touring [although they’ve announced a new tour now], fans have been able to still enjoy the music they love so much and is a part of them. Tribute bands like these provide that.”
Henderson hasn’t seen the Pat Benatar or Joan Jett tribute bands yet, but he is happy to have one of his favorites, Departure, a Journey tribute band.
“They are the best Journey tribute band ever,” he said with confidence. “They sing the music people love to hear and love to sing along with.”
“I expect Hotel California will put on an amazing show—everyone will—and it’s going to be a great show and a great time for people to get out and get back to life.”
Local Savannah band, Monkey Man, a Rolling Stones tribute band, will be performing on Saturday night on the heels of their first time participating in the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Henderson hopes the locals, regulars, and visitors alike will spread the word and come join them for the music festival.
“It’s time to come back. We deserve it. We’ve earned it and there’s nothing like these great bands to bring us together.”
“We appreciate the support from the community,” Henderson said. “We’ve taken on tribute bands as our ‘thing’ because we want people to know what they’re going to get when they get here. We’re bringing them A+ bands to help them forget their troubles or whatever is going on in the world and to just be in the music.”
Information about the 2-day event and the current lineup can be found on Coach’s Corner’s Facebook page and at coachs.net