With an amphitheater and three other stages, the Grape Festival is going to rock, roll and groove with hits from the ’70s to today.
Headliners gracing the Budweiser Amphitheater Stage include the Bon Jovi tribute band Blaze of Glory, The Who Show, The Banana Slug String Band, Jackie Greene and Sounds of Santana.
Though they perform different nights and have their own styles, they have one thing in common: All of the bands want their audiences to move and have a good time.
“To this music, people have to move. They’ll be dancing in their seats,” says Joe Garcia, manager and sometimes-percussionist in Sounds of Santana.
Sounds of Santana is no newbie to the Grape Festival. The band, which recreates the concert experience of the long-haired musician who put Latin rock on the map, played in Lodi two years ago.
They enjoyed playing for a lively Lodi audience.
“There were wall-to-wall people there,” Garcia said. “It was just really fun performing there.”
When they perform on Sunday at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., Sounds of Santana will play Santana hits, including Garcia’s favorite: “Oye Como Va,” the catchy song that makes Garcia think of mai-tais on a beach in Hawaii.
Groups like Blaze of Glory and The Who Show will transport festival-goers into another decade.
Blaze of Glory, the Bon Jovi tribute band, prides themselves on amazing even the biggest Bon Jovi fans. With no pre-recorded background vocals or instruments — and no wigs —Blaze of Glory looks and sounds like the real deal.
At the festival, the band will play favorites, including “Livin’ on A Prayer,” “It’s My Life” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
Taking over the stage Saturday night will be Jackie Greene, the soulful blues singer who channels Bob Dylan. Opening for him will be Lee Koch, who was featured on NBC’s “The Voice.”
Earlier Saturday, the wild, crazy — and educational — Banana Slug String Band will give the kids a place to sing and shout. Band member Doug Dirt says what has made them so popular for 27 years is that they are engaging and need total audience participation.
“We have people dancing and singing and playing with each other,” Dirt said. “We sing all about the fun ways to learn about this wonderful planet.”
The band embers started as outdoor science teachers at Exploring New Horizons in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where children and teachers would stay for five days and study the environment, from redwoods to coastal scrub.
Now, their musical talent allows them to perform at places like the Lodi Grape Festival and in Hawaii during the humpback whale migration, and they get to sing songs such as “How Dirt Made My Lunch” and “Odes to the Vines.”
But don’t worry parents; the music is fun for adults too.
“The music is sophisticated and fun enough for adults,” Dirt said. “When you listen to (a song) for the thirtieth time, you’re not ready to kill the band.”