There’s nothing quite like relaxing and grooving to live music in the park during the summer. And that’s what many Santa Clarans did Friday evening when The Megatones, a popular Northern California cover band, performed at the Central Park Pavillion.
The band’s performance is part of the Concerts in the Park series, sponsored every year by the City of Santa Clara Cultural Commission. The free concert series brings a variety of bands — such as the Orquesta Latin Heat and The Lyratones — to the park for Santa Clara residents and their family and friends to enjoy.
The Megatones is comprised of Harry Burks, Dick Sillman, Jason Moss, Ken Stollman and Mike Wills. The band attracted wide attention after winning the 98.5 KFOX Last Band Standing competition in 2007. Since then, they’ve been invited to play at various festivals and concert series, including Santa Clara’s Concerts in the Park last year.
“We love coming here,” said Burks, the band’s lead vocalist. “People enjoy it. They sit and they listen, or they get up and dance and have a really good time. And I just like this particular venue with the pavilion, especially in June during the summertime.”
The band kicked off the concert with a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “I Know a Little.” Burks said they performed the song because it has an extremely technical opening, which establishes to the audience that they know what they’re doing.
When the band first started out, they were just typical musicians who were trying to have fun and express themselves through music, said keyboardist Sillman. However, after winning the competition, their attitude changed.
“When we did that contest, we realized the #1 greatest joy we can give is try to lift up people out there,” Sillman said. “It’s not about us, it’s about ‘How do we help them have a nicer life? How do we bring some joy?’ Maybe they’re having some stress or problem, and we can come and give them a really nice time for just a few hours. Help them forget about what’s bothering them and just get out there and dance and enjoy themselves. And it’s such a gift. It just feels so good in your heart.”
The band doesn’t just focus on one genre. Instead, they play a variety of different genres, such as rock ‘n’ roll, funk and modern pop, so there’s a little something for everyone. Some songs they covered included Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac,” Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” and Maroon 5’s “Sugar.”
As the Megatones rocked out on stage, the audience sang and danced along, including Beverly Bond and George Muller. The two neighbors have been coming out to concert series for the last four years.
“I love it. I love the music, and it’s beautiful out here,” Bond said. “The Megatones were great.”
As the concert came to an end, Burks gave the audience a choice between two genres for the final song: “Funk or rock?” The audience cheered louder for funk, so the band ended the night with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”
Audience participation reached its peak as everybody moved closer toward the stage, dancing and screaming to the song.
It looks like The Megatones did their job.
To find out more information about the Concerts in the Park series, check out the flyer: http://santaclaraca.gov/home/showdocument?id=58185.