Downtown Disney Mousertainment – The SCAREolers

I don’t know how it happened, but I apparently missed this group when they were performing in Downtown Disney in Anaheim last year at Halloween Time. I probably was busy running back and forth between the Dapper Dans of Disneyland and the Cadaver Dans at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Sadly, this year, the Cadaver Dans are not singing publicly, only at Mickey’s Halloween Party itself. That left a Halloween-sized hole in my entertainment-loving heart that needed to be filled, so I went to check out The SCAREolers who are performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery this season.

The SCAREolers!

I spent a full evening earlier in the week watching The SCAREolers. Their performances are half an hour long and they have two different set lists they perform over the course of four shows throughout the night (so: set A, set B, set A, set B). I found the group’s times listed on the daily events schedule on the Disneyland website, so I’d recommend checking there first.

Their backstory is that they are a few of the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion who have been let out for the evening to entertain the guests.

What I loved: First off, the costumes and the choreography were terrific. And out of all of their songs, I especially thought the Disney villains mash-ups were spectacular! For me those were the absolute highlights of each set. I also really enjoyed the Hercules retrospective (that surprisingly didn’t include the gorgeous “Go the Distance” which I think this group could knock out of the park… so to speak) – as well as their fun performance of the Hocus Pocus songs.

What I liked: the acapella sound and arrangements. The modernized, hip-hop version of the “Monster Mash” was particularly fun. I’m always up for a “Dead Man’s Party” and of course “Thriller” (complete with zombie dancing!) is a definite requirement for the season. Continue reading

Advertisements

Where the Bands Are… and the DJs Too! April-May 2017

Yes, I’m late for a very important date! And I suppose I can’t blame the White Rabbit for this one…

The problem is, there is very little in the way of a set schedule that I know of for the time being so I’ve been waiting until I heard more to post. But since no further info seems to be coming this way at the moment, I’ll just drop these few tidbits here for today for those who need a Downtown Disney music fix at the Disneyland Resort!

While I’m a big supporter of all live music and entertainment at the Disney Parks & Resorts, I’ll admit to having favorite groups. So since very few of those have been scheduled here for the past few weeks, I haven’t been going to this location as much.

However, there are two upcoming Rockin’ Wednesdays I hope to get to because one of my favorite bands – The 80z All-Stars – are scheduled to perform those evenings from 6-10pm on the main Downtown Disney stage by the ESPN Zone:

Wednesday, April 26 – The 80z All-Stars

Wednesday, May 10 – The 80z All-Stars

And while there haven’t been others of my favorite live bands there lately whom I’ve wanted to see, there is another option for Downtown Disney entertainment worth mentioning:

Thursday night Dueling DJs!

Yes – this fun experience pits two DJs against each other to battle it out to see who can play the tunes that get the most people in the crowd dancing! Especially fun to see at the turntables are some familiar faces whom the eagle-eyed may recognize from The Mad T Party! (Speaking of following the White Rabbit…)

While these DJ battles have been scheduled regularly for the past few months at that same main stage as the bands in Downtown Disney, there is a particularly fun event happening there this coming Thursday, April 27th: Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017 – Entertainment

Welcome to the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017!

This year’s expanded Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure brings back both the culinary demonstrations and the popular (and still pricey) food and drink booths from last year’s event but adds several more of these along the parade route down Paradise Pier.

Sadly, the prices kept me away from sampling these offerings once again this year. I simply cannot justify $6 for a spoonful of soup in a mini bread bowl (bread roll?), when I can pay $11 for an entire cup of soup with a full loaf of bread just down the way at Pacific Wharf Café – so in fact, that’s exactly what I had!  Although I was disappointed that the seasonal Loaded Baked Potato soup there yesterday was much saltier than I remembered from previous meals.

But very happily, the entertainment for the Festival has been greatly enhanced as well and will definitely be bringing me back regularly for the rest of this event, which runs March 10-April 16, 2017!

For the run of the Festival, there will be two stages with all day and into the evening performances. First is the Paradise Park stage – an elevated platform right in front of World of Color. This is for the bigger shows and I’m absolutely thrilled that one of the regular bands performing here is a Disneyland Resort favorite: TOMASINA!

TOMASINA playing at Paradise Park during the day.

Yes, Tomasina is bringing her wild and crazy rock and pop show to Disney California Adventure this season!

TOMASINA playing at Paradise Park in the evening.

Following are TOMASINA’s currently scheduled dates and show times (as always, subject to change): Continue reading

Downtown Disney Mousertainment – The Suffragettes

Make it last forever, friendship never ends…”

The Suffragettes sing in Downtown Disney!

The Suffragettes sing in Downtown Disney!

The Suffragettes are another band that originated at Tomorrowland Terrace at Disneyland Park and have now found their way out to the main stage by the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney. In a case of “too many bands, too little time”, I’m embarrassed to say that although I’d wanted to, I’d never seen this all-girl band (hence their name) until this week!

img_4269-sm-wm

While some of the performers in this group were familiar to me – you may notice a lot of talent crossing in between many of the awesome bands I feature here – some were new to me as well. And none disappointed! Continue reading

Where the Bands Are… January-March 2017

Looking forward to seeing more Grilled Cheese Soundwich in 2017!

Looking forward to seeing more Grilled Cheese Soundwich in 2017!

As a happy start to the New Year, I’m pleased to share the news that it looks like the bands will continue to play in Downtown Disney through at least March!

This means more awesome opportunities to spend evenings listening to terrific cover bands like The 80z All-Stars, TOMASINA, Hiatus, Grilled Cheese Soundwich and more!

I haven’t seen a confirmed March schedule yet, so there will only be two tentative dates to mark on your calendars for then, but if you’re looking to rock out with some great bands on Rockin’ Wednesdays, here’s who you can check out in January and February (schedule as always subject to change)! Continue reading

Mousertainment Music Spotlight: Love & War Album Review

“I’m not a concept, I am real…”

Love & War CD – a little worse for wear for having been in my car for the past several weeks!

Love & War CD – a little worse for wear for having been in my car for the past several weeks!

Those of you who read this site regularly may recall that last month I went to the live concert performance celebrating the release of this album. It was one of my favorite experiences of the year. 

I had previously heard one single from it (“Look At Me Now“) but was otherwise unfamiliar with the music when I went to see the show – although I was aware of several of the singers and musicians involved with the project.

In retrospect, I’m sorry I hadn’t heard the entire album prior to the concert, as I would have appreciated the show even more.  But I have been living with this awesome music on constant replay in my car wherever I’ve gone for the past several weeks as I cannot stop listening to it. And when I’m out and about, I regularly catch myself humming or singing the various songs from it. I think at this point I’ve pretty much randomly sung all of them without thinking about it. And I’ve literally woken up singing or humming them on multiple occasions. This album is completely stuck in my head. I’ll tell you why in more detail below, but first let me tell you a little about its history.

Over a year ago, musician Mike Hill had the dream to create an album. So like many artists, he turned to Kickstarter to see if he could make it happen. Only it wasn’t just an album he wanted to make – there was a story that he wanted to tell about the creation of it and why he was driven to do it. So with the help of a lot of fans and supporters, he raised enough money to not only produce this album and coalesce an incredibly talented group of people to turn it into a reality, but he also gathered the funds to film a documentary about its creation. The documentary will have its premiere in Hollywood in January (and hopefully I’ll get to attend and write about it, too!). But the album was released last month and it really is an amazing achievement.

A concept album, this original work is unified by its theme of examining love and relationships against a pop and rock background. Featuring a different singer (male or female) on each track, and a range of sounds and song styles, the one thing that brings it together is how we are all driven by what we feel and experience in relationship to others. I love the mix of musical genres and relationship perspectives expressed here. And I love all of the musical contributions of everyone involved – from the songwriters to the singers to the musicians to the producers.

In any artistic work, one needs visionaries behind it. In this case, the producers not only did a terrific job with the practical side of production – from the mix to the instrumental choices, it all sounds rich and polished and professional. But they made absolutely perfect creative choices in combining the proper songs with their best singers. Each voice was just right for each selection. Each musical genre choice worked both individually and in harmony with the rest of the album. I loved the combined use of male and female vocalists and how they were interspersed in the track list. It all just WORKS.

And while I immediately fell in love with certain songs the very first time I heard them performed at the concert (ahem, “Paper Planes” and “Has Anybody Seen Her” – and I was already a fan of “Look At Me Now” before the concert), other songs took merely one listen on the album and I was hooked (hello, “Psycho” and “No No Go Go”), while others gained strong appreciation after merely a few plays (“This”, “Love & War”, “Unbroken”, etc.). But really, I love the whole album and all of its songs. And I keep playing them repeatedly again and again!

Breaking it down, however, it seemed to me each song had a strong hook and success potential with exposure and airplay and while I don’t really want to hear anyone else sing them besides those who actually did, if these songs were sung by contemporary popular artists, I note below who they seem most suited or similar to and who I think they’d be hit songs for if they got general radio play. Continue reading

Mousertainment’s Favorite Bands: The Beverly Belles

(They) had a boogie style that no one else could play…”

The Beverly Belles at the Grand Californian Hotel during Christmas Time.

The Beverly Belles at the Grand Californian Hotel during Christmas Time.

I first discovered these girls when they were singing Christmas carols last year at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

As a big fan of the Andrews Sisters and big band era music, I immediately loved the style of The Beverly Belles – and of course, their vocals!

I’ve been fortunate enough to see them perform various times since then, including last month at a special Veterans’ Day event and they continue to impress me every time!

The Beverly Belles salute our veterans!

The Beverly Belles salute our veterans!

They really are note perfect in all they do – from their outstanding harmonizing (both a capella and when singing against instrumental accompaniment tracks) to their period makeup and hair.

I think everything from their outfits to their choreography to their arrangements are top notch – and I’m not the only one!

The Beverly Belles sing at various events (often in California and Colorado where the group is based) from the aforementioned Veterans’ Day celebration to tree-lighting ceremonies at Christmas time at local shopping outlets and other venues and they were even recently featured in a performance on The Hallmark Channel! Continue reading