"They were one of my favorites," said longtime patron Kim Miller of Newport Beach. "Every song they sing, you know it. They seem to pick bands that historically we can all relate to."
Grammy-winner Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band have become concert regulars, closing the series for the past five years.
This summer will also feature Berlin, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, Johnny Rivers and the Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band.
Some center eateries will operate food booths, and proceeds from the VIP martini and wine bar benefit Project Independence, a nonprofit serving developmentally disabled adults in Orange County.
In addition to the unbeatable price — general admission is free and preferred seating is $20 — Bob Miller keeps coming back for the family-friendly atmosphere. He and his wife have toted their sons to the show every year.
"You get to see the same people year after year, and they almost become like a family," Miller said.
His wife also emphasized the sense of community the concerts induce.
"I think that it makes people feel a part of the community, and when you feel a part and feel pride, you feel a responsibility to help make it better and keep it up," Kim Miller said.
The concerts run at 7 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 15, and first-come, first-served complimentary seating is available two hours before each show. Preferred seating can be purchased by cash or check at the Fashion Island concierge desk in Atrium Court, though it is sold-out for Johnny Rivers, Berlin and the Fab Four.
For more information, go to www.shopfashionisland.com or call (949) 721-2000.
JESSIE BRUNNER may be reached at (714) 966-4632 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.