L.A. Rock Collective Kicks Things Off At The Hard Rock Cafe
LOS ANGELES, CA- With the rise of social media and the ever-changing landscape of technology, creatives often find themselves treading uncharted waters. Navigating cultural and societal shifts to find your niche and audience has become harder than it has ever been. But if there’s one thing that I’ve gleaned over my years in the music industry, I know that it’s the “community” that helps make the arts thrive. Far from the glory days of the “rocking Sunset Strip”, some are hoping to stir up a new community to get Los Angeles rocking again. “The Rock Collective” is looking to do just that.
Established by David Swanson, The Rock Collective’s mission statement is as follows:
The Rock Collective is a mutually supportive network of some of the best emerging Rock bands in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and San Diego. The Collective provides an opportunity for these talented bands to come together, network, share ideas, collaborate and play exciting live shows together at the iconic Hard Rock Cafe.
The mission of The Collective is to help these up-and-coming artists break through to the next level by maximizing exposure and providing unique opportunities through our sponsors, friends, and partners in each community.
The Rock Collective offers an exciting, family-friendly experience for everyone as bands, friends and fans can interact and enjoy an amazing live rock show featuring the next generation of rising Rockstars.
On January 23, 2021, The Rock Collective hosted its first artist showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe Los Angeles where some of the collective’s founding bands graced the iconic Hollywood stage. Blurred Culture was able to attend the inaugural event.
KingQueen is an LA-based pop-rock band. The band was formed by Swedish lead singer Ina with Adam Giminez (guitar, vocals), Jake Absher (drums), Ella Burgos (bass) and V.A.L. (keys) with Jake Faun (Guitar) joining in on this performance.
Since their debut EP “Get Loud”, KingQueen has been steadily making a name for themselves throughout the world. They’ve earned acclaim with nominations for best pop at the LA Music Awards, “best pop song” at HMMA Awards and won “music video of the year” at IndieNation Awards. Their music video for their single “Roller Coaster” earned a nomination for ‘Rock song of the year’ at the 2021 Hollywood In Media Awards, ‘Best Music Video’ at the Munich Music Video Awards, and won the ‘Best Band’ award at the International Music Video Underground awards in Paris.
Their music and performance really set the perfect stage for the evening. Their music was lively and energetic, and Ina performed with the kind of charisma that was undeniably infectious. The repartee between the members on stage was also undeniable. You could tell there was a connection amongst them all, and that made the performance that much more entertaining to watch.
Of the opportunity to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe for the L.A. Rock Collective, Ella stated:
“These kinds of opportunities to perform for a new audience are priceless. Hopefully, we got a few more fans!”
You got one here!
Next up was The Pride, a Los Angeles-based rock quartet fronted by Daniel McGuffey on vocals, Ryan Hudson on guitar and vocals, Justin Emord on bass, and Brian Sheahan (I think) on drums. This was my first time catching this band but I was digging what they were doling out. Their sound definitely gave me some Cheap Trick vibes. If you don’t believe me, click through the photo and check out that first song in the video clips!
They also veered harder giving me those fabled Viper Room/Whiskey glory days sounds as well. This was rock and roll, raw and unfiltered, with a little sprinkle of punk here and there. Clearly, they had fans in the crowd as I noticed some of the female guests singing along to a couple of their songs.
The last two acts on the roster for the evening were bands that I had recently seen perform at The Troubadour last September. The first band was Hvnted, and all of the glowing things I said about them last year still apply. This band is great live, and I truly think they have the kind of youth appeal that can really draw in a substantial audience. L.A. Rock Collective’s founder, David Swanson, is actually the father of the Hvnted’s lead singer, Will, and I think what he’s helped organize and mobilize to help propel his son’s band will see significant returns in the long run. At this point, I think it’s just a matter of playing more gigs (which they are obviously doing) and writing that one song that will speak to the masses. I think it’s just a matter of time.
The last band to take the stage at L.A. Rock Collective’s inaugural showcase was Chasing Desolation, and the more I listen to their music, the more of a fan I become. I’ve urged people to listen to their album The Moth Collection before, and I’ll do it again. Do it. But, I also now want to urge people to catch this band live. I’ve got to say, the more I hear Seth Perez sing, the more I dig his vocals, especially when they are live. There’s something special in his vocals that’s both visceral and empathetic. It’s hard to explain, but I noticed that I couldn’t help but make a few stank faces when he belts out notes in a melody line. In my book… anything that elicits a stank face from me is worth the price of admission.