One thing is definitely true about LA (other than the fact that if it does not rain we may have to stop showering): we are still home to an amazing amount of great music. On any given night, you can find something fantastic to party to regardless of what you want to hear. Of course it does mean you have to drive on a parking lot, I mean freeway, to get to Hollywood, but once there, it is going to be great. To get a taste of what we have to offer, check out the bands below.
Robert Jon and the Wreck
Having just returned from a European tour, RJTW, as they are known on their website, is headed out on a national tour and Pryor, Oklahoma, is lucky to feature them on Sunday. Go and start with “Breaker” which has some amazing guitar riffs. Then “Water,” a completely different sound that shows off the outstanding vocals. Lastly, listen to “Georgia Mud,” and if that does not have you convinced to get out of bed Sunday and start your day with some Robert Jon and the Wreck then nothing will. RJTW released their first full-length, Glory Days, this past February to some amazing reviews, and all of it is well deserved. Every song is simply amazing. The sound includes beautiful ballads such as the title track and “Mary Anne,” as well as the funky “Steppin.” This may be one of the best bands playing on Sunday.
Another really fun band from Los Angeles is Diamond Lane. Diamond Lane is right now on tour with Delta Rose, another incredibly talented LA band playing Rocklahoma this year. Delta Rose is reviewed here. Diamond Lane is a take-no-prisoners heavy metal outfit. Driving guitars, pounding drums and powerful lyrics, Diamond Lane is never messing around. Diamond Lane has three releases; a 2011 LP “World Without Heroes”, a 2013 EP, and a recent release, “Terrorizer,” which has a collection of fantastic metal. I especially like the song “Favorite Kind of Victim,” which has great guitar work and a pretty intriguing name. And, if you want to have a joke at LA’s expense, watch the video to “The Enemy” and realize that is a Southern California rainforest.
Mycah (formerly Siren)
I can say with real authority that Mycah completely burned up the Retrospect Stage last year. Whoever may have owned the Siren name should have simply given it up right there, because there was no competing with this dynamic band. With all the members still in high school, it was kind of amazing to think they could be that talented. There was fantastic instrumental work, and Devon Mycah knew how to entertain well beyond her age. It might have been 2:20 in the morning, but the 200 or so people who started the show by milling about and drinking even more booze soon found themselves head banging and moshing as well as people who had been standing for 14 hours could possibly do.
The band has some great pedigree with connections to Poison, Avenged Sevenfold, and Omen, and is clearly influenced by serious metal, but adding their own young sound. This website covered their incredible show at Rocklahoma 2014 here.
They have some songs up on their Reverbnation page, and they are pretty darn good. The issue with this band is that their recordings just do not do justice to their live shows. Perhaps they will be another late night band this year, and if that is the case I guess I won’t be sleeping until later in the morning. Siren was a perfect example of why going to bed after the headliners at Rocklahoma is a bad idea; you miss too much good music.
The Winery Dogs
I am looking forward to hearing this band’s music, but I equally badly want to just witness these amazingly talented musicians create magic from their instruments. Watch the video for “Elevate” and you will understand what I mean. The individual musical talent of each of these musicians is not often matched. This is going to be one of those epic Rocklahoma moments.
There is nothing run-of-the-mill about this band. They are clean, polished, extremely talented musicians and outstanding songwriters. Not knowing the schedule for Rocklahoma, I wonder just where this ultratalented band is going to get to play.
A great taste of the incredible talent on display in this band is in the YouTube video for the song “Time Machine.” An amazing song that displays Kotzen's incredible talent is the song "Desire." Be forewarned: I started listening to this band late at night, with the plan to check them out and get some sleep. That didn't go well. The Winery Dogs are a top level band and are going to blow the roof off of Rocklahoma.
Dan Adler was raised in Southern California to a mom and dad, one of whom appreciated Creedence and left wing anti-war politics. By the teenage years, Dan became obsessed with Black Sabbath, listening to the same seven albums repeatedly for 5 years. During this time, his favorite concert experience was seeing Metallica open for a bunch of bands that no longer exist and winning the 1st ever Santa Cruz Air Guitar contest. After several years in Africa listening and dancing to Chimurenga music, Dan returned to have the two best children in the world, one of whom spends a lot of time at concerts with him. What a lucky dad!