Rock & Roll Rumble Mid-Week Update

Photobooth photos in gallery above are by Joshua Pickering, Lauren Piandes, Duncan Wilder Johnson. All photobooth photos are posted at the Rock & Roll Rumble facebook page. THERUMBLEPOSTER

| 2016 Rock & Roll Rumble |


Preliminaries continue Thursday – Saturday at ONCE Ballroom, 156 Highland Ave, Somerville. Get tickets in advance – $10 | $15 day of show at  Eat in the lounge beginning at 5pm. Read about all the bands at

>>>> 2016 Rumble Schedule, Event Links, and Ticket Links


Here we are on the glorious and much-needed Wednesday of rest. The day we get to stay in, hide out, and clean up. Preliminary nights 1, 2, & 3 were barn burners and tone setters and history makers. In the first 3 days of the 2016 Rock & Roll Rumble, I have met more people who are brand new to our 2016 Rumble compound. ONCE Ballroom is getting a whole lot of new eyes and ears in April. And, for the record, the tacos are really good!

Preliminary Night #1 brought a warm reception for our very first night in the brand new event space on Highland Ave. Catch up on all the Vanyaland coverage too.

The Digs set the tone and, well, dug right in with punching pop punk. They brought the energy, they brought their crew. Take a lesson from them.

Gold Blood & Associates had the crowd swaying to their great blend of rock and soul. We love horns anywhere, any time.

Weakened Friends threw out a frenzied set of sweet indie rock that could have clocked in at about 85mph if we measured such things. Their set led them to eventual victory.

Big Time Kill made the most waves though with their bombastic two-guitar attack backed with tracks. Industrial-meets-electro-guitar-power-rock, or something exactly like it.

Weakened Friends move on to Semifinals Night #2 on Saturday, April 16.

Opening Night

Opening Night with The Digs

Preliminary Night #2 built slowly due to a freakish early April dumping snowstorm. Though the night was brought to immediate attention with Jack Romanov, the fun and funny 4-piece of rock and related hijinx from Eastie. They go down as the first band in my tenure to have a taco dinner delivered to the stage during their set.

The Black Cheers went full blast through a set of riffy punk rock like veterans. They are. DanO was in Darkbuster, Dennis was in Full Body Anchor and Goddamn Draculas. Chris Brat was in The Acro-brats. And still in Duck & Cover.

Analog Heart made for a great palate cleanser with a set stacked with masterful pop songs that leaned a little bit country and a lot of rock & roll. Singer Liz Bills’ voice filled every inch of the room.

Eric Salt and the Electric City stepped up with their well-crafted hook rock. I make these terms up as I go but it’s not untrue. In fact, I still have “Excellent” stuck in my head. Not even Kars 4 Kids can help me. Members of this band have been playing in and around the city for a long time and they know the value of a good song.

Analog Heart move on to Semifinals Night #2 on Saturday, April 16.

Preliminaries Night #3 saw a minor thaw but we were still dealing with some fallout of the freak snowstorm.

Idle Pilot melted whatever winter dew remained on our faces. Theirs was a pure delight of sweat-banding, gear-swapping cacophony of rock.

Field Day shot right out of the gate with a feast of pop pop songs. Yes, double pop. Lots and lots of melodies that floated through the air like the warmth of the sun on your face. I want sun on my face. I’ll take it where I can get it.

Salem Wolves came out swinging like a prize fighter. If there is a genre of music called Maniacal Rock, that’s theirs. That distorted witchy psych sound is there. But crazier. Crazy enough to lead them to victory. They pulled out a ‘wolved up cover of  Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You”  —  and the first cover of the prelims.

Shatner moved in the stacks and people paid attention. Sure, they were the loudest band of the night. They know how to write a rock and roll song. A RAWK & Roll song. With a voice like Jim Healey’s, no song is just a hard rock song. Each compliment one another and cannot be dismissed as some loud rock outfit. All too often heavy bands get shit on for tokenism. Cheers for pulling out some Nazareth. Jess Collins of last year’s finalist band The Static Dynamic guested on “Whiskey Drinking Woman.” It is the fncking Rock & Roll Rumble after all.

Salem Wolves move on to Semifinals Night #2 on Saturday, April 16.

**Since this was posted on Thursday, we return TONIGHT with 21st Century Fugitives, Abbie Barrett, I Was Awake, and Johnny Blazes and the Pretty Boys. Here is something for everyone.  And I’m serious about the  tacos.

Follow the Rumble pages. Keep track of Vanyaland’s near-constant updates.

@RocknRollRumble on Twitter and Instagram, Follow @Vanyaland617. Hit up the Facebook pages.

Rock & Roll Rumble Preliminaries continue Thursday 4/7 at ONCE Ballroom Somerville.

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