SixX Strings: Hard Rock Rising Is The Other Battle of the Bands in Boston

Boston has always been a hotbed for up and coming bands.  The music history here runs deep; and with institutions such as Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory, this area attracts some of the most talented musicians and performers in the world.  You can’t walk down most streets, ride the subway, or visit a coffee shop without seeing something connected to local music.  Hell, most days guitars usually outnumber bicycles at the intersection of Mass Ave and Boylston!  To say that this is a place to experience some of the best in music, would be an understatement.  Well, this month there will be a battle of the bands to showcase some of that music to the world.

Now working for WZLX and previously the legendary WBCN, I am used to a good old battle of the bands.  The Rock & Roll Rumble has served the listening area as a pacesetter for some of the best in local music, under the umbrella of the locally oriented show Boston Emissions (originally created and a favorite on WBCN, and now on WZLX since WBCN’s closure).  The yearly “Rumble” winners are adorned with a generous prize pack from local vendors and the regional musical industry, all in the hopes of furthering the scene and artistic advancement of the musicians involved.  Did you know there is another battle of the bands in Boston that draws some of the region’s best artists and musicians too?  But, did you know that same competition has an international impact as well?  Well while some battles were focusing local, one has been looking to the world!

Since 2010, the Hard Rock, in partnership with ReverbNation, has been on a worldwide search for some of the best in up and coming music.  Their HARD ROCK RISING event is a global battle of the bands that is held at numerous Hard Rock locations around the world, and yes Boston is surely one of them!  What’s that you say, you haven’t heard of this event for the last 7 years?  Well don’t feel bad, I am embarrassed to admit that this one slipped through the cracks with me, too.   It seems that is the same for a lot of the groups and artists in the area as well.  I can say this now though, this battle of the bands has one hell of a big outcome for the winner, and should be on every serious performer’s radar if isn’t already!

There are over 100 Hard Rock locations around the globe holding local competitions making up 4 regions (North America, South and Central America/Caribbean, Europe, and Asia/Middle East/Africa).  Each participating location will pick a finalist to compete against the other location’s finalists within their region.  When a regional winner is picked, they will complete against the other regional winners for the worldwide grand prize.  There are some killer prizes throughout each qualifying step of the process but the grand prize is what got me.

Now let me try to give you the low down.  Each eligible Regional Finalist Band for each Local Competition Site will receive the cash sum of $1,000.00 U.S. Dollars (or the equivalent in local currency) which will be awarded by the local contest administrator for the applicable participating locations, not the sponsor.   Each regional finalist will receive a Fender Musical Instruments Prize Pack including select Fender musical products (to be selected by sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion), one thousand (1,000) CDs of the band’s music from Bison Disc. (potential total value of the prize pack is $2,500.00 in U.S. dollars), and move on to compete for the Grand Prize against the other Regional Finalists.

The ultimate Grand Prize Winning Band will perform live during the half-time show of a 2017 regular season professional football game at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  The Grand Prize Winning Band will also receive a trip to Miami, Florida which consists of the following components for each eligible Band Member (up to a maximum of six (6) band members): Round-trip coach air transportation to Miami, Florida, U.S.A., three nights/four days first-class hotel accommodations at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida with breakfast daily; catamaran cruise off the shores of Fort Lauderdale; up to six (6) tickets to the applicable professional football game where the Grand Prize Performance will occur; round-trip ground transportation between airport and hotel; round-trip ground transportation between hotel and the Grand Prize Performance (including equipment); and US$250.00 spending money for each Band Member selected by the Band Representative to receive the benefits of the Grand Prize.

The band will also receive up to $25,000 in U.S. dollars toward a video to be made of their Grand Prize Performance during halftime, with the possibility of appearing for a period time on the in-cafe video system at select Hard Rock Cafes.  The maximum potential value of the Grand Prize is $62,854.00 (in U.S. dollars).  I know that seemed like a hell of a lot of details for a competition, but I wanted to be as thorough as I could without a law degree.  If it still doesn’t sound like one hell of a prize package to you, then I don’t know what does!

Now the battle process has already gotten underway.  Don’t worry though, you can still get involved and vote for who will get a chance to vie for the regional crown.  Each band has their own weblink on the Hard Rock Rising website for you to check them out and cast your vote.  The voting goes until May 6th, so you better hurry if you want to vote!  Once the finalists are picked for each location, they will battle it out live onstage for a panel of industry judges, and then go on to vie for the regional crown!

Want to go and check out the local live competition at Boston’s own Hard Rock Cafe?  Well this May 19th it’s happening at the cafe’s Cavern Club.  The doors are at 7:00 p.m. and the show goes from 8-11:00 p.m.  The best part is that there is no admission charge!  I mean how many shows around Boston are free?!  I will tell you… FEW TO NONE!  So that being said, I suggest you go to see all the excitement and hear the thunderous sounds of a global event.  I know I will be there as one of the judges, so make sure you come say HI.  You know what they say, “All the world’s a stage…”, well for Hard Rock Rising, that is surely true!

Check it,



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