**This is Part 1 of a 10 part series
People think that there may not be too much to do here in our hometown of Rockford, Illinois. However, there have been many shouts of anger from people who do things in Rockford that make a difference and want you, the average Rockford citizen, to enjoy activities and events that they take the time to work on, implement, and ultimately impress us with cultural and artistic elements. From music, to art, to poetry and spoken word, to family fun & friendly events, museums, orchestras, stand-up comedy, motivational groups, ice skating, swimming, and all-around community togetherness are just some of the things available for us to pass the time.
“But Dan?!”, you ask. “How on Earth do I find out about these events?”
Well, thankfully for you, my readers, I am opening up this post to provide you information on where, who, and how to get in touch with your community. This first post will open your eyes to the music scene and fill you in a couple popular bands. And by the way, everything below is LOCAL; that’s right – here in Rockford! This post will feature my own personal favorite musicians/bands, but the goal is to encourage you to search for YOUR own favorite kind of music so that you may also enjoy these local music events.
Be sure to realize that one sure fire way to get in touch with the local music scene is to begin with one band or genre and stick with them so you can get to know the band members or solo artists. Many of these bands and groups are comprised of musicians who have been in previous well known local bands (some even from the ’80s!), and some from more current times, so they can tell you a lot about other awesome local groups you should watch out for.
Local Music Events
There are tons of local musicians and bands that work day and night to provide you with the best sounding music for you to enjoy with your family. From metal bands and hip hop groups to dance bands, you can find music for any taste in the Rockford area. Below are a few of my favorites:
Pablo & the Rhythmix : The premiere dance band of Rockford puts on shows AT LEAST once a week at various bars/venues around the city. Shooters East (Cherry Bowl), County Fairs, private events, Splitters (Park Lanes), and many more host one of Rockford’s most popular dance music bands. All kinds of dance music is played: everything from the 1950’s to today can grace your ears. A couple band members even dance to Michael Jackson songs for you! Check out the Pablo & the Rhythmix Facebook page here or click the link above for my previous article featuring this energetic, charismatic, and sound consuming group of musicians. **NOTE: Literally, I have never seen a crowd get so excited when listening to this band. EVERYONE dances, including the band members; and the music is absolutely timeless. Check out band member Brian ‘Flex’ Bentley performing ‘Billie Jean’ below:
Ominous Grey: An up-and-coming popular Groove Metal band features a personal friend, Ryan O’Rourke, as lead singer, along with an all star cast including Eric Blomberg and Bill Corby on guitar, Jason Graciana on bass, and Chris Gordon on the drums. Personally, I enjoy this band for not only the great sounding cover songs, but mostly for their original work! And, believe it or not, I wasn’t interested in the ‘metal scene’ until I started listening to Ominous Grey. It is an awesome thing to see local bands and artists creating their own work, and Ominous Grey is one of those bands that come with original music that can really get you to rock your head! Their one sentence bio: “5 piece metal band specializing in ass kicking and beer drinking, in no particular order.”
Where to find them?: If this band isn’t just plain kickin’ butt in the studio or practicing, you may find them in these various venues: Whiskey’s Roadhouse, Bar 3, with their next show taking place at Take 20. Click here to ‘Like’ their Facebook page or check out the Ominous Grey page on ReverbNation.
Hustle & Culture: An entourage of young hip hop artists come together to form Hustle & Culture, or H&C, and look to bring good and fresh music to the youth. Most recently at the All Elements Hip Hop Festival 2012, H&C showcased their talents and a couple of their songs for the audience. Needless to say, the entire festival was a success and was a much needed getaway for the community. When these guys aren’t making music together, they perform spoken word and poetry, take part in Battlefest competitions across the Midwest, and provide much needed support to the hip hop culture in Rockford. Below is a video that the Rockford Register Star asked them to do for the holidays. Beat produced by Rudy Davis, with video shot by Jaime Perez of Pistolz Productions. Also, I hear new music will be coming out from the group this year; stay tuned!
Top Activity to Enjoy in Rockford, Illinois #1: Local musicians