The Rock on the Road Tour – Wrap-Up
I have to say, for a trip that could have been cancelled a few times over , this was worth every stress and worry .
The July 20, 2012 show at Fitzgerald’s actually was cancelled at one point. I had started calling everyone to say that the night was cancelled when the staff informed us to hold tight. I had one artist who was on his way but had turned around and headed back home after my first call. By the time that I got the green light he was 2 hours away and opted to not make the trip a second time. I completely understood that and will invite him back next year. That’s a promise.
We started the show about an hour late but we ended up having a great night. Starr Saunders started the night with an acoustic set. Some great new songs from a wonderful singer songwriter.
Up next was Stefano performing acoustic versions of some of he better known songs. He even treated us to two new songs from his latest Ep , Glory.
The Dave, Dave Stephens took the stage next with guitarist Ricardo Vidana. They performed one of Dave’s new solo songs as well as two new Traces of Fiction songs. For the final three songs of the set , the rest of Traces of Fiction joined them to rock the place up.
Pop Garden Radio staples , Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings joined next with a set of brand new material. As a long time fan, this was like Christmas to me. The band is a class act and Walter is welcome on the PGR stage every year.
The Tickets closed out our night. I am a long-time fan of the Tickets and having them close out the first show was a real treat seriously, these guys are awesome. They treated us to several of the songs from their album, a couple cool covers and an amazing rendition of their new song “Lost at Love.” The pub owner liked the Tickets so much that he told them that they could play as long as they wanted.
I was pretty pumped to be taking the Rock on the Road Tour back to the Orange County Fair for a third year. On July 22, 2012 we took over the Plaza Arts Stage. We always have a good crowd and there is nothing quite as exciting as hearing great pop music coming from that huge stage.
Like last year , we started the show off with Steve Kobashigawa. Steve has one of the most genuine voices in pop music today. The man does a great Conway Twitty cover too.
Rick Hromadka joined us next for some Maple Mars songs and then he asked his wife Lisa to join him to debut some Ruby Free songs. I am very excited about this new project and from I could tell by the live performances, the songs will absolutely find their way into my playlists very soon.
Brittney Bouchard made her Pop Garden Radio Presents debut next. Her set featured acoustic guitar and percussion and Brittney’s wonderful voice. Her debut Ep will be out shortly and she gave us a taste of what to expect. Good stuff indeed.
After trying to get him on the bill for the last two years , we were finally able to get Bart Mendoza on our stage. His new band, True Stories, rocked for a solid half hour. I have long enjoyed Bart’s songs so having him with us this year was a real treat for me .
Popdudes were up next. This year , John Borack was joined onstage by members of Nushu. I was especially honored when they performed a cover of Badfinger’s “No Matter What,” my favorite song.
When you enjoy a band like The Tickets as much as I do it was an easy decision to ask them to play a second set this weekend. Like I said on stage , their set was five shades of awesome. When they perform live they sound so much like their record it is sick. Love it!
Nushu came back on stage for their own set. I’m a huge fan, no secret there. I was surprised to hear two brand new songs make their debut on the Pop Garden Radio stage. They performed a great rendition of their song, “ She Said” complete with some awesome harmonies at the end of the song.
Like we have done each year, Walter Clevenger & the Dairy Kings closed out our day. We got a second chance to hear their new songs. My goodness I am excited to hear that new record. The band really knows how to entertain a large crowd.
Another festival over and I am looking forward to the next one. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.