Last night, Tuesday 2/25, Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia kicked off its annual Hard Rock Rising Competition for 2014.  Over the past few months, solo artists and bands have entered the competition through ReverbNation and promoted themselves for public supported votes to reach the top 12 – and now move on to the LIVE battle rounds at HR Philly. The first night was Judged by Beth Ann Downey of JUMP Philly, TSI’s own Stephanie Seiple, and Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild LLP.

Hard Rock Cafe Philly

Hard Rock Cafe Philly

 

The battles continue tonight, 2/16 and tomorrow 2/27 at Hard Rock Cafe, Philadelphia – each night hosting a FREE show featuring 3 or 4 bands to compete to move onto the final battle round on March 19th.  The winner of the Philadelphia Finale wins some killer prizes from local brands and organizations, and move on to compete for an all expense paid trip to performa at Hard Rock Live Rome festival, in front of 40,000 fans in Italy. In addition, two runners up, will receive $10,000 in new gear!

MORE HARD ROCK RISING AND SHOW INFO HERE

THE BATTLE

First up for the night was a youngster, actually celebrating her 18th birthday, named Chickie Pagano.  With a backing band of Keys, Bass, Guitar and Drums, she certainly put on a show.  With her red sequin dress, stiletto heels, and long wavy brown hair tossed all over the stage, she seemed to have a bit of experience performing, with just a few jitters showing through – but that will pass with time.

Chickie Pagano

Chickie Pagano

Sharon Lia was next up, coming out form Hamilton Square and dressed in a white dress with a red bow, and a smile from ear to ear – how could you not dig her? With a mix of vocals and seasoned skills on the keys combined with the power pop tunes from her backing band, she definitely brought her A game for the night.  But was it enough to move onto the next round??

Sharon Lia

Sharon Lia

Now flipping to the other end of the genre spectrum we get Keystone Kob – Hip Hop Artists from Coatsville, PA.  It’s always tough for a solo artist to step into the ring with full instrumental bands, so I almost wish he had a band and live DJ to really bring the energy.  Instead he was limited to rapping over top of his own produced tracks. Even still, he didn’t let that get him down and even launched himself off the stage and mixed into the crowd for most of his 3rd song, almost like saying “This is me…take it or leave it”.

Keystone Kob

Keystone Kob

Last but not least was Independence Drive out of Pennsburg, PA.  This trio, with obvious influences of Sublime, Incubus, and the Chilli Peppers, took over the stage and made it their own.  Being a 3 song competition, they each went off into a short solo during their second song to show off their individual skills which took the game to a whole new level.  Taking it up another notch they really got the crowd fully into their show by working in some crowd participation during the last song.  Kudos to these guys for for doin’ there thing.

Independence Drive

Independence Drive

AND THE WINNER IS…. INDEPENDENCE DRIVE

Host -

Host – Brittney O’Rourke, Radio Personality at WWDB-860AM – Announcing the nights winner – Independence Drive

NIGHT 2 RECAP CLICK HERE >>>

FULL SHOW GALLERY

Photos By: Tim Becker Photo