Pop/rock band Tone & Niche won the local round for this year’s Hard Rock Rising contest. They now advance to the global competition where they will go up against 85 other acts. Each band represents a different Hard Rock Cafe location, from Detroit to Edinburgh, Jakarta to Medellin.
The grand prize winner of the battle of the bands will be flown to England where they will perform at the Hard Rock Calling music festival in London’s Hyde Park. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band headline the festival.
Anthony ‘Tone’ Retka is the band’s guitarist and vocalist. Retka said the band never really thought they would win. It wasn’t until they won the second round where they thought, “Okay, we actually have a chance now.”
“We were really surprised,” said Retka. “The other bands had really great stage presence and we’re just a bunch of songwriters who play songs.”
As self-effacing as Retka’s comments may be, the band does have great stage charisma and energy. It’s just that they eschew climbing on top of the p.a. system and rolling around onstage for what Retka calls “hokey fun”, meaning sing-a-longs and hand claps.
After the band finished its third round set–which would determine Detroit’s entry into the global competition–even Retka thought, “We might have this.”
Have it they did and now a gig at a major music festival in London is on the line. Beginning April 9th, the band must finish in the top 10 in an online voting contest which pits them against the international competition. From there, the top 10 is whittled down by a group of music industry judges who will decide which band gets the rock star treatment in England.
The band will soon begin a promotional blitz to raise voting awareness, including a performance on the Fox 2 morning show.
“We’re elated,” said Retka. “The fact that we realize how much our friends and fans care and for everyone to show support, it’s big for us.”
Visit www.toneandniche.com for more information on Tone & Niche, the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands, and voting information. Image courtesy of Chris Cunnington.
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