CLEVELAND - The Hard Rock Café calls "Hard Rock Rising" the most far-reaching battle of the bands competition in the world. It's an opportunity of a lifetime, giving four local bands a shot at stardom and Friday those bands rocked-on inside Downtown Cleveland's Hard Rock Café.
Over 12,000 bands participated in the competition, but Friday it all came down to the four voted best: Black and Broke, Stoned and Beautiful, The Burning River Ramblers, and The Stage Coach Robbery. From there, they go on to represent Cleveland as they compete against ninety-five other Hard Rock Cafe winners from around the world.
"The competition is awesome. I've listened to all the other bands, I love it all," said The Burning River Ramblers member, Chris Rush. From Lakewood, this was Rush's first time in the competition.
A musician for over 20-years and competing Friday, David McDougald with Stoned and Beautiful said, "I love Cleveland. like I said, born and raised. I've played every single corner bar and every big stage in Cleveland and for us to represent would just be an incredible opportunity."
Last year, the local group Hey Monea! won the entire competition, which included a World Tour in six cities arranged by Hard Rock International. Those cities included Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong and the Hard Rock Calling festival in London. The group also won the opportunity to make an album and music video through Hard Rock Records among other winnings.
"You know sometimes you feel you try every single angle you could ever try to be successful and you play in every club that you can and you just try to hope that you end up in front of the right person … this was like the opportunity for a break that was something completely different than we'd ever done," said Dan Monea, band member with last year's winner, Hey Monea!
This year Dan and his band members returned for the competition, one member got to serve as a judge. In fact, it was all about Cleveland Friday, from the bands to the panel of judges. One judge on the panel included Dr. Claudio Milstein, a voice specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
The Friday competition went well into the night. The winner who gets to represent Cleveland, will be announced here on the Cleveland's Hard Rock Facebook page and on their website: http://www.hardrock.com