Rival Sons at Cafe DuNord, 1/25

Rival Sons are going to save rock n roll.

Why is rock n roll in need of saving you ask? Because there is no one doing it well. Kings of Leon started off on the right foot, but after a bit of radio success they seemed to have turned into what I like to call “hipster rock,” trading in their bell bottoms for mustaches and tailored designer wear.

But that’s another story all together, back to the pure unadulterated rock of Rival Sons, my new favorite band of 2013.

These guys hail from Long Beach but who the hell would have any idea since the band are bona fide superstars all across Europe and signed to the death metal label Earache Records. I stumbled upon their video for “Face the Light” after their publicist sent me a note about the band coming to SF. I heard 30 seconds of this song and knew this was something very special.

Rival Sons have a, dare I say, “classic” rock sound that is somewhere between Zeppelin (Song Remains the Same/ Physical Graffiti era) crossed with the Black Crowes, and something else I can’t seem to put my finger on—oh, wait a minute—originality and amazing songwriting. I had almost forgotten what that sounds like.

These guys have the look, the songs, the energy, and the coolness factor to be the next big thing. But not too big, or that would just suck because their sound is tailor-made for a club. The night that I would witness Rival Sons in their prime was the band’s first show in San Francisco and it was jam-packed.

I somehow finagled my way up to the very front of the room with my Nikon and started firing away while being interrupted several times by the genius of singer Jay Buchanan and guitarist Scott Holiday.

These two guys were born to play music with one another. They feed off of each other’s vibes perfectly as if they had been doing this for years. Oh yeah, they have been for the past three years—wailing away, touring around the world with the Judas Priest and AC/DC. Then they had their second album cover designed by the guy who did Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s absolutely brilliant.

So, why haven’t you heard of them? That is the million dollar question that will be answered in 2013. These guys will be a driving force this year and have major labels clamoring to sign them, I guarantee it. If’ that’s what it takes to get this band heard, so be it.

Bottom line: these guys are the real deal. People are freaking out at their shows and begging to find a ticket to their sold out performances up and down the West coast. That is a clear indicator that this will spread quickly across the US. My advice to you is, get in early and see them blow the f’n roof off of a club while you still have a chance.

Want to see some hi-res shots from the show? Check them out here.

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Jason Miller
Jason Miller

Jason Miller is a leading digital B2B marketer, who’s held senior roles at LinkedIn, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign. Before entering the B2B space, he spent ten years at Sony, developing and executing marketing campaigns around the biggest names in music. He is a prolific keynote speaker, digital marketing instructor at UC Berkeley, and best-selling author. Also an accomplished rock concert photographer, his work appears in books, magazines, and album covers.

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