Friday, March 6, 2015

National Rock Review Michigan Music Showcase Ticket Giveaway

National Rock Review launched in September of 2013. The idea was to cover music of all types across the world, to bring last night's show to your computer screen so you can remember the great time you had or check out the show that you missed. We discovered National Rock Review at last year's Dirt Fest. Despite being newer to the game, they already had their own stage at the event. Since last August I have been following what they have been up to, they have great coverage of national acts and they even through in a solid local every once in awhile. They also take a lot of great photos, which I really enjoy looking through.

They have decided to expand their brand and will be hosting the first of many Michigan showcases on Friday, March 13th at The Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan. The night will feature music by Reign Music, A.S.S. Metal Band World, The Kung Fu Lovers and Sons Of Sabotage. They will also be giving away gift certificates from Lucky Monkey Tattoo, tickets to upcoming shows at The Token Lounge, swag from Hard Edge Radio, tickets to the Michigan Pinball Expo, and National Rock Review clothing! They are charging $10 to get in, doors are at 8 p.m. and all ages are welcome (under 18 must have a parent with them to attend). They will also be handing out pork sliders to anyone who is hungry until they run out!

We had a chance to interview the website's founder Mick Mcdonald and we got a pair of tickets to give away to the show. Check out what he has to say and email your full name to to enter to win. We will email the winner back the day before the show with details on how to claim their ticket and pick up a NRR t-shirt! 

HID- What made you start National Rock Review?  When did the website officially launch and what was the idea behind it?
Mick- "I got my start covering a few shows for Kirk at and found that I enjoyed doing it. After a year or so with MCB, Kirk suggested I start my own site due to the passion and energy I had exhibited working with his site. I knew that I wanted to do something on a bigger scale that would be built from the ground up, similar to how Alternative Press got its start.
In September 2013, I was driving down the road when National Rock Review came to mind and I knew that was it. It sounded professional and fit the mold for what I had in mind. I pulled over on the side of the road, saw the domain available and purchased it on my phone. The site officially launched on September 10th, 2013. Our first show was Dio Disciples in Mount Pleasant, MI. Since then we’ve published over 1,200 articles to date."

HID- How many people work for National Rock Review?

Mick- "Our current staff is just over seventy people around the world. We have photographers in almost every major concert market in the US, plus parts of Canada and the UK. This includes a team of editors who edit, proofread and publish the articles. In the middle of 2014, a former co-worker and friend of mine Dave Ball came on as a partner and we formed NRR Media LLC. This is our parent company that now manages NRR, along with National Country Review and National Blues Review. These sites are starting to hit their stride just as NRR has."

HID- You cover shows all across the U.S and internationally, how do you pull this off?

Mick- "It comes down to the amazing team of talent who bust their asses for the love and passion of music. I try and keep everyone on the team happy by getting them credentials for the artists they love and want to cover. It’s a win for all involved and has led to a lot of recognition for photographers and writers in the industry."

HID- What inspires you to cover one show vs. another?

Mick- "As a team, we all pitch in to help determine coverage. We follow the hottest tours as well as upcoming artists to spread the love around. We are fortunate to have a team of people whose interests span the spectrum of music. Everyone’s input is valuable to us. We have a private forum where we discuss upcoming coverage as a team to determine the best markets to cover for any given artist. Some team members like to focus on the hardcore punk shows in their market, others like to focus on death metal. Others will just cover anything because they love concert photography. Some will cover a show if I ask so we can have the coverage even if they don’t like the artist. "

HID- What makes NRR different from other websites that cover music? 
Mick- "Above all, we are professional. Our site is crisp, clean, easy to navigate, and uncluttered with a shitload of ads. We don’t do opinion style editorials or gossip columns. Our focus is on delivering excellent and timely coverage of the artists, to capture the moment of the performance and document it as best we can through images and words for our readers to enjoy.

We don’t write about controversial incidents or the latest scandals. We avoid click bait style articles in the vein of “OMG! You won’t believe what he did backstage last night!” style journalism. There are other sites out there which regurgitate a lot of content like that which doesn't fit with our mission. We pride ourselves on providing quality content over empty filler. That has gained our publication much respect from the music industry and built a solid reputation for what we do because of that integrity."

HID- You are about to host a Michigan showcase. What bands will be featured on the show case and why did you choose this lineup?

Mick- "First I need to explain the reason for the showcase. The idea of doing it came about as a way to give back to our local music scene what it has given to me. I've always encouraged our team to cover some local acts that are upcoming and deserve national exposure. We have such a vast talent pool of kick ass music just outside our front door that blows me away. We worked with the Dalton brothers last year to sponsor a stage at Dirt Fest which is one of the best mix of national and local music in the country. That inspired me to promote a local music showcase where the bands can play for an audience under the National Rock Review brand name. They know they will get national exposure in a show review and they will hustle to get people to attend. It’s a win-win situation for all of us.

For this first showcase, I reached out to several bands I personally know of which I felt would span the genre of rock music. Reign is an incredible band in the vein of prog metal bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche or Rush. A.S.S. has Brian Thomas from Halloween and a lineup of ass kicking musicians who live and breathe classic metal in the spirit of Judas Priest or King Diamond. The Kung Fu Lovers have a great vibe with their funk-punk-rock style of music that doesn't take itself too seriously but is fun as hell to enjoy, kind of like Scatterbrain or Psychostick. The Sons Of Sabotage are a fairly new heavy metal band working on their first release and I wanted to give a younger band a chance to shine.

One thing I am doing different with this event is that we are not forcing the bands to pay to play. I want local bands to know that we’re not trying to get rich off their talent. After all, they are the talent who are busting their asses after work to practice, learn and perfect their music. They deserve to get what they pull in and we are making it more than fair than most to attract talent to this event. We have plans to repeat this NRR showcase once or twice a month at the Token Lounge and possibly an east side venue like the Diesel Concert Lounge or The Ritz."

HID- Where do you see NRR a year from now?

Mick- "We’re exploring other business models in the music industry to expand upon the publishing side. The series of showcases are one step towards building a promotion arm of the company. Artist publicity services are another one that makes sense given our extensive reach.

Our incredible growth rate has been attracting even greater interest from the music industry as a respected media outlet. We've done a few artist record premieres with good results that are leading to bigger opportunities with bigger artists.

We will be working much closer with Dirt Fest this year including hosting the press lounge and providing non-stop coverage of the festival. I've always had a vision of having a presence on a national festival like Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem by sponsoring a stage and having a team/booth travel with it.

We have several other plans that I can’t disclose right now but the world will certainly know when they hatch!"

HID- Is there anything else that you want our readers to know?
Mick- "Our success lies with the dedication and sacrifices of our team around the world. It would be nowhere as successful as it is were it not for the all-volunteer staff. They spend their money on gas, parking, sometimes even buy their own tickets when we can’t secure them. They spend time away from their family, stay up late at night forgoing sleep to edit pics and even take vacation days to cover shows. They are the gears that grind it, the fuel to the fire that is National Rock Review. They are the “NRR Machine” and I am truly humbled and honored to have such a great team to work with."


No comments:

Post a Comment