When the Rolling Stones announced the opening acts for their upcoming stadium tour Wednesday, one name stood out on the list of established rockers that included Gary Clark Jr., Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Juanes – Des Rocs.
Yes, Des Rocs, the new solo project of Rockville Centre native Danny Rocco, will open for the Rolling Stones at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 23.
“It’s awesome,” said Rocco, shortly after the announcement was made. “I’ve been keeping this a secret for so long. It’s so great to finally be able to tell people.”
What makes Des Rocs’ selection so surprising is that it’s only been around for a year, launched after Rocco’s band Secret Weapons went on hiatus so that his friend and bandmate Gerry Lange could focus on his health issues.
“We’re still unsigned,” Rocco says, laughing. “I wear it as a badge of honor. I don’t have a big fancy management company or a big fancy label. I’m just bringing rock and roll to the people and word got out.”
Rocco says he is still planning what he’s going to do for his first stadium show. “We don’t have a significant budget to do anything big,” he said. “We’re just going to get some lights and do our show, do what we’ve been doing.”
After all, what Rocco has been doing in small clubs in the past year, playing songs from Des Rocs’ self-released EP “Let the Vultures In,” is what got the attention of Rolling Stones management in the first place.
He was headlining a small club show in Los Angeles when a member of the Rolling Stones’ team happened to see him. They returned to see his next Los Angeles show and brought the concert promoters with them and soon he was being considered for a slot on the tour.
With Secret Weapons, the band had opened some arena dates for Fall Out Boy. But on Des Rocs’ most recent tour, Rocco was playing Rough Trade, the 250-capacity Brooklyn venue. “It’s going to be great to have so much space to run around on,” he said.
As a fan of the Rolling Stones, Rocco is stunned by the opportunity. “They’re living icons,” he said. “How long have they been around? How many musical trends have they seen come and go? They have basically played every stadium for half a century. It’s insane to be part of that in any capacity. And for them to champion my music that’s only 12 months old is just mind-blowing.”