Words: Axle Idzardi; Photos: DCImagery, Mike Basso, Alan Zusman
The Rhythm Collision is literally held at ground zero – Southern California – downtown Riverside to be exact. This area has one of the richest cultures when it comes to the retro music scene as well as the rod and custom lifestyle, and the Marriott Hotel in historic downtown Riverside seems to be the perfect setting for such an event.
Last January, the Rhythm Collision marked its third annual event, and it was evident that things were kicking off in high gear as attendees came from all four corners of the U.S., as well as diehards from overseas. It was the second time that the event was held at the Marriott, and the entire staff appeared to be in great spirits and eager to accommodate.
Things kicked off on Friday evening, and one could already see that there were more people on its first day than there was the entire weekend on the previous year! Headlining that first night was none other than Big Sandy and His Flyrite Boys! The early bird hot rod and custom guys were arriving early in order to get their prime spots on the multi-level parking structure adjacent to the Marriott.
The first thing that highly impressed everyone was that when they went to the registration room to purchase a ticket, they were greeted with a friendly staff of ladies. One of the staff members was Axle’s mother, who greeted folks with a smile, put their wristbands on, and then directed all of the gals to pick out a vintage piece of jewelry for free! The pieces were collected all year long from yard sales, estate sales, and swap meets – just for the Rhythm Collision. There was no catch; it was simply a classy gesture to say “thank you for attending the show.” Next year, Axle’s mother is giving away a 1950s box purse to the 100th gal that enters the show! This just sets the mood in a positive way.
Special displays and sponsors filled certain rooms, while many other halls housed vendors from all over the U.S. On hand: men’s and women’s vintage clothing, collectibles, music, instruments, shaving and grooming products, and a real barber shop equipped for straight razor shaves and haircuts with hot towels, and a cologne bath afterwards! There were also vendors selling jewelry, shoes, custom leatherworks, and artwork.
Many people commented that he Rhythm Collision was becoming a “Mini-Viva,” and that’s a great compliment. After all, the event included great bands from all over the world, serious dancers in the rockin’ music scene, a car show hosted by the Throttle Kings of SoCal, dragster and antique motorcycle displays, professional DJs, and pool parties with a slight different twist.
Saturday night’s entertainment was over the top! It included 1980s blues-rockabilly legends The Paladins, 1980s English neo-ockabilly legends The Polecats, “King of the Surf Guitar” Dick Dale accompanied by an original surf band, The Showmen, as well as many other acts, ensuring everyone would be more than satisfied.
At $20 for the weekend, it appears that the Rhythm Collision is the most inexpensive music festival and car show weekend around! Everyone has a great time, it’s located only 15 minutes from Ontario International Airport, and there’s literally something for everyone!
If you dig real music, real cars, real culture, organized by someone that lives this way 24-7, don’t miss Rhythm Collision #4, January 6-8, 2017. And to top everything off, there are discounts on rooms as long as you mention the Rhythm Collision. Book a room now!
3400 Market St.
Riverside, CA 92501