South Side High School alumnus Daniel Rocco’s music career as Des Rocs was highlighted in the May 30-June 5 issue of the Herald. He was on his second North American tour, and spoke about the joys of making rock ’n’ roll music.
A week later, and just over a year after releasing his first song, the rocker had “some absolutely insane news.”
“The Rolling Stones asked me to open for them this summer . . . so I said SEE YA FILTHY ANIMALS IN PHILLY!!!” he posted on his Instagram account on June 5, along with an animation of the Stones’ logo promoting the July 23 “No Filter” tour date.
That day, Des Rocs will open for the Stones at Lincoln Financial Field stadium in Philadelphia. “It feels amazing,” Rocco said. “It’s awesome. I’ve always wanted to do this.”
During Des Rocs’ U.S. tour, a Rolling Stones manager saw the band play in Los Angeles, Rocco said. Shortly afterward, the Stones’ tour promoter, AEG Presents, sent Rocco the offer. Rocco will play the show with his band mates — drummer Will Tully, of Sea Cliff, and bassist Eric Mendelsonn, of New Jersey.
The stadium’s capacity is nearly 70,000, which means Des Rocs will have a larger audience than ever before. “The bigger the show, the better,” Rocco said. “I don’t get nervous, I get more excited. It’s a massive rush of adrenaline.”
Rocco, a Rockville Centre native, got his start playing local venues, such as Backstreet Blues — now the New Vibe Lounge — on Park Avenue. He declined to give his age.
From 2015 to 2017, he played in Secret Weapons, a two-piece band he started with fellow South Side grad Gerard Lange, and opened for alternative/punk bands Panic! At the Disco, Weezer and Fall Out Boy.
After two and a half years, Lange needed time away from music to focus on his health, and Rocco went solo. He released his first single as Des Rocs, “HVY MTL DRMR,” in February 2018.
“That’s the part that’s pretty surreal,” Rocco said of Des Rocs’ quick rise to the big stage. “We started with zero, and we’re still unsigned. So this is a big stamp of approval from a band I respect.”
Rocco describes his music as “classic rock ’n’ roll made for today,” with bands such as Queen and Talking Heads inspiring him. Since debuting as Des Rocs, he has released several singles and an EP. A second EP and a full album are in the works, he said.
Des Rocs has 1.1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and his most popular song, “Let Me Live/Let Me Die,” has been played 17.5 million times.
Living a modern rocker persona, he calls his fans “filthy animals” on social media. “I don’t know — one day I felt a little crazy and started calling them all filthy animals, and they completely embraced it,” he said, then chuckled.
In addition to the Stones gig, Des Rocs will play Lollapalooza, a Chicago music festival, on Aug. 1, as well as the Lollapalooza after-show opening for hard rock band Bring Me The Horizon. In October, he will play Voodoo Festival in New Orleans.