Frequency 54, the hard rock and harder working band from Flint, Michigan, made their way back to Martini’s in Holly for a homecoming of sorts. The band consists of Justin Rose (vocals), Bryan Kelly (bass), Dan Quinn (guitar), Kurt Stuart (guitar), and Chris Castro (drums).

Rose formed the band in 1998 with Martini’s being one of the first venues they played at. The band has gone through a few different line-ups throughout their sixteen year existence, with Rose as the only remaining member from the original incarnation. What started out as a group of friends turning into extraordinary musicians has morphed into a group of extraordinary musicians turning into friends.

Frequency 54 is a great passion and creative outlet for these five musicians, who also have day jobs and families. “Creativity is fun. When you have it you want to express it. There is not a better feeling in the world than when you look out over a crowd and see them all singing along to your music. Knowing that you have touched them somehow is the greatest compliment any artist can receive,” stated Rose.

Frequency 54 started out as a local band with a big arena sound. They quickly became a top drawing act in the Flint/Detroit area selling out local venues such as the Machine Shop (Flint), Mo Doggie’s (Fenton), The Ritz (Warren), Blondie’s (Detroit), The Bullfrog (Redford), and Hard Rock Café (Detroit).

As one of the most hard-working bands in the area, they decided to take their show on the road and toured nationally alongside such acts as Smile Empty Soul, Burn Halo, The Last Vegas, Joan Red, and Almost Kings to name a few. They have shared the stage with Scott Stapp, Papa Roach, Hinder, Alter Bridge, Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Shinedown, Saliva, and Hurt among others.

Within that time frame, the band launched two singles, Last Call and Ghost, performed well on the Billboard Mediabase charts at 79 and 88 respectively. They also tapped the young up and coming music video director, Sean Babas, to direct their video for Last Call.

The video made a huge impact on YouTube earning the band global recognition. Babas has since gone on to be a major player in the commercial, music video, and motion picture film industries.

The band has enjoyed varying degrees of success over the course of their career and have released five CDs (54 Cent Freq Show 2002, What’s Inside 2004, Beginnings 2007, Live Acoustic 2008, Frequency Fifty Four EP 2009) and are preparing to release their new offering, Reborn.

Many old and new members of the Freq Nation, as their fans refer to themselves, were out in full force as Frequency 54 invaded Martini’s to witness the rebirth of a Flint Rock Original! The band did not disappoint.

Justin Rose, a man with so much creativity inside him, opened up the show playing an acoustic set. Although playing inside of a bar, the fans really took to Rose’s coffee house open mic’ night approach. They were even honored with a surprise as Chrome Mollie’s Danny Justice came up on-stage to duet with Rose!

True to their sound, Frequency 54 came out guns a’ blazing and played a big arena sounding rock show within this small venue. Their sound was way more than Martini’s could hold however the mix was great and the band sounded perfect.

They tore through a set list of many fan favorites mixed with some new songs: Ghost, My Soul, Secret, The Waltz, Wicked Game, Rain, Worthless, Last Call, Fear, Just Go, This Way, Wanted You To Know, Not Defend, Addictions, Bleed The Shadows, and Consume.

They broke the night up into two sets playing older songs in the first set and newer ones in the second set. The newer songs are more aggressive sounding than those of the past and a welcome addition to their collection of songs.

The second set was a kick in the face! High energy pounding rock n’ roll that left the crowd beaten to a pulp. Bleed The Shadows is going to be a staple in my iPod playlist.

One of the highlights, although there were many, was the three-part harmony on Addictions with Rose singing the high harmony while Castro and Kelly sang the low harmony. The harmony was so good that it rivals that of Van Halen. And, Castro is a beast on the drums. I don’t know how his drum kit takes the beating it does and still stands.

With their explosive live performance and relentless work ethic, it was truly a great night for the fans who had the opportunity to see them returning to their roots for this intimate sweaty rock n’ roll show, only to leave the them salivating while they wait for the arrival of Reborn.

“We write what we feel. We do this for us and everyone that feels the same way we do. We kind of have the attitude that if you don’t like us, we don’t care; at least we are being true to ourselves” stated Rose. By the reaction of the crowd, it was obvious that everyone was on the same page.

Our photographer, Thom Seling, was on hand to catch the band’s explosive performance. Here are the images from that night.

Frequency 54 have a couple of upcoming shows scheduled:

  • June 13th, 2014 at Diesel Concert Lounge
    33151 23 Mile Rd., Chesterfield Twp, MI
    (586) 933-3503
  • June 21st, 2014 at The Machine Shop
    3539 S. Dort Hwy, Flint, MI
    (810) 715-2650

Frequency 54 online:


About The Author

Erik's interest in music began at an early age. In high school, he was the co-host of the underground metal show the Social Mutilation Hour, on 89.5 WAHS, under the name of Neurotik Erik. During this period of his life, he independently promoted shows under the name of Ding Dong Ditch Productions. Erik would rent out local VFW Halls, use space at Oakland Community College Auburn Hills Campus, or simply throw basement parties around the Detroit area. While at college at Ferris State University, he became head of the student run organization, Entertainment Unlimited, and continued to promote shows, but on a larger scale. He also helped start an underground magazine, 'Outpunk', where he interviewed bands and wrote music reviews. Additionally, Erik joined the staff at the Ferris State University Torch and wrote on a larger scale.

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