By: Jennifer Walker Las Vegas music lover and promoter John Gist, is revolutionizing the live music scene with his company, Vegas Rock Revolution. Setting up festivals, local showcases, producing podcasts and social media content, Gist’s passion for music is both inspiring and informative. Jennifer Walker: You work within the local entertainment industry. What excites […]
By: Jennifer Walker
Las Vegas music lover and promoter John Gist, is revolutionizing the live music scene with his company, Vegas Rock Revolution. Setting up festivals, local showcases, producing podcasts and social media content, Gist’s passion for music is both inspiring and informative.
Jennifer Walker: You work within the local entertainment industry. What excites you about promoting artists and sharing your love of new music?
John Gist: I have been a lifelong rock music fan and have always gravitated towards guitar-driven rock. In previous years, I worked for large companies running marketing departments. About 6 years back my life really changed, I went from being in a marriage making a six-figure income to having an opportunity to create a new path. After hitting a lot of Vegas shows for smaller, touring bands I discovered no one was really telling people about the shows via promotion. When I started exploring other means of discovering music, I found songs and bands that should be heard more. I started setting up shows in the summer of 2017. Vegas Rock Revolution has now had 3 “Planet Desert Rock” weekends- a weekender of shows featuring bands from all over the world. Most of the bands play heavy psychedelic rock. I have had the good fortune of setting up some shows w/the world-famous Count’s Vamp’d Bar, owned by Danny Koker of the TV show “Counting Cars” and his wife Korie Koker. During Covid, I started collaborating on an established podcast called “Doomed & Stoned ” which has thousands of weekly listeners from around the globe.
JW: What is “Stoner Rock”? Talk a little bit about the genre and some of your favorite aspects.
JG: Stoner Rock is hard/heavy rock music that is mainly influenced by 1970s and 1990s rock styles. The music is a bit more pure than the mainstream stuff that the radio gives us. I tell people the family tree consists of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Bad Company, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Monster Magnet, Corrosion of Conformity, Black Label Society and more. And without a doubt, a ton of stoner rock listeners are cannabis enthusiasts, as well!
JW: What are some of the live events that you have put together?
JG: This past January, Vegas Rock Revolution had Planet Desert Rock Weekend III and it was very successful! There is a certain cool vibe to each PDRW where people are relaxed and not hurried to jump from one stage area to another. Our bands also love it! Most bands that have been part of PDRW feel like family and we still support each other. The key to PDRW IV will be getting larger sponsors involved to help fund the bands and advertising so people are aware of the weekender. As of now, the next one is planned for early 2024 right here in Sin City. Three nights this year! I am so fortunate to get to work with so many amazing musicians. I hope one day to meet Dave Grohl, as we both grew up in Fairfax County at the same time. His great energy and love for rock music is inspiring.
JW: How has cannabis played a positive role in your life?
JG: I came from parents who met in the CIA….yep that CIA. So I was adamantly against the stuff until the end of senior year when I finally said, why not? I can say that without cannabis, I doubt I would have graduated college at East Carolina University. I was ADHD before they knew what it was and I was a mess of a student. After a year in my fraternity, I met a couple guys who smoked regularly and were killing it, grade-wise. I figured that if it slowed me down just enough to concentrate more and stay focused, that would be great. Eventually I made the honor roll, much to the surprise of my parents. For me, there is little doubt that listening to live music has been enhanced by cannabis. I have shared a joint with individuals ranging from doctors, surgeons, lawyers, models, CEOs , VPs, housewives and more. I feel fortunate to live in Nevada where it’s legal. I think cannabis is a far better choice for folks than big pharma pills or booze. Sports has even inched closer to that mindset, as well.
JW: Anything exciting on the horizon for you, Vegas Rock Revolution or any of your other projects/endeavors?
JG: I just recently started two new shows: “Rock is Dead? The Gist List” which is a podcast on Spotify focusing on new heavy rock/stoner/heavy psych songs. I am looking into expanding onto other platforms, as well. There is also a cool videocast that I paired up with Matt Hartnett (of Aftershocks TV) called “Heavy Galaxy Show” that is on all major platforms. Good music needs people with good intentions. I pride myself on my integrity and relationship building. Early stages now for Planet Desert Rock Weekend IV are underway!
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