What a weekend it was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by Klipsch Audio. Between the feedback we received from legendary musicians, intimate rehearsals, generosity of our partners, impassioned speeches and, of course, breath-taking performances, our weekend in Cleveland was one we will not forget.
As the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, we took our branding implementation as a serious responsibility. We wanted an impactful presence but not one that overshadowed the occasion.
During rehearsals, we were granted the opportunity to have the inductees and their presenters try out our Reference On-Ear headphones and Reference Premiere speakers. Some of these legendary musicians were already very familiar with our gear; however, for some of them, this was their first introduction and they were simply blown away. Out of respect, we won’t name names, but there is a certain degree of validation that arises when the world’s greatest musicians give you a big ol’ smile and a thumbs up.
Rehearsals were also enlightening, as you realize that many of these musicians fly in the day of the rehearsal without even knowing what song they are supposed to sing or what the words are even. Many of the artists actually had the words up on the teleprompter during the rehearsals and Induction Ceremony and still performed magnificently despite it being a kind of karaoke. Heck, John Legend actually flew to the White House in between rehearsals.
The staff at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum was truly first-class and we had a blast touring the museum. For first-timers and repeat visitors, there were a lot of interesting pieces on display and exhibits that were just plain cool. If you haven’t been yet, we certainly recommend stopping by Cleveland to take a tour or two.
They also worked with us to outfit the Westin Hotel in Cleveland, where all the inductees were staying, and hotel’s décor seamlessly matched our Reference speakers and subwoofers. Furthermore, the live Reference R-28F speaker setup in the lobby resulted in hotel employees and guests asking us how much we wanted for the speakers right then and there. (Click here to see more photos of the Klipsch branding.)
The Induction Ceremony itself was everything you would expect and more with Cleveland’s Public Hall serving as a perfect backdrop for the evening with it’s classic architecture and cozy feel. You could tell how important the moment was to each person that spoke on stage, whether they were a presenter or an inductee.
John Mayer, a celebrated present-day musician and heartthrob, spoke in total reverence of inductee Stevie Ray Vaughan. This is a guy who is beloved by millions of people across the world and has made a gazillion dollars, and you could tell how emotional he was inducting someone he modeled himself after.
Legendary singer-songwriter Bill Withers had one of the best speeches of the night, remarking about how awesome it was to have a “Wonder and a Legend” induct him. That’s Stevie Wonder and John Legend, for those wondering.
From Joan Jett’s opening number to the closing ensemble performance with Ringo Starr, each musician’s tribute rocked the house. Inductees received three songs and it’s really difficult to pick favorites out of any of them.
Green Day brought in a large fan contingent for the evening, who roared at their every move and for good reason, as the band was absolutely on point. On the flip side of the timeline, 80-year-old Sam Lay from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was dazzling in his own right. He had to be physically helped into the drummer’s seat, but once he was there he belted those lyrics and played the drums like it was 1965 again. (Click here to view more photos.)
Below is a Spotify playlist of the original tracks that were performed during the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Have you been to the Induction Ceremony? What are your favorite songs from these inductees? Let us know in the comments.