SCRANTON - Hot on the heels of a recent gig with KISS, the rockers of Candlelight Red have been invited to perform at Rockstar Energy Drink's Uproar Festival Friday at the Montage Mountain Amphitheatre.
Hailing from Williamsport, the band is comprised of vocalist Ryan Hoke, guitarist Jeremy Edge, bassist Adam Zimmer and drummer Josh Hetrick. The band is slated to take over the festival's Jagermeister Mobile Stage at 3 p.m. as a part of a roster of top hard rock and metal groups that will include Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Halestorm and Hellyeah.
Candlelight Red formed in 2008 from the merger of two central Pennsylvania bands, Stept On and Til December. With last year's addition of vocalist Ryan Hoke, who honed his skills in projects like Hyphema and Slant 6, the boys began to rock like nobody's business.
Since then, they have toured hard, performed with big names like Staind, Lacuna Coil, Three Days Grace, Stone Sour and Clutch, and earned a sponsorship from Jagermeister.
The band recently achieved its biggest coup to date, winning the Guitar Center On Stage contest and the honor of opening for one of the world's legendary rock bands: KISS.
Guitar player Jeremy Edge described the July 29 show as "a really fun experience," with members of Candlelight Red scoring a chance to meet and interact with the masked musicians. Their set list even earned praise from KISS manager Don McGhee.
Finalists for the Guitar Center On Stage competition were selected via online voting, with Candlelight Red snagging "something like 1,200 votes" and landing the number-one spot among five other bands.
From there, KISS's management chose the winning band and described the band's sound as aggressive, melodic and emotional.
So how does a local group like Candlelight Red make such a name for itself?
According to Edge, the process was accelerated by prior experience.
"Some of us had already played in bands that really paid their dues in PA, which gave us a little bit of experience," he said. "You try something the first time and make a lot of mistakes, but you learn not to make these mistakes again - that's why we were able to accomplish in a year what other bands would have in five."
Though rising quickly, Candlelight Red isn't about to neglect their hometown fans.
The band played a show Aug. 20 at the Cell Block, 154 W. Third St., for what Edge described as "kind of like our pre-party" for the Rockstar Uproar Festival.
Candlelight Red will be the first band to hit the stage at the Rockstar Uproar Festival, so the guitarist advised that people plan to arrive early.
Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.
For more about the band, visit www.candlelightred.com.