top of page

Kids rock in Downtown Arcadia

Congratulations to all the rock band students of Mike Danielson’s classes at First Avenue Middle School, who put on a concert on the stage of the Arcadia Blues Club on Downtown Arcadia Friday afternoon and evening.


John and Monique C., winners of Downtown Arcadia contest

And congratulations to John and Monique C., the randomly-chosen winners of the Ultimate Downtown Arcadia Giveaway contest featuring prizes valued at thousands of dollars for which the concert was created by event organizers Arcadia Improvement Association. Mayor Gary Kovacic was on hand to welcome and introduce the student musicians. After noting that he never got to do anything so cool when he attended middle school in Arcadia, he engaged the musicians on stage in some spontaneous rock trivia about the song they had just completed playing, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Mayor Gary Kovacic (r) and Bobby Bluehouse

Mayor Gary Kovacic (r) and Bobby Bluehouse

A couple of the musicians correctly yelled out the answer to his question of the name of the rock star the song was targeting — Neil Young. After a few more anecdotes, Kovacic introduced and thanked ABC owner Bobby Bluehouse. Also in attendance were Matt Denny’s Ale House Restaurant owner and former AIA President Matt McSweeny, Arcadia High School principal Brent Forsee, and Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Hettrick.

After each song, some of the students on stage switched places to play different instruments — one drummer was playing one-handed as his other arm was in a cast — and after a few songs an entirely new group of musicians came on stage. Most of the songs in the first 90-minutes of the 2 1/2-hour program were classic rock songs ranging from 1970s and ’80s hits by Journey and Aerosmith to Green Day tunes from the 1990s and 2000s.

April Verlato (r) presents certificates to Mike Danielson

April Verlato (r) presents certificates to Mike Danielson

Danielson told that the students picked most of the songs themselves, saying they seem to seek out and enjoy classic rock on their own.

AIA President and Downtown Arcadia attorney April Verlato thanked and gave Danielson and each student a certifiate of recognition. She also announced the young Monrovia couple as contest winners. The couple could not attend in person but passed on word of how grateful they were after recently suffering a personal loss. Verlato gave a shout out to each and every Downtown Arcadia prize donor:

  1. Arcadia Blues Club: Tickets for two and Dinner for two

  2. Spa Xanadu: 60 Minute Massage

  3. Matt Denny’s Ale House Restaurant: Dinner for Two

  4. Stacked Sandwich: $20 Gift Certificate

  5. Studio 518: $100 Gift Certificate

  6. Selfie Selfie Photo Studio: One Hour Studio Session

  7. Hot n Sweet Chicken: 1 Whole fried Chicken Dinner with a choice of Sweet Garlic mild, spicy or hot; soy garlic, sweet chillie, Cajun or lemon pepper.

  8. Cruise Certificate for Two from Esma Ali, Commercial Real Estate Broker — 5-day, 4-night cruise for two (2) to Mexico, the Bahamas, or the Western Caribbean. Certificate valued at $1,798

— By Scott Hettrick (more photos below…)


Student drummer who has one arm in a cast.

Student drummer who has one arm in a cast.

Arcadia High School principal Brent Forsee (left)

Arcadia High School principal Brent Forsee (left)


Arcadia Blues Club owner Bobby Bluehouse talks with Mayor Gary Kovacic (r)


bottom of page