Rolling Quartz: Rock N’ Roll Paradise

Rolling Quartz

Bottom of the Hill (San Francisco, CA)

Hailing from South Korea, the all-female rock band Rolling Quartz brought their electrifying music and raw power to Bottom of the Hill – a legendary club-size venue known as a great starting venue for emerging rock, grunge, and indie bands – in San Francisco, CA for their second show of their “Rock N’ Roll Paradise” tour. This being their first shows ever in the States, their fans – collectively known as “Diadem” – filled every inch of the venue. They had been yearning for a taste of the band’s edgy and authentic style, and were eager to witness their explosive live performance.

The five-member band was formed by a merger of two bands, “Rolling Girls” and “Rose Quartz,” in 2019. It is composed of main vocalist Jayoung, lead guitarist Iree, bassist Arem, rhythm guitarist Hyunjung, and drummer Yeongeun. They took to the stage casually, preparing their own instruments whilst interacting with the crowd. After a quick huddle around the drums, Hyunjung and Yeongeun started with the recognizable bass and drum riff of The White Stripes’ “7 Nation Army,” then were joined by Jayoung’s vocals, and finally Iree and Arem, which from then on unleashed a tidal wave of sound that washed over the audience that commanded their attention for the rest of the night.

The quintet’s stage presence was as fierce as their music, captivating the crowd with their magnetic energy and unwavering commitment to delivering a memorable performance. Lead vocalist Jayoung’s raw power vocals was matched by her commanding presence, her stage persona exuding confidence and an unapologetic spirit, striking power poses and getting the audience to chant, cheer, jump, and otherwise follow her every move. Guitarists Hyunjung and Iree showcased their virtuosity, effortlessly navigating complex riffs and delivering blistering solos while headbanging and stepping up to risers that left the crowd in awe. Drummer Yeongeun and bassist Arem provided the pulsating heartbeat of the band, driving each song to new heights. All together, they worked perfectly in sync on stage, creating a dynamic performance full of unyielding energy.

Since debuting at the end of 2020 with their single “Blaze,” Rolling Quartz has released an E.P. entitled Fighting, which featured four original songs and two covers, as well as two songs packaged as a single album entitled Hybrid. Before their official debut, they had been building a fanbase by sharing covers and some original demos on YouTube, continuing to do so during the pandemic as well as holding online concerts. With only a handful of original songs released, some of these covers made it into their setlist, including Paramore’s “Misery Business,” Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild,” Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” and a mashup of BTS’ “Mic Drop” and Blackpink’s “Pink Venom.” Rolling Quartz’s sound is a cohesive blend of alternative rock, punk, and grunge, which is exemplified by their cover song choices as well as their own music. The show featured every song from Fighting, including their take on the melancholic yet hard-hitting “Azalea” (originally performed by Maya) and their original song and first track on the album, “Delight,” and both tracks from Higher. They performed their debut song, “Blaze,” towards the end of their set to a smattering of whoops and cheers, and then transitioned seamlessly to the triumphant “Sing Your Heart Out” off of Higher to pseudo-end the set. After a short break with the lights down, they finished with a cover of My Chemical Romance’s “Helena” to which the crowd sang along with to also bid the band a “so long and goodnight.” A final bow and a photo with the audience later, the night came to an end.

In the intimate venue, Rolling Quartz engaged in genuine interactions with the crowd, expressing gratitude for the support they had received throughout their journey. As a unique group in the South Korean music scene bringing rock to a space dominated by pop, Rolling Quartz continues to captivate audiences and their energy shows no signs of waning.