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Disney stars R5 part of Kiss the Summer Hello lineup

Disney may be eternal, omnipresent and inescapably implanted in our psyche.

But Disney careers aren’t forever. The kids grow up, move on, do new things.

They perform at Kiss the Summer Hello.

Sometimes they even discover they really wanted to be in a garage band.

When WKSE’s annual warm-weather pop-fest takes over Canalside on Saturday, there will be an act (R5) and a host (Laura Marano) who were made famous on Disney Channel. (If it seems like Western New York is becoming a party ground lately for Disney alumni, you’re onto something: The appearance by “Austin & Ally” star Marano and R5 – which includes Ross Lynch, who played Austin – comes one week after “Jessie” star Debby Ryan performed a show full of relationship-heavy original songs with her band the Never Ending at Darien Lake Theme Park.)

Marano, who signed in March with Big Machine Records, and R5, which belongs to Disney’s Hollywood Records, will be joined by LunchMoney Lewis, Cody Simpson, Jordin Sparks, Cash Cash, Sheppard and the headliner, rapper Flo Rida.

R5 will be performing music from its new album, “Sometime Last Night,” which will be released in July. Rocky Lynch, one of four siblings in the five-person band, was a driving force behind the new music. While Ross was filming the final season of “Austin & Ally” and their brother Riker was competing in ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Rocky converted a garage behind the band’s rented home in the San Fernando Valley into a makeshift recording studio.

Surrounded by tires, an old fridge and snowboarding equipment – “It’s kind of a mess,” he admitted in an interview with The News – the guitarist spent the last six months tinkering with chord progressions and melody ideas. When he had something he liked, he would summon Ross, Riker, their sister Rydel and friend/bandmate Ellington Ratliff. He would tell them, “This is what I’m vibing on right now,” and launch into the full songwriting process.

“We like to open the garage door, get birds flying by, all these trees,” Rocky said. “It’s all relaxed. We’re just hanging out. It doesn’t feel like you’re in a Hollywood studio.”

The result, he added, was markedly better than the more traditional co-writing sessions that produced the music on R5’s first album, “Louder,” which was heavily pushed to Disney’s tween and teen audience.

“Two songs came out of a hundred sessions that we actually ended up liking,” Lynch said, presumably amplifying the number of writing sessions to emphasize his point. “If we wouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t have known we don’t like working that way.”

So it turns out R5, at its core, is actually a garage band – and that’s the music they’ll be bringing to Buffalo. So far, the informal feedback has been good.

“We’ve had no complaints from neighbors,” Lynch said. “Which is surprising, because I play pretty loud.”


What: Kiss the Summer Hello with Flo Rida, R5, Cody Simpson, Jordin Sparks, Cash Cash, Sheppard, Natalie LaRose and Lunchmoney Louis

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Canalside

Tickets: $30 general, $45 premium view, $200 VIP


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