Atlantans, celeb fans rally around Ben Deignan Band as act advances toward Hard Rock London gig


Atlantans are blowing up social media sites this week after Hard Rock Cafe Ambassadors of Rock Battle of the Bands reps announced that Atlanta’s own Ben Deignan Band has advanced to the Top 10 of the national competition.

Via a voting website, fans of each band in the national finals will determine which act wins the competition, landing the winning band an opening slot on a bill with Sir Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam and Stevie Wonder in London’s Hyde Park next month.

For Deignan and bandmates, the announcement is bittersweet.

The band’s April 28 winning appearance in the Ambassadors of Rock Atlanta finals at the Hard Rock Cafe downtown was the act’s final performance together before drummer Lance Tilton was killed at age 29 in a car crash on the way home from a gig May 6.

Opening for Stevie Wonder in London would have been a dream come true for Deignan and Tilton, both huge R&B fans (Deignan and surviving band mate Chris Price paid tribute to Tilton at his May 10 memorial by performing Wonder’s “Superstition”).

Celebrity fans of the band, including Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kim Zolciak have already gone online to vote for the band and reached out to their followers on Twitter to do the same.

To vote, go to the official Hard Rock Ambassadors of Rock Battle of the Bands website and then be sure and click on the confirmation email you’re sent automatically. A video clip of the band performing “Sexy Black Dress” at the Hard Rock is also included on the site.

Voting ends June 6.

Tonight, Deignan will continue to spread the word during his solo acoustic gig at the brand-new “Live at Loews” music series at the Loews Atlanta hotel in Midtown from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.