Hard Rock Cafe, the world famous chain of theme restaurants, has enlarged its presence around the globe by opening a venue in the heart of Almaty. Although the eatery has been entertaining locals and guests of the southern capital with good classic rock ballads and delicious American casual dining food since 2014, the grand opening show was held this year with a June 13 event at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace.
The audience was warmed up by the winners of the Hard Rock Rising project, Almaty band iFly and Astana rockers from City Love. Despite the great atmosphere and successful stage presence of the young musicians, the guests were anxious for the headliners, Russian music legends Mumiy Troll and Maschina Vremeni. Both bands performed their classic hits, creating the atmosphere of a nostalgic night of memories and reveries. After the show, the musicians met with fans, giving autographs and taking pictures with the grateful followers.
“We are tired, but so happy. The public is great here. We have had a good relationship with Almaty for many years. This is not just friendship anymore, it is already love,” said Mumyi Troll frontman Ilya Lagutenko after the performance.
He also invited Kazakh musicians to take part in his annual music festival V-Rocks, which will take place Aug. 23-30 in Vladivostok, Russia. The festival was first launched in 2013 and gathered performers from Japan, South Korea, China, South Africa, the U.S. and Russia.
One of the most vivid moments of the show was the guitar smashing ritual. Lagutenko and frontman Andrey Makarevich, as well as Hard Rock International President Hamish Dodds, chain vice president Antonio Bautista and Almaty Hard Rock Cafe representatives, wrecked seven instruments on the stage.
“People came today to celebrate this remarkable event with us and feel the real‘rocking’atmosphere. We will continue celebrating tomorrow, as June 14 is the day when the brand was established,” said one of the local restaurant’s representatives.
Talking about future plans, Bautista noted Astana may become the next location for the iconic restaurant, as the city is expecting an influx of people for EXPO 2017.
“We expect to enlarge our chain by opening ten locations around the world every year. Tbilisi, Georgia and Baku, Azerbaijan will be the next. The Hard Rock Cafe will also come to St. Petersburg, making this city the second location in Russia after Moscow,” he said.
Hard Rock Cafe has 198 locations, including restaurants, hotels, casinos and live music venues in 63 nations throughout the world. Kazakhstan became the 59th country where the legendary eatery opened its doors to the public.