This do-it-yourself backyard, musical production in Rancho Cucamonga was established in March 2015 by 23-year-old Juan Zermeño.
“We want to make a platform for the upcoming artists to gain attention, and for local people to be exposed to the hidden gems we have here. Southern California has much more to offer than just LA”, said Dennis Zarceno, the co-promoter of Live On Center.
Live On Center hosts more than 16 shows per year. Zermeño, Zarceno, and friends have brought bands from all over Southern California such as Daise, Kiki Diago and Cheridomingo to perform throughout the past two years. They cater to many different genres of music, help record the shows for musicians, and live stream the events to their fans on Instagram.
“I remember it was the first house show I played where instead of high school kids, it was 20 year olds who were genuinely looking to curate a DIY show. They just went for it and putting in that kind of effort brings a really good group of people together,”
said Andrew Plascencia, current bassist for Kiki Diago and a former performer at LOC.
“It’s a lot better for the music industry. There’s no influence, there’s nothing shaping the sound of the band so it ensures variety,” said Anthony Avina, the lead vocalist of Cheridomingo.
Small venues in the Inland Empire usually do not keep their doors open for long, but somehow LOC has managed to create a small community of their own. The demographic for the event ranges from young kids brought by families to rowdy college students wanting to enjoy a good night on the town. It becomes a large family, especially when homemade tacos and wine get involved.
“LOC creates a community and space to be yourself, as corny as that sounds. Compared to other events I go to, I don’t always know as many people and those events don’t make it a priority to make you feel welcomed,” said Rancho Cucamonga local Taylor Jaunal.
The parties produced by LOC are not just your typical house shows. Zermeño likes to shake things up by having album releases, Halloween events, intimate acoustic sets on Sundays, as well as large music festivals. He doesn’t just limit the art to musicians either.
Live artists such as Usurps and GabeArts are able to share their creations with the fans attending the shows; while local vendors like Strada Clothing sell their items. This makes it not just about their own work in the music industry, but also the other people trying to make a name for themselves in the community.
“I’m pretty stoked for Puppaween. Everyone is bringing their dogs all dressed up. I love dogs, so I’m probably going to cry from all the cuteness, but I’m ready,” said reoccurring attendee Toni Davis.
Live On Center has come a long way since it began. Zermeño, with the help of others, was able to make an idea he had while at an open mic night into a huge monthly production. The group regularly posts their updates on upcoming events on their Instrageam account @locsessions.