RockTok: The MTV of the 2020’s

by Marissa Rybinski

TikTok is the short-video app that took the world by storm after the fall of its predecessor, Vine. Tiktok started as an online community for people to lip-sync to songs, attempt the latest dance challenge, or showcase their cosplay for their favorite shows and movies. 

Over the past two years, the app has gained immense popularity- especially during the early days of quarantine. Now TikTok is home to creators who make content on a wide variety of topics. 

TikTok utiilizes a “For You Page” based an algorithm that shows users exactly the kind of content they’re interested in. Creators can tag their videos as #cookingtiktok, #activismtiktok, #spiritualitytiktok, or #fashiontiktok, to name a few. Tags like these help to create communities on TikTok based on topic and viewpoint. 

One community on TikTok that I really enjoy is RockTok. It’s usually tagged as #classicrock or other rock subgenres to avoid confusion with the rock collectors of TikTok. Videos on RockTok features videos from concerts, reviews of new releases, rankings of the classics, and covers of songs. 

There are plenty of creators in the RockTok community, but here are some of my favorite accounts. 

Live Performance Recordings

House of Rock (@houseofrockofficial)

Run anonymously, this account provides rock fans with clips of concert videos. Clips from House of Rock come from a variety of eras, featuring artists like The White Stripes, Blink-182, Green Day, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne, and The Beatles. There are occasional posts from films about rock music or that feature rock music on the soundtrack. 

Guitar and Bass Playing

Steff Stover (@steffstover)

Stover is a guitar and bass player who showcases his talent on TikTok by improvising his own riffs or playing short covers of songs from artists like Jimi Hendrix and Van Halen. He created a series called “Riffs through the decades” where he plays a different song from each decade- usually starting with the 60’s- to show how different each era was. Stover’s account could also be helpful for beginner guitar and bass players, as he posts tabs and chords in some of his videos to learn and play along to. 

Reviews and Rankings

Ross Magliocco (@rossmagliocco)

Ross is a student at University of Rhode Island and is the frontman and rhythm guitarist for the band Stone Nobles. He provides fun content revolving around the greats of classic rock, ranking bands and songs of all rock sub-genres, and discussing newer rock bands. Some bands Ross discusses frequently are Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and Greta Van Fleet. Since he is a musician himself, Ross will sometimes post videos of his band’s songs or covers and parodies of famous songs.

Rock Stars on RockTok

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true celebration of rock music without the artists who brought us some of our favorite songs and albums. Here are some artists played on FM89 that can also be found on TikTok!


Alice Cooper

Barenaked Ladies


David Bowie

Elton John 

Foo Fighters

Green Day

Joan Jett

John Lennon

Metro Station

Mick Fleetwood

Motley Crue


New Found Glory


Palaye Royale

Panic! at the Disco

Papa Roach

Paul McCartney

Pearl Jam

Plain White T’s


Reel Big Fish

Rivers Cuomo




Stevie Nicks

Third Eye Blind

Three Days Grace