Autumn Encore Music Festival @ The Agora

Autumn Encore2.jpgThe Autumn Encore Music Festival is a small festival presented by Blueprint Public, at the Agora in Cleveland. The festival included mostly local Northeast Ohio bands of different genres and levels of experiences, though at the festival, everyone at least felt like a rock star.

The ballroom stage and the theatre stage are right across from each other, with the middle being a series of bars and merch tables for the different bands. The crowd was buzzing and you could see local artists meeting fans, talking to potential future fans, and building their music network in the Cleveland music scene one conversation at a time. By the end of the night the faces looked almost familiar, even if it was too dark and crowded to really see who they were.

The show started almost as soon as the doors open, with On Point taking the ballroom stage. Their act was energetic and lively, their music unique enough to capture your attention and their stage presence confident enough to really seal the deal. The musicians were dancing as they performed, and there was just a good energy about them. The lineup for both the stages faltered at times – The Allies, despite being a talented band, weren’t a good follow up to On Point and were more than a bit out of their league, and no one took the Agora Stage until half an hour after the original start time. By the time that Jordan Thompson took the theatre

Allies1.png
Allies

stage, though, no one really cared.

Jordan Thompson is an acoustic act that played a mix of acoustic songs and covers – including the Fall Out Boy favorite, “Sugar We’re Going Down Swinging.” While a little bit rough around the edges, Thompson has a solid set that attracted a lot of people to the theatre stage despite it being somewhat early into the show. Meanwhile, Elipsus stole the show on the Ballroom Stage. In addition to having good music, they had an excellent stage presence and weren’t afraid to interact with the crowd. The room filled up in no time, everybody standing elbow to elbow. The highlight of their set? A cover of the Lion King’s “Hakuna Matata.”

I Fight Fail made the first real big impression on the theatre stage, turning on lights and a fog machine. You couldn’t connect with them as much as Elipsus back on the ballroom stage, but the music was definitely something you could connect to. It had the sort of same feel and power that My Chemical Romance had when they were around. “Nothing Bleeds” was their real crowd-pleaser. After them, “Ottawa” took the stage and really kind of blew the roof off of the place. They got the crowd energized and rolling. An excellent stage presence and great music, they got the crowd moving and dancing with almost no effort at all. “Roman Candle,” their newest release available to stream now on Spotify, was a hit. They closed their set with “Dodge City,” which had the whole floor moshing basically.

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Ottawa

Which is the perfect lead up to the Moxies, who took the stage right after them.  The Moxies always have a high energy set and great, friendly stage presence. Their first album sounds like the Grease soundtrack and Artic Monkies went and made a record together. Their Autumn Encore Music Festival set, though, had mostly all new music not released yet. Towards the end of the Moxies’ set, they had their good friend Lincoln Parish, formally of Cage the Elephant, joined them on stage to perform a song or two that they all wrote together.

(In this time, Arielle Tindel and Falling into Fire both took the Ballroom Stage and had lovely sounding sets. Unfortunately, due to lack of manpower, Music Unlabeled wasn’t able to provide accurate coverage. The Modern Electric and the Royal Skam were the closing acts for the theatre and ballroom stages respectively, but Music Unlabeled was unable to hear those acts either.)

Overall, the Autumn Encore Music festival was a great show that featured a lot of excellent Cleveland bands. It also acted as a good networking tool for all people in the music industry, and gave bands a chance to get their name out there no matter their skill or experience level. Even though Music Unlabeled was unable to go to day two of the event, we have no doubt that day had just the same amount of excitement, energy, and good music as this one did.

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