When you think of Cleveland, Ohio maybe rock and roll music isn’t the first thing to come to mind but you may be surprised by the history and many defining moments over the years. Some would say that Cleveland earned being the “birthplace” of rock back in the early 1950s because of radio disc jockey Alan Freed. His radio show on WJW in Cleveland exposed listeners to new and diverse styles of music such as rhythm and blues, swing, and music you could really dance to.
Fast forward to 2022 when people from all over the country, involved in the music industry—especially radio—gathered in Cleveland for The Gathering. Day Three kicked off at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, whose mission is “to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll. We share stories of the people, events and songs that shape our world through exhibits, innovative programs and concerts.”
Friday was the true grand finale of the three-day event held at the iconic House Of Blues for “an evening of hot new alternative bands.” In this post, we will walk you through our takeaways from a truly incredible and unique night of live music representing all different genres.
The energy was radiating from the crowd all night, but it came to a real climax during COIN’s set. It was a beautiful experience watching hundreds of people, many of whom had sat out on the sidewalk for hours, enthusiastically engage with the five other artists throughout the night. I would like to think the members of COIN would be proud to hear they have attracted an audience that seemed super open to listening to different styles of music and even participating in the live sets of songs they probably had never listened to—that speaks a lot to the type of community an artist has curated.
COIN performs with an enthralling passion that really feels like such a privilege to watch; artists completely losing themselves in their art, in front of an audience, giving them permission to do so because they are just as dedicated to the moment. Don’t get me wrong, the group are incredible musicians but it’s less about technicality and more about connecting through vulnerability. As the band played “Malibu 1992”, frenzied lead singer Chase Lawrence allowed the crowd to take over after belting out the lyrics “Your parents’ house in Ohio” and “I told my mom she’d love to meet you / But it’s too bad she won’t get the chance to.” It was a warmer night in Cleveland but I think everyone left that night with goosebumps.
Magnolia Park has an absolutely anthemic sound that takes pop-punk to a new level through the band’s thoughtful and eclectic infusion of inspiration from the likes of emo, hypertrap, hip-hop, etc. They were not exactly playing in front of a crowd that was going to open the pit, but they brought captivating energy that certainly made one hell of an introduction to a newer audience. The band clearly read the room and found plenty of moments to get the crowd involved in their performance—it was a considerate move to bring the audience in and help them feel included, which really speaks to the six people behind MP. Some standout moments were the band playing their punchy new song “Feel Something” off Heart Eater, their recent EP, and a touching phones-with-flashlights-on-swaying to “Sick Of It All”.
They have huge hearts on and off stage and don’t shy away from sharing their intentions and what matters to them. Want to know more? Well, we were fortunate enough to talk to Magnolia Park after their electric set about all the exciting things they have coming up so be sure to check it out next week!
Don’t Believe In Ghosts
Blending alt-rock and indie pop at a New York City pace, Don’t Believe In Ghosts offers a bright cinematic sound. I was not surprised to find out their music has been featured in TV shows such as WeCrashed, Ink Masters, and The US Open. Their latest dance-worthy single “This Is Paradise” shows the band experimenting even more mixing synth and guitars in a compelling way. They are definitely on the radar of bands to watch and a fun group to add to any TGIF playlist.
Someone had to bring the sunny feel-good tunes of LA to Cleveland and Rouxx was the perfect artist for the job. Shane Gelinas has an inviting personality that absolutely exploded on the stage. It’s fun watching someone perform who you can tell really loves being on stage, which made Rouxx’s set of alt-pop hits (with a bit of an edge) even more enjoyable. Although Mod Sun was not there to join in on “LO$ERS” the track had everyone moving and I am sure brought Rouxx some new fans.
The charming up-and-coming Jack Harris brought a swirling mix of folk and pop to the evening. His music is as calm as Lake Erie itself—it has this very soothing hypnotic effect that works perfectly with his real knack for enchanting storytelling. The lovely India Lake added her beautiful voice to a few tracks including “For The Night” which really had the audience in awe; it was a magical moment and there is sure to be much more in store for both of these young musicians.
Local to Cleveland, The Sublets are here with a self-proclaimed message to “restore your faith in the power of pop-punk music.” The group seems to take inspiration from the likes of Green Day and The Eagles—they play what I like to call ‘good old guitar music’ and they have a great time doing so. Clearly thankful to be opening in front of such a large and new audience, the band passed out free merch and invited anyone to come chat with them after the show. Their new track “Finally Free” could easily be the opening track to a 90s teen angst rom-com in the best way possible.