It’s time for Northeast Ohio’s teen musicians to start thinking once again about performing in public. For the 14th year, the Tri-C High School Rock Off will provide an opportunity for young bands (and solo artists) to gain stage experience, see how they stack up against their peers and maybe win some prizes. Semi-finals take place January 8 and 9, 23 and 24 and 29 and 30 at House of Blues with 12 bands playing each night. The top three from each semi-final move on to the “final exam,” on Saturday, February 6, also at House of Blues. The winning band gets cash, recording time, a music-store gift certificate, opportunities to appear on two Tri-C-produced cable-TV shows and to open for a national act on a Live Nation concert, and tickets to next year’s Vans Warped tour. Runners-up will also get studio time and cash prizes.
Win or lose, many young bands start to establish a presence on the local music scene through the Rock Off. Bands who used the event as a launching pad include Nicholas Megalis, Eclyptic, Thee TV Oh Dees and Jaded Era.
All band members must be in 12th grade or lower, and half must be in high school at the time the event takes place in January. Entry forms are online at cleveland.com/rockoff, along with instructions for entering, or bands can call Live Nation at 440.247.2722. Deadline for returning entries is December 1. — Anastasia Pantsios