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Review: 'Autograf' puts on a passionate and upbeat show

It’s not often you find yourself at an anniversary show of a music group on Halloween. That turned out to be the case at the El Rey Theater, when the electronic music trio Autograf performed on Monday to an enthusiastic crowd.

Drinks were overpriced, but that’s just the nature of a concert venue. But the show made up for the outrageous drink prices with the passion and stage presence of the group.

A relatively new group that started in 2013, Autograf hails from the windy city of Chicago, a town famous for good music and a long history of legendary musicians. Autograf may be next on the list, as their performance at the El Rey was one worthy of the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Sitting behind the railing above the dance floor, the first thing I noticed about the group was their unique stage setup. When it comes to the equipment of EDM performances, DJs seldom use more than a laptop and a couple of turntables. Autograf made use of turntables, trigger pads, and a drum set in their live performance.

When the group took the stage, the first thing that jumped out was their attire. The trio appeared to be dressed as bottles of Sriracha hot sauce in honor of the holiday. The surprise was charismatic, and added to the fun vibe of a show where the DJs were performing for an audience of goblins, gorillas and various other fans in costume.

Their first songs immediately stole the hearts of the audience. Autograf’s charismatic stage presence and developed song structure would have been enough to fuel their performance, but combined with a unique light show, intelligent sound engineering and the acoustics of the theater, a good performance became a great performance.

Between songs, Autograf kept introductions and chit chat to a respectable minimum. The El Rey is a somewhat intimate venue, but this didn’t affect the band’s perception of the audience. Often times with smaller, intimate venues, the performers tend to make intermissions between songs almost uncomfortably long, but Autograf, aware of the venue’s size, expressed gratitude and engaged in some small talk without dragging it out.

Autograf’s members are performers who are full of surprises. Jake Carpenter, the man behind the drums during the performance, donned a keytar at points throughout the show. It was a surprising turn, but it he made it work. One would think that a keytar couldn’t not be cheesy, but Carpenter’s use of the instrument would prove them wrong.

With each song, Autograf filled the venue with fantastic upbeat but chilled-out music. As the group’s anniversary show and a Halloween gig to boot, nothing less would be expected. Autograf put on a passionate performance that brought a feeling of peace and love to the venue. Not bad for a first performance in Albuquerque.

Fin Martinez is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @FinMartinez.

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