Down the Line 18: A local take on legendary music artists

Held annually since 2007, The Embassy Theater’s Down the Line 18 event celebrates a collaboration of old and new music. This year, the event features four local bands and their take on Seattle’s grunge music scene. Each band will perform music by influential grunge artists, including Soundgarden, Hole, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam. 

The 1990s were legendary years for music. On one hand, there was the rise of the hip-hop scene and boy bands, and on the other, there was the rise of alternative rock or grunge music. Despite the national attention it eventually received, grunge music originated as a niche genre based almost exclusively in Seattle. The music’s undeniable angst appealed to teenagers at the time. In Seattle, fans were amongst the first interested in the underground, grimy, and uneasy genre that is grunge. The genre soon captured the attention of millions and was propelled into the mainstream.

Carly Myers, the chief marketing officer for the event, says that Down the Line 18 “allows local performers and bands to take on legendary artists and music in their own style and with their own interpretation, which is why the tagline is ‘Legends by Locals.’” These local bands include The Graig Guy Band, The Snarks, Octopussy, and Pink Droyd. The event is a signature Embassy Presents show. 

Down the Line 18 is sponsored by Prime Homes, Five Star Distributing, and Fort Wayne Newspapers. 

For many local musicians, playing on the historic Embassy stage is a coveted opportunity. The Embassy Theater is a historic aspect of northwest Indiana, and playing on the stage solidifies musicians as part of the Embassy’s rich history.

The Craig Guy Band will be performing Soundgarden at the event. The band is known locally for their rock and indie rock covers and original songs. The Snarks play a blend of punk, alternative rock, and garage rock and will be performing Hole at the event. 

Octopussy is a local cover band that performs songs from various bands and genres, including The Beatles, Journey, Foreigner, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Def Leppard and Soundgarden to name a few. The band has performed at local venues like Piere's Entertainment Center, where they have opened for big national acts. Octopussy is performing Alice in Chains at the event. 

Since 2007, Pink Droyd has focused on playing Pink Floyd’s music around the Midwest. They performed Styx at Down the Line 12 in 2018. In recent years, the band has slightly deviated away from their Pink Floyd roots but sees this as a welcome opportunity to expand their horizons and audience. Pink Droyd will be performing Pearl Jam at Down the Line 18. 

This year, each band will perform original music and their respective covers for 40 minutes. 

The Embassy started the Down the Line series as a fundraiser in 2007. The goal was to raise money to support the historic theater and hotel, and to bring “a truly unique celebration of music, the arts and community” to Fort Wayne, says Myers. 

Since the beginning, the event has given local musicians the unique chance to perform on the Embassy stage. Myers says she believes the event is “a unique and meaningful opportunity for local acts to play legendary music on the renowned Embassy stage.” 

Additionally, a collaboration with graphic design students from the University of Saint Francis further develops the impact of this event. Students have the opportunity to showcase their art as it accompanies the performances. This program is led by Alan Nauts, who has worked with the Embassy on past events. 

Before the Embassy started the Down the Line series, it was difficult to find live music in Fort Wayne. Now, more than 15 years later, free and paid live music is in abundance. Fort Wayne’s music community has grown tremendously, and it’s easy to find concerts or shows around the city. 

The Embassy Theater, built in 1928, was originally known as the Emboyd. It was a movie palace and vaudeville house combined with the seven-story Indiana Hotel. In its early years, the theater showed famous movie stars and actors, along with performers, comedians, and musicians. 

The rise of television and movies with sound shut down the vaudeville aspect of the theater, and in 1952, The Emboyd was sold, and the name was changed to The Embassy. In 1972, the Embassy faced demolition, but the Embassy Theatre Foundation was created to save the historic building. Renovations went underway to restore the theater to its original glory. Since then, The Embassy has proved itself to be the largest self-sustaining theater in Indiana, and it remains one of the pillars of arts in the area. When the theater is not hosting plays, ballets, or concerts, it hosts events and even weddings.

Down the Line 18 will be held at the Embassy Theater on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are currently on sale for $20, and doors open at 6 p.m. Limited early entry tickets are also on sale for $30. All tickets can be purchased at or the STAR Bank box office, located at the Embassy at 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pricing will increase during the week of the show.
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