Emo Nite at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA has become the place to be in the past couple of years. In case newbies haven’t heard, this nite life destination feeds on the strong sense of nostalgia by soliciting the scene’s well-known artists to DJ “classic” ‘90s/2000s emo and punk songs.
The most recent L.A. date proved to be as hype as it always has been since Emo Nite’s beginnings—with a never-ending line of emo kids wrapped around the building, waiting hours to guarantee their entry, to notorious “A-list” guests including Iron Maidens guitarist Nikki Stringfield, actor Peter Dinklage, drummer Luke Holland as well as YouTube/cosplay personalities Chris Villain, Kelly Eden and more.
The night opened with the Emo Nite anthem, “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” by Fall Out Boy followed by the slew of classics including Paramore’s “Misery Business,” Panic! At the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” Say Anything’s “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too,” Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy,” among many others. Upon hearing each and every song’s intro, the audience roared with excitement and bursted into unison singing the lyrics. DJ’s for the night included the Emo Nite founders, 3OH!3, Captain Cuts, Brian Logan Dales and more.
Just when you think that the Emo Nite team couldn’t outdo themselves, they prove audiences wrong. They started the year strong with Sonny Monroe (aka EDM producer-artist Skrillex) reuniting with his former emo bandmates From First to Last in January to more recent starlet guests including producer John Feldmann and pop star Demi Lovato in May. Fast forward one month later and the big-name special guest DJ’s were Lovato, herself, and Billboard chart-topping rapper Post Malone.
At one point during Lovato’s set, the power at the venue cut out, but instead of waiting around, she grabbed a mic and sang Paramore’s “Misery Business” a cappella along with the crowd around her on stage as well as on the venue floor. Post Malone’s set was a breath of fresh air as he ventured away from the usual songs that normally appear in every DJ’s set. His selection of tunes hit heavier with the likes of AFI, Avenged Sevenfold, the Used, My Chemical Romance, Dashboard Confessional, System of a Down and more, but this didn’t stop audience from headbanging, hair whipping or moshing though. Overall, it’s refreshing to see artists who have made their name in different genres appreciate—and rock out at that—to the emo scene’s music—this just proves that Emo Nite continues succeeding at its mission to bring together the community through the power of music. Lovato may not be a punk rock princess but she can hella rock that dark/black lipstick and kill it on Hayley Williams’ vocals.
Another admirable aspect to Emo Nite is the featured live sets in the upstairs portion of the venue. There are three areas simultaneously jamming out to the same songs, so it’s almost impossible to catch 100% everything, but this particular night featured a live performance from Brian Logan Dales’ new solo project: DALES. Following after his debut single, "Young For The Summer,” Dales proceeded to offer up more of his originals for the crowd at Emo Nite. His sound sits relatively similar to the Summer Set’s pop rock sound, where he is the frontman, but there is a tinge of a rock & roll element. In a group of five musicians, Dales also picked up a guitar as opposed to only holding a mic. In addition, he showed off his voice with riskier (read: skillful) vocal runs and ranges, and he did them quite outstandingly, definitely gaining him new fans.
See More: VIDEO: New Music from the Summer Set
Since the two-year anniversary event in December, the Emo Nite crew has been busy expanding the brand that started as a mere experimental party. One of these new additions includes the Ride or Cry podcast—which has featured 3OH!3, Feldmann, As It Is, Grayscale and more.
The Emo Nite team has also launched the Ride or Cry clothing store in L.A. with pop-up shops at Space 15 Twenty. Shortly after the most recent installment at the L.A. Echoplex, Emo Nite announced a joint clothing collection with major brand Urban Outfitters—with fashions sporting the trademark phrase: “Every nite is emo nite,”—a pop up shop will take place June 23 - 25 with DJ sets, live performance showcase and yoga classes.
Emo Nite has made its mark and is here to stay with no signs of slowing down and no doubts of continuing to grow as a brand. With this notion of expansion, it would be intriguing to see if they transitioned to a bigger venue from the Echoplex; start a new era at a new place—perhaps something like the Fonda Theatre or the Belasco. Nonetheless, listeners will always lineup with immense anticipation and excitement to spend a few hours jamming out to classic emo songs that have resonated with them for the past 10 years.
Text by Siri Svay
Photography by Gil Riego and Grizzlee Martin
*Disclaimer: The words expressed in photo blog reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Music Connection Magazine.