When three friends with a passion for good ol’ fashioned emo music hosted an emo themed party, they did not expect people to come out in the hundreds. It was then that they knew they were onto something special. They hosted a second event and by the third, they had Emo-God himself, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus on the turntables as their personal DJ for the evening. And that ladies and gentlemen is how Emo Nite was born. Fast forward three years later and the trio has teamed up with Goldenvoice to host their biggest event to date, Emo Nite Day. Held at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Center on Sunday December 3rd, every emo music loving resident in the southern California region came decked out in their favorite hot topic tees, studded belts, and steel toed boots to remanence their high school years and sing along to their favorite teenage anthems.
The auditorium housed two indoor stages and one outdoor stage for a continuous day of music. Wandering around the auditorium you are directed to what I dubbed as, ‘The Hallway of Black Tee Shirts’, also known as the merch booths. As you make your way along the array of different shades of black, you are bombarded with witty bold fronted tees, stating “Sad as Fuck” and “The Only Dates I Want Are Tour Dates”. Tucked in the back behind the myriad of tee shirts, was a small table set up with a DJ that attracted a few straggling dancers but ultimately seemed to get ignored for most of the day.
When you find yourself outside, the temptations from vendors such as ‘The Yeastie Boys’ assault your senses, and really, who could resist such fine street faire with a name like that? However, the lines to the food trucks had a steady flow of people and everyone enjoyed their food in the most emo way possible, bobbing along to the live music being played on the small outdoor stage.
The outdoor stage which they named the Millennia Stage, housed acts including an all female based rock group 'Doll Skin', the 'Dales', 'Teenage Wrist', local So-Cal band 'Movements', 'Tigers Jaw' and 'Escape the Fate'.
Back inside, the main stage housed Philadelphia based rapper Whitney Peyton early in the day as well as several DJ sets spinning out old Fall Out Boy favorites, Dashboard Confessional anthems, and My Chemical Romance jams to the crowd of tipsy dancers.
Later on in the evening, Craig Owens from Chiodos took to the main stage and played a single song, “Baby You Wouldn’t Last A Minute On The Creek” accompanied by a string and piano orchestra.
Adjacent to the main stage, a small circular stage sat in the back center of the room and housed several small acts earlier in the day but it wasn’t until Nate Barcalow and Randy Strohmeyer of Finch hit the stage that the night really started to get good. The duo, who have not been around since the fall out with other band members a few years back, sounded amazing and sang several of the band's old hits including “What It Is To Burn”.
Frank Zummo of Sum 41 also played a killer set on this stage and was one of the better performances of the night. However, Bert McCracken and Justin Sherkoski of The Used, won the evening with their 30-minute acoustic set.
As the evening continued to build up and the beer lines continued to see a steady flow of patrons, Machine Gun Kelly hit the stage with a powerful bass filled performance. Sipping on a bottle of Jameson, he played several fan favorites before taking a moment to pay homage to Chester Bennington and Lil Peep. Struggling to remember the words to Blink 182’s “Adams Song”, he stopped the performance in the first verse stating, “this is the effects of alcohol”, and encouraged the crowd to help sing along. The second time around while still choppy, picked up speed towards the end of the song and the whole room sang along. Jumping around in his blue cowboy boots and matching leather jacket MGK was full of energy as he concluded his performance and his bottle of Jameson.
The topic of the day however, was who Emo Nite was able to bring in as their surprise guest performances for the evening. With much speculation as to whom it may be, the crowd was certainly surprised when beloved pop sensation Demi Lovato stepped out onto the stage. The singer performed one song before handing over the spotlight to another surprise performer, 'The Chainsmokers'. The Chainsmokers went on to share the stage with 'Captain Cut' for an hour long set, along with a select amount of fans who danced alongside a joint smoking Machine Gun Kelly up until the very last song of the evening.
Full Feature Galleries From Emo Nite Day LA