For those not familiar with Emo Nite, here's the gist: every first Tuesday of the month, music fans of ‘90s/2000s emo/punk scene come together to rock out to nostalgic tunes in Los Angeles. What started out as a hype local event soon expanded to other cities like Seattle, Baltimore, Portland, Phoenix and more.
This year Emo Nite celebrated its two-year anniversary at the Echo and Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA. Covering the event through the eyes of one of the many photographers was quite similar to maneuvering Vans Warped Tour, constantly running between stages to catch every set. Music Connection staffers have been to a few Emo Nites, but this celebration was the busiest and fullest we've seen it.
The three founders--TJ Petracca, Babs Szabo, Morgan Freed--hosted a sold-out night with DJ sets from various members of bands from the scene:
Set Your Goals
Fil Thorpe-Evans from Neck Deep
the Rocket Summer
My American Heart
Craig Owens from Chiodos/BXC
Jordan Pundik from New Found Glory
Tyler Posey from MTV's Teen Wolf
Brian Logan Dales from the Summer Set
Classic favorite tunes played throughout the DJ sets--and probably will be forever played--included Sum 41's "Fat Lip," Fall Out Boy's "Sugar We're Goin' Down," Paramore's "Misery Business," Blink-182's "Dammit," Say Anything's "Alive With The Glory of Love," the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' "Face Down," Head Automatica's "Beating Heart Baby" and many more.
In addition to the established artists and bands, the upstairs stage hosted up-and-coming names who got the opportunity to showcase their music. Bands we caught live included I Don't Know How How But They Found Me (fronted by Panic! At The Disco's Dallon Weekes), Tillie with her colorful '80s punk vibes and Movements, introduced and hyped up by Posey.
The night also featured acoustic sets by Aaron Gillespie of Underoath/the Almost and the All-American Rejects, who played various selections from their respective bands' repertoire's, as well as quick performances by an a cappella group and marching band. If you weren't a fan of Underoath or the Almost beforehand, you definitely were after Gillespie's set. As a solo man stint, he played acoustic guitar and captured everyone's heart with the beat of his big bass drum. The entire downstairs crowd was singing and shouting along with him.
Before the Rejects took stage, Emo Nite founders shared a sentiment about how they tried to get the band to perform at Emo Nite when it first started, but it didn't happen until tonight for the special two-year celebration, to which black and white balloons fell from the ceiling at the end of the set. Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler took the stage with an electric bass and acoustic guitar, respectively, and played favorites "Dirty Little Secret," "Move Along" and more. Ritter thoroughly entertained the completely filled Echoplex with his witty and hilarious comments about emo kids and the emo scene culture--he even gave a shout out to the Cure and New Found Glory as early influences to his music.
Captain Cuts closed out the night with the live performance premiere of his mix tape, The Life of Emo, of electronic-infused remixes of punk and pop-punk classics, which were well done and put a refreshing and catchy spin to the songs.
Though it is cliche to say…music does unite people. Getting more specific, the emo scene is united with this one event every month in L.A. Concertgoers may arrive at the beginning with their group of friends but by the end of the night, they're singing with strangers. They come together to sing, scream and shout every lyric to these anthems that got them through the tough and, well, emo times of their middle and high school days. To loosely quote Ritter, "It's amazing that a bunch of 20-30 year olds are in one place together being emo like this."
Photos by Jim Donnelly
Text by Siri Svay
*Disclaimer: The words expressed in photo blog reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Music Connection Magazine.