Undoubtedly, the early 2000’s were a heyday for the genre known as “emo” – an amalgamation of post-hardcore, pop-punk, alternative rock and indie pop with sprinkled elements of synth and new wave. Eventually, the term “emo” spanned across all facets of popular culture including fashion and behavior. The stereotypical image of the emo movement involved dark clothing, uneven haircuts that shielded the eyes and a general attitude of misanthropy. Bands like My Chemical Romance, The Used and Dashboard Confessional emulated the musical genre associated with the style. For one night a month, the line for entry to the Echoplex on Sunset Boulevard wraps around the venue and off into the darkness of Echo Park, Los Angeles. The lines start forming earlier and earlier as the popularity of Emo Nite grows exponentially with each coming event. As a former self-proclaimed emo kid, I was immediately drawn to this event because it was a chance to re-live my tormented high school years. In retrospect, those may or may not have been my golden years despite the torturous teen angst of being misunderstood by my parents and feeling the repression of adolescence.
But the emo kids, myself included, grew up and continued on as fads changed and Myspace’s popularity waned. The music, the style and the culture have been preserved for the enjoyment of the 21+ crowd through Emo Nite. The Los Angeles Emo Nite granted Girl Underground Music the privilege of attending the April 2017 event, which was absolutely packed from wall-to-wall. This isn’t unusual; the second time I attended Emo Nite as a spectator, I didn’t even get in. Despite waiting in line, the venue was at capacity very early in the night and to ensure the safety of the attendees, the venue has to responsibly limit entries fairly early in the night. My experience is not uncommon as I have heard several people tell of the same thing happening to them. The Echoplex has a capacity of about 500, standing room only. For both stages and both patio areas to be entirely full of people with barely any elbow room signifies a very successful event. The crowd is peaceful and amicable and there seem to be very few behavioral problems from those in attendance. Everyone is out to have a good time. DJ’s spin all the emo staples like Hawthorne Heights and Tiger’s Jaw on the patios while the stages host local bands and surprise guests who are often unannounced until the days leading up to the event. You really never know who’s going to show up and guests have included big names like Sonny Moore, who is better known to the general population as Skrillex but was the former frontman of the quintessential emo band From First To Last.
What started as a monthly club in Los Angeles has evolved to a national tour, with stops in major cities like Atlanta, Denver and Chicago. It seems that the feeling of nostalgia for this pivotal moment in time is shared across boarders as a common experience among the young people who lived it. The Facebook event page for Emo Nite L.A. already boasts over 600 RSVP’s and 1.5k people expressing interest. Publications like L.A. Weekly and Billboard Magazine have caught onto the biggest emo party in the country, expressing how impressive the event truly is to attend. As aforementioned, the earlier you jump on Emo Nite the better. Advanced tickets are available for 3x what you pay at the door although speaking from personal experience, it may very well be worth it. It’s first-come-first-serve at the door and the first 100 people get in for free but after that, it’s $10 to get in. The line forms early, so if you’re planning on attending it’s crucial to head out to the Echoplex early. Reveling in the glory of your teen angst is as much of a good time as it is a cultural experience, pull out your favorite emo band tee and head to the party!
Photos courtesy of Emo Nite L.A.