On December 3rd, BolderBeat geared up in all black to attend Emo Nite Day, a three year anniversary celebration of the increasingly popular Emo Nite party, which consists of events held all around the country geared towards lovers of “emo music” from the late 90s and early 2000s. The multi-staged festival held at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles featured some big names performances, including The Used and Machine Gun Kelly, and From First To Last, the band that Sonny Moore played in before he garnered worldwide fame as Skrillex, and which he has recently rejoined. Sadly, Skrillex did not join the group on stage at Emo Nite Day, but he has made surprise appearances at other Emo Nite events. There were other unexpected surprises, though, as the night ended with a one song performance from Demi Lovato and an hour-long set by The Chainsmokers.
The most memorable act was The Used’s acoustic set, performed by the band’s lead singer Bert McCracken and guitarist Justin Shekoski. Taking in all of the appreciation from the crowd, it was clear the duo were as happy to be there as the rest of the attendees. The climax of their show was when they played fan-favorite “The Taste of Ink,” a song recognizable to even those who don’t necessarily have a nostalgia for this type of music. And like many other performers throughout the night, Bert dedicated his last song to the great musicians we have lost throughout the past couple of years. They ended with the song “It’s Hard to Say,” a track about mentor David Bowie.
Although Emo Nite Day honors overly emotional hardcore punk music, it seemed to also be a celebration of millennials. The “DJ sets” may have merely been members of bands you hadn’t heard about in years “pressing play” on songs that weren’t necessarily theirs, and often repeating songs other groups had already played (Jimmy Eat World’s “The Sweetness” played three times in two hours). But having these band members playing these angry oldies was exactly what the early 20 to late 30-year-olds in the crowd wanted, as each song inspired a new mosh pit and singing at the top of each concert goer's lungs.
The peak of this millennialism occurred when The Chainsmokers joined pop-trio Captain Cuts for the final performance of the night. Each song followed the same pattern, and one that would leave any one of our parents incredibly confused. It began with a Yellowcard, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blink 182 chorus, followed by an extremely hard-hitting dubstep drop. This meant the crowd went from jumping up and down singing the words to these classics to instantly getting into Vegas club mode and grinding on anyone near. At one point, The Chainsmokers even put together a pretty creative mix of Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” and DJ Snake/AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It.” Right before the EDM breakdown when AlunaGeorge repeats the lyric “down,” The Chainsmokers threw in the beginning lyric of Dashboard’s famous verse with the word “hands,” combining the songs to create a millennial medley. It was truly a party by the end of the night.
Be sure to check out other Emo Nite events going around the country here. Even their smaller events are filled with the same high energy and special guests! It’s something you should do at least once if you have a soft spot for depressing love ballads and the bands that made many of our teenage years so darn emotional.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the festival featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.