Recently in the Boston music scene one venue started hosting “Emo Night” a night where the venue is void of any live music, and instead dedicated to a huge dance party set to emo music from the 90’s and 00’s. Well on a recent Thursday night, another venue played host to it’s own emo night, this time with live performances.
First up was the buzzworthy Pinegrove. Signed by Run For Cover records in October of last year, Pinegrove have become one of the most often discussed bands in the new school of emo scene. Their 2016 album “Cardinal” is already making early ‘record of 2016’ lists. During their set the group played songs from Cardinal including “Old Friends,” “Aphasia,” Cadmium,” and “New Friends.”
After Pinegrove came Ohio garage rockers The Sidekicks, perhaps the only band on the bill that didn’t fall directly into the ‘emo’ category. However that didn’t mean they didn’t have the crowd’s attention. Beginning with a cover of “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – a song that was just recently declared the ‘State Song of Massachusetts’ – they announced their presence with a bang. Playing mostly from their 2015 album “Runners in the Nerved World” The Sidekicks played a brand of loose, high energy garage rock from the early Ramones era.
Up next was the eight piece post-rock/emo collective The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Hailing from nearby Connecticut the band drew perhaps the largest number of people out to the show. Their style is more focused on sound than image, with minimal lighting on the band and the volume on their amplifiers turned way up. The group also was responsible for the night’s first mosh pit, as their set picked up intensity as it went on. A major highlight was the song “Picture of a Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay” which has become a staple in their live shows.
The night’s final set came from Chicago emo band Into It. Over It. Formed by frontman Evan Weiss the band is widely considered one of the leading bands in the current emo music revival. Weiss and Co. played an hour long, 19 song set featuring material from all throughout his career, including the “52 Weeks” project he launched Into It. Over It. with by releasing one song a week for an entire year. Weiss is currently touring in support of his 2016 album “Standards.
The night displayed four bands, all of whom fall under the umbrella of emo music. Drawing more influence from the traditional emo of the 1990’s it’s not the style you’d hear on MTV in the 2000’s, but instead a more musically intricate one characterized but distortion and pedal effects. While it may not feature the catchy hooks and choruses of the latter style, on this night in Boston, emo took over in a big way.