illustration with title Emo Night
Emo Night Tours have been popping up across the country, proving anyone who claims the genre died in the mid-2000s wrong. (Illustration by Aiyana Kline, Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

Emo Night Offers a Refreshing Throwback to Millennial Music

As club promoters have come to realize just how nostalgic punk and pop-punk really is, nights themed around these genres have only become more and more popular.

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illustration with title Emo Night

As club promoters have come to realize just how nostalgic punk and pop-punk really is, nights themed around these genres have only become more and more popular.

What is Emo Nite? A gathering of sad millennials? A throwback to the good ol’ days? All of the above? Emo Nite is known for playing 2000s emo or pop-punk music for anyone over 21 years old who enjoys taking a walk down memory lane with their friends.

Beginning as a throwback night in 2014, the Los Angeles-based venue Emo Nite soon started to travel to cities like Seattle, Portland and Houston, among many others. Playing bands like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday, Emo Nite features a playlist of throwbacks to keep the mood of the night going. That said, Emo Nite is not the only nighttime emo option out there.

Emo Nite is not to be confused with the Emo Night Tour; Emo Nite is its own brand and a separate tour altogether, although it features the same ambiance and hopes to deliver similar emotions. Emo Nite is also considered the bigger of the two, as it features more popular guests like Post Malone, Good Charlotte and Demi Lovato. It started before Emo Night Tour too, which gave it a head start. However, this doesn’t mean that Emo Night Tour is very far behind — as proved by its 20,900 followers on Instagram.

Another popular event is Emo Night Brooklyn, which is hosted in New York and features DJs playing a similar array of 2000s emo music. Emo Night Brooklyn goes on tour just like Emo Nite and the Emo Night Tour, and has garnered an impressive 57,800 followers on Instagram. Emo Night Brooklyn is not the only emo night that has decided to pop up in a specific city. From Miami to Pomona, a night dedicated to the popular rock genre has started cropping up in countless cities across the country.

Why is emo night so popular? Well, who doesn’t love a throwback to the past? Just like with clubs that host ‘80s- or ‘90s-themed nights, the emo genre offers the same opportunity for fond memories. Nostalgia is an important emotion and music evokes the sentiment for many. It has been scientifically proven that music helps us recall specific moments in life easier. Not only does it affect our memory, but it also helps release dopamine, so why not indulge in nostalgia if it means a ton of happiness could possibly be released?

Emo Nite isn’t the only night of pop-punk and rock music that has made its rounds across the country in hopes of enticing the newer generations to join the fun of reliving the past. Riot at the Disco is an event held at 1720 in Los Angeles that plays emo and pop-punk music throughout the night. However, Riot at the Disco has distinguished itself from its contemporaries. While most emo nights generally focus solely on the sadder or emotional part of emo history, Riot at the Disco features poppier music, keeping the night and club jumping.

In 2018, SADurdayz joined the fun of sharing their melancholy music choices. Accumulating a small 1,386 followers on Instagram, the tour nights are still small but up and coming. While others like SADurdayz have already seen an incredible amount of growth, the page is staying local, adding to its small (but arguably more devoted) group following. Since 2018, SADurdayz has yet to branch out of Los Angeles, yet it does see potential as it differentiates itself from the others. SADurdayz includes DJs to throw it back to the old days but also features live local bands to keep the night new and fresh.

Another venue to join the emo night pantheon is Boardner’s, which hosts Club Riot, a frequently held pop-punk versus emo dance party theme night. The theme is on par with the bar’s decade-themed Fridays, which include ‘80s dance party nights and indie dance party nights, among many others. Boardner’s also hosts Bar Sinister on Saturday nights. Bar Sinister is known for its goth theme and epitomizes the darker side of nightclubs. Although it is not considered part of the emo genre, goth is still something of a close cousin to emo.

And while themed nights are fun, sometimes people don’t want to have to wait for a specific night to relive their teenage angsty days nor do they want to stay at home listening to their playlists because the thrill of the crowd singing along won’t fill the room. While there is currently no such thing as an emo-specific bar, many bars do get close and stay in the rock genre or mainly play music that belongs to rock genres. For example, Club Rock It — as the name suggests — is a space for rock music and other genres to come together on all nights throughout the week and entertain those who want to vibe with others who have similar music tastes.

Emo Nite has yet to focus specifically on creating a bar or nightclub that solely offers an emo night experience — making every night emo night — but this could be its next venture. However, Emo Nite has opened its own food spot called Emo Bite available in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York. Emo Bite features food with names that are meant to be puns, such as the Tendie Back Sunday Combo, I’m Tot Okay, Slawthorne Heights and Sad as Cluck. Without the proper emo background, the names may not be as clever, but to the trained eye, these names are truly funny and add to the appeal of Emo Bite.

Emo Nite and the many other nights of sad 2000s music continue to grow and please a greater audience as more and more venues feature similarly themed nights. As of right now, there may be a lack of emo-focused nightclubs or bars, but a bright future for these genre-specific establishments may not be too far off.

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Illusion Ventura

Whittier College
English and Psychology

I am an adventurous person trying to find my way in the world. I love reading and writing and try to do as much as I can in my free time.

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