WORDS AND PHOTOS BY: ALLEEN HUGHES
What better way to celebrate three years of fun and the love of music than with more fun topped with some of the best music to ever surface. Emo Nite LA teamed up with Goldenvoice and booked a 9 hour event at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles to bring one of the biggest parties of 2017. Normally, Emo Nite is a 21 and over event but for this anniversary the age limit was lifted and welcomed kids. The talent list ranged from the emo era to the new generation and multiple stages featured DJ sets, acoustic performances, full band set ups, a string orchestra and some surprise visits that left the crowd satisfied.
The main auditorium (Yessenia) harbored two stages , the larger platform and in the middle of the rectangular room was a smaller stage for solo performances and acoustic acts. A majority of attendees staked their claim in this room as most of the lineup was scheduled on these two areas. People were allowed on the larger stage during the DJ sets and this made the atmosphere exactly what Emo Nite is known for. Some of the sets featured Vic Fuentes (Pierce The Veil), members of From First To Last, Whitney Peyton, Fil Thorpe-Evans (Neck Deep) and William Beckett (The Academy Is). It was a full on emo club during these sets. Sadly, certain DJ sets were a little boring towards the end because everyone seemed to have the same songs on their playlists that it seemed like mostly recycled tracks from Paramore, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco.
For me personally I was more thrilled to see the talent the B stage (acoustic stage) had scheduled. Bert McCracken and Justin Shekoski of The Used played a remarkable 30 minute performance that everyone screamed for. Nate Barcalow and Randy Strohmeyer of Finch made a special appearance playing some of their classics, including opening up with “What It Is To Burn.” This was the first time I’ve seen the two playing together under the Finch name since all the drama between the other members throughout the past few years.
There was a smaller DJ stage set up inside the lobby area that had an odd placement against a back wall that was around vendors tables and not many seemed too interested in this stage, maybe because it was so easy to walk past and not notice. Nick Major (Alternative Press) hosted a live art battle in the lobby as well and the four that participated had some exceptional work when finished. Out on the smoking patio area were food trucks as well as another stage that Tigers Jaw, Escape The Fate and local favorites, Movements, played their striking sets.
Out of all of the acts and stages combined, it was everything in the evening on the main Yessenia stage that made the long day worth it. Craig Owens (Bad Channels, Chiodos, D.R.U.G.S.), accompanied by a piano and a string orchestra, played a quick 4 and a half minutes but nobody was mad because Owens sang the favorable Chiodos track, “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last A Minute On The Creek.” Machine Gun Kelly had a very powerful bass filled set and paying tribute to Chester Bennington and Lil’ Peep with his cover of “Adam’s Song” by Blink 182. The ultimate surprise came from a breathtaking surprise performance from Demi Lovato. Her charisma and beauty lit up the entire room. When the final set began with long time Emo Nite DJ’s Captain Cuts, everyone was anxious to see who the surprise headliner was. Many were expecting a return from My Chemical Romance or even a quick set from Underoath but the final slot was reserved by The Chainsmokers. Jumping up on the table and with attendees dancing on stage including Machine Gun Kelly smoking a blunt in his blue cowboy boots, The Chainsmokers stole the night in a matter of seconds.
From a small bar to a large city venue, Emo Nite LA is certainly heading in the right direction. Although I think they aimed a little too high with the Shrine, the three founders still pulled off a night that helped close out 2017 with a bang. The team has been partnering up with some new names to further the Ride Or Cry brand and 2018 is only going to be even bigger and better for the friends that aren’t a band, aren’t DJs just people who love to throw parties for the music they love.
CAPTAIN CUTS WITH THE CHAINSMOKERS:
ESCAPE THE FATE:
MACHINE GUN KELLY:
FRANK ZUMMO (SUM 41):