I finally did it, y’all. I made the trek down south to LA to experience the real Emo Nite LA, in LA. And it was worth it. Holy shit, what a fun night. It’s so much bigger and crazier than San Francisco, and I’m in love.
The first hundred in line at the Echoplex got in for free. I got there an hour and a half before doors, but the line was a mile long already, so I was not part of that first hundred. Damn. Apparently people get there like 4 hours early? Really? The fuck?! This is Emo Nite. In San Francisco I generally leave my house at 9 and have no trouble getting in. With a pre-bought ticket at that point, but still.
The gates opened at 8:30. There were gates and then also doors. Gates opened up to this little area outside the venue with food trucks. It was pretty cool, not gonna lie.
But here’s the downside to having to wait outside: It was SO COLD. This is LA! I was so not prepared. Did I ever even leave San Francisco? LA in April should be hot as hell! Why am I freezing?!
Also in moving us from an orderly line outside the gate, we became a mob outside the doors to the venue. Oh hello, chaos, my old friend. It was a mad dash into the Echo/Echoplex at 9.
Now I’m probably gonna screw this up, but there was an upstairs and a downstairs at this venue. I believe one was the Echo and the other the Echoplex, but I’m not sure which is which. They were connected, but I think they generally have two different shows happening at the same time, so they’re technically separate. However, Emo Nite gets both.
Upstairs was mostly live bands, while downstairs were DJs like I’m used to partying with in San Francisco.
I started my night upstairs, where a DJ was kicking off the night there as well. He was playing a lot of good music (naturally) but not the entire song? He would start one and cut it about halfway through to play something else instead. Which was okay, because they were all good songs.
I was dying laughing at everyone in the room screaming at the start of literally every song.
Of course, all good things must end, and I started feeling like I should head downstairs when he started playing Avril Lavigne. But then just to shock me a little bit more, he switched things up. And started playing Taylor Swift.
Yep, I’m out.
I guess I just walked around a bit, because I was definitely back upstairs again before the first band of the night went on. He was playing My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay,” and when he stopped it mid-way through the song, as he does, to introduce the band, we were not about it. We all screamed the rest of the song a cappella.
Heard behind me: “How do you follow My Chemical Romance?”
For real though.
Eventually I go downstairs and stay there. It looks like the Emo Nite I’m familiar with, only much bigger. Rickshaw Stop in SF is pretty small, but this venue looked gigantic in comparison.
I love the Emo Nite house DJs. Morgan Freed, Babs Szabo, and T.J. Petracca run Emo Nite, and they always look like they’re having an absolute blast. It’s the best. They really love what they do, and why wouldn’t they? They’re throwing parties for emo music. That’s kinda amazing.
“Take care of each other! This is not a fucking show, it’s a community!”
That stuck with me, and it’ll be important later, promise.
The first guest DJ of the night was Doug the Pug. I honestly couldn’t tell if that was a joke or not. I mean he’s cute (obviously) and it’s a fun little gimmick (his shirt even said “Sad as Pug”) but this dog is not really DJ-ing. But I guess I got to see a cute dog, so that’s always a good thing.
Then they introduced two girls to DJ. I hate that this might end up being the bulk of my Emo Nite LA story, but it is what it is.
Their names were Brittney Scott and Amalia Soto. I only know this because Brittney posted on the Facebook event page after the fact, “I killed it.” I had no idea who they were, and I don’t think it was ever even explained. Are these girls relevant? No clue, but I’m leaning toward no.
“My name is Brittney, so I’m gonna play a song called ‘Hey Brittney.'”
She also played some Hellogoodbye, and proceeded to sing over most, if not all, of the song.
It was getting to be time for everything to get lit, so some people started jumping up onstage to dance and sing during their set.
But… Brittney was kinda a bitch. And a drama queen. Like… to the extreme.
“I love having you guys onstage but I really wanted to do this by myself.”
“Get off my stage!”
“You’re ruining my favorite song!”
Has she never been to an Emo Nite before? We’re always encouraged to get onstage and dance and sing our lungs out. And here this girl is, throwing a huge hissy fit because she thinks this is her show.
It’s a community, remember?
This is not your show, nor your karaoke session.
When all else failed,
“I’m feeling claustrophobic. I need you all to get offstage before I puke. I wanna play Boys Like Girls before I puke.”
That backed security into a corner. They had no choice but to usher everyone offstage.
The crowd felt so dead and discouraged during her entire set. I loved all the songs she was playing, but she killed the vibe with that temper tantrum. We were having more fun with a dog DJ-ing for gods sake.
“I killed it.”
Yes, you did.
But considering I’m giving her set the most attention, I’m sure that was her goal. Good for you, girl. You do what you gotta do. I’ll give credit where it’s due, and you definitely succeeded in gaining everyone’s attention.
And then she started playing Coheed. “A Favor House Atlantic” to be exact. I couldn’t take it. It’s Coheed. No holds barred if one of my favorite bands is on. My first instinct is to try to get a mosh pit going, but the rest of the crowd still wasn’t feeling it. It was mostly just me throwing myself around. So finally I say fuck it. I’m getting onstage.
It took all of two seconds for me to race to the stage as soon as the thought was in my head.
A security guy came straight toward me telling me to get off the stage before I had hardly been there at all. I had a few short seconds of fun dancing rebelliously, then I signaled to the crowd that I was diving.
And it was the GREATEST THING EVER.
This might have been my proudest stagedive ever. Definitely in the top five.
The crowd seemed to love my little display of “fuck you” and I saw lots of cameras go up. Naturally I have not yet found any video evidence of this on the internet, but if you see any, send it my way please.
I’m in the air screaming all the lyrics at the top of my lungs (“GOOD EYE SNIPER”) and I’m getting passed EVERYWHERE. I’m not even exaggerating. They kept me up and moving throughout the ENTIRE SONG. I almost got dropped at one point, but rather than catch me and set me back on the ground, people were still holding my hands and feet and somehow threw me back up so I’m magically in the air again.
Can’t bring me down, bitch. I win.
So there’s one of the highlights of my life. Crowdsurfing as rebellion. I’ll take it.
Before she left the stage, Brittney told the crowd to follow her on social media.
Who even are you? Better question, who do you think you are?
Is that hypocritical coming from a girl who answers to “Concert Fairy”? Meh. If anything, that crowdsurf earned me my wings.
Other DJs that night included Vic Fuentes from Pierce the Veil (remember when I didn’t watch their set twice? Fun times), Caleb Turman from Forever the Sickest Kids, someone from Neck Deep, and possibly someone else who I cannot remember.
Reminder: I suck at remembering important shit. My brain is too full of song lyrics, clearly.
The crowd got nuts soon enough. They took over the whole stage and there was a good pit going. Now this is what I was waiting for.
The good thing about multiple DJs is that they each have their own style and set of music they prefer, so there’s a nice variety. You’re bound to get a few repeats over the course of the night, but they’re all good songs, so no complaints.
I know I got two of my requests played. Taking Back Sunday’s “A Decade Under the Influence,” which I consider one of the first songs to get me into music, and something else that I can’t remember. Because I can’t remember shit.
We had a nice pit going for “A Decade Under the Influence.” A guy repping Say Anything put his arms around me and one other crazy person’s shoulders to sing with us. I love strangers at Emo Nite.
Babs played Panic! at the Disco’s “This is Gospel,” which I’ll be honest, I only know because my sister is obsessed with new Panic! I mostly stopped listening to them after A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. But she loves “This is Gospel,” and I guess so does Babs, because she was very disappointed the crowd didn’t go as nuts for that song as she would’ve liked them to.
I lost a lot of skin on my legs in that mosh pit. Always a sign of a good night, but it was intense.
I’m on a mission currently to reclaim things for myself that used to hurt. This probably requires a lot more explanation, but we’ll leave it at if a song reminds me of someone I don’t want to think of, I tend to shut down. Well not anymore.
Head Automatica’s “Beating Heart Baby” came on and I immediately shout,
“I’m reclaiming this!”
Yes, I look like a crazy person. Deal.
So I make my way to the stage again. I’m reclaiming that shit, dammit. I like this song.
Naturally, because this is my life, security tells me again that they need to clear the stage. This time it’s because they’re getting ready to announce the next guest DJ. I can’t be a bitch about that, so I get down again.
But hardly anyone else follows suit.
I’m the rebel but I’m also the only one who follows instructions? Rude.
I got dropped on my tailbone this surf, too, and hard. It hurt, but it was worth it. As it always is. I also lost my keys momentarily this surf. I freaked out for about five seconds, and then found them fairly easily.
One of my favorite Emo Nite staples either got passed over, or I somehow missed. No “One More Sad Song.” Really? Boo.
I love finding the most excited person there, whether they’re in the pit or onstage, and watching them because they’re always the most entertaining and give me life. I consider myself a hype girl, and there’s a different hype person per song at Emo Nite. It’s fantastic. The Say Anything guy was definitely one of those hype people.
I also love when guys position themselves in front of me in the pit because they think I need protecting. I got dis shit. Watch me.
I didn’t end up catching any of the live acts upstairs. The party downstairs was what I was most looking forward to, so I’m fine with that decision.
I thought I was done with the stage for the night, but when Green Day’s “Basketcase” came on… Lol nope. Back up.
This is practice for singing “Longview” on stage with them in Vegas in a few days, right? (But then I lost my voice before Vegas. Whoops.)
While I was onstage singing, I look out into the crowd and see Rob, a guy I know from the Matches. He lights up at me and I freak out and give him a high five from the stage.
Can we pretend that was the actual face he made at me? It might as well have been. After the song, I joined him in the pit.
“What are you doing here?!”
“Well I’m going to Vegas tomorrow. Pit stop?”
That wasn’t even meant to be a pun, but after typing that out… Pun not intended I guess.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I walked away and when I came back I heard a few notes of Green Day and immediately turned to the exit door. I can’t listen to that. It’ll ruin it for me. I love Green Day too much for that nonsense. I don’t even know what song it was, I left so fast.
Sooooo yeah. Emo Nite LA was cool. I def wanna go back. If only I didn’t hate LA so much.
Photos by Gil Riego Junior and Grizzlee Martin