Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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The Emo Rock Resurgence Is Here To Stay

Let’s set the scene: You and your leather jacket-clad friends strut into a medium-sized concert hall just as the lights go down. There’s a group of fellow concert-goers to your left who seem to have spruced up their manic panic hair dye just in time for the show. Out walks Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional, and he delves into a rendition of 2004’s “Vindicated.” But — the year isn’t 2004. It is in fact 2021, and there’s a heavy dose of nostalgia in the air. Despite the nearly two decades that have passed since the emo rock heydays, the music that emerged in that time means more to fans than ever. The emo rock resurgence is here, and it’s here to stay.

The emo rock era meant many things. For some, it symbolized a very specific appearance. Black nail polish, Hot Topic band tees, and perfectly flat-ironed hair reigned king during this time. There was also MySpace, which became a safe haven for emo kids and scene queens alike, and enabled them to pick the perfect “profile song” to play for visitors on their page. For most, though, it was all about the music. A few bands were so popular, their name became nearly synonymous with the genre. My Chemical Romance and Hawthorne Heights were not only two of the most popular bands of the early 2000’s, but they’ve become closely associated with the word emo. After all, what’s more emo than Hawthorne Heights’ famous lyric, “cut my wrists and black my eyes”?In the years following the height of the emo rock era, many bands broke up or went on hiatus. However, there has been such a demand for these bands to release new music and go back on tour, that many have done just that. It begs the question: Why does the emo music scene refuse to die out?

Hawthorne Heights were one of the most popular bands of the early 2000’s

In 2021 alone, dozens of bands who rose to fame in the early 2000’s got back together. Pop rock bands like The Summer Set, We Are The In Crowd, and The Cab, surprised fans by reuniting this past summer. Others never went away. Emo rock bands such as Fall Out Boy and Paramore have gone on hiatus, or welcomed new members, but have kept on making music all the while.

Nearly two decades after the pinnacle of the emo era, there are more one-off shows and major tours popping up than ever. Fall Out Boy joined Green Day on the road throughout 2021 for the Hella Mega tour — practically an emo dream come true. All Time Low and The Maine hit the road for Sad Summer Fest, and it was a stacked lineup full of nostalgia. Former Warped Tour kings Mod Sun and Travis Mills hit the road together, rocking the Internet Killed The Rockstar tour night after night. The best bands of the genre have played it smart, evolving just enough to have a sense of newness while staying true to their roots. Others brilliantly reinvented themselves entirely. T. Mills ditched his rap roots to welcome a much more pop punk-influenced sound with his band Girlfriends. Meanwhile, bands like Bring Me The Horizon have softened their sound to appeal to a wider audience. Now, more than ever, emo rock has made its way into the mainstream.

Fan fervor behind the movement has gained so much momentum, there’s monthly parties dedicated to celebrating emo culture. Emo Night Brooklyn and Emo Nite LA are two of the most popular DJ-based dance parties celebrating the best artists of the genre.

At the end of the day, the endless celebration of emo is rooted in nostalgia, but there’s newness to be found in the genre as well. Emo culture has changed and evolved but the genre as a whole isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and if you don’t like it, you can go cry about it.

Words by Brandy Baye

Posted On 3 October, 2022