For those of you unfamiliar with it, Emo Night: Taking Back Tuesday is a monthly event held in Los Angeles, California at the Echoplex in Echo Park. Its name is a spin-off of the well-known emo band Taking Back Sunday. The brainchild of founders Morgan Freed, Barbara Szabo, and T.J. Petracca, the event is solely dedicated to a community of fans listening to their favorite emo jams from the bands they love, spun on a laptop by guest DJs from other bands they love! Let’s take a look at the event over the past year.
January of 2015 saw the event brought into the world. At that time, the event was held at Short Stop, also in Echo Park. Much smaller than the Echoplex, the Short Stop has a maximum capacity of only 150 people. Many of the attendees, whose line expanded the entirety of the block, weren’t able to get in because of the limitations on capacity. How unfortunate for them, because Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail was the guest DJ that night.
The following month brought about a change in venues, from the Short Stop to the Echoplex. The Echoplex has a maximum capacity of 800 people, so attendees had one less thing to cry over that night. For the guest DJ, Emo Night brought in guitarist and singer of Blink-182, Mark Hoppus. The rising success of Emo Night: Taking Back Tuesday earned the event a feature on Tine Out LA, an online magazine about the life and culture in Los Angeles. You can read the original article on what to expect at Emo Night here.
In March, Taking Back Tuesday had features in both LA Weekly, and the LA Times. The Times’ feature provided information on how the event got its start. If you’d like to read the original Times article, click here.
The outdoor patio opened to the DJs for the first time in April of 2015. I would imagine that was a nice reprieve from the usual stuffiness of an indoor venue with 800 people singing and dancing and having a nice time. Guest DJs included Joyce Manor and Desaparecidos, both of whom have performed at Coachella. And in attendance were Jesse Mack Johnson of Motion City Soundtrack, and Ian Cohen from Pitchfork.
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo and Emo Night, Taking Back Tuesday held “Cinco de Emo” in May. For the event, a photo booth, which shoots moving pictures, was placed outside of the venue for use by those waiting in line. A nice addition for an event that’s just gaining its footing in the world, if I do say so myself! Mark DeSantis of Sugarcult, and Travis Shettel of Piebald were the guest DJs that night, and they closed the event with a full-hour block of simply songs by Brand New.
June saw the addition of a pop-up merch booth, courtesy of Stay Home Club. Available for purchase were collaboration tee-shirts and patches from Stay Home Club and Emo Night LA. Jason Butler of letlive was the only DJ that night.
The photo truck returned for the event the next month, and Emo Night introduced a couple of new additions as well. The venue was bombarded with balloons with “Sad as Fuck” printed on them, along with large Emo Night balloons. Emo Night LA also released an app for iPhone called the Emo Keyboard, an app that helps all of us express our inner emo kid to our friends through lyrics from our favorite songs. Some of the altered lyrics include, “Do me a favor baby, hit reply,” from “Limousine” by Brand New, and “My thumb’s the only muscle of my body that works harder than my heart,” from “Okay I Believe You, but my Tommy Gun Don’t,” also by Brand New. I wish the app was also available for Android devices, because I’d definitely be using it.
Emo Night LA also presented a live show by Say Anything and Modern Baseball at The Regent in LA. Guest DJs for the Echoplex were Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat of All Time Low. I’m positive that show was not only filled with great music, but hilarity, too. Alex and Jack together are a comedy in themselves, and they always know how to get an audience laughing. Just listen to their radio show Full Frontal on idobi, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Another clothing collaboration was released in August, this time between Emo Night LA and OBEY Clothing. Similarly, the event was featured on Stryker’s podcast on the KROQ station. Guest DJs included FIDLAR, Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls and Captain Cuts, Ryan Rabin of GroupLove, and Annuals, who was DJ-ing outside on the patio.
Emo Night LA surprised the audience in September with an acoustic performance by The Spill Canvas, in addition to the usual jams from the laptop. Guest DJ for that night was Bryce Avery from the band The Rocket Summer.
The acoustic performance in September was a first, but not a last for Taking Back Tuesday, because in October, another performance was given by The Used and The Movielife. During this time, The Used announced their Live and Acoustic Show for later that week at The Palace. Emo Night LA made their own announcement as well, informing those in attendance that they had a new collaboration with Stay Home Club. The second collaboration tee-shirt with OBEY was also released. And for the first time in their history, Emo Night took their event on the road, holding two other events in Seattle and Portland. We the Kings were the guest DJs for the event held in LA.
In November, the founders of Emo Night began their weekly podcast on idobi Radio. The podcast premieres every Tuesday night at 7pm. Furthermore, an event was held in Omaha in addition to the one in LA. Craig Owens, lead singer of Chiodos and member of The Wonder Years was the guest DJ for the event in LA.
December wrapped up the year in a big way for Emo Night LA: Taking Back Tuesday. The event was featured on Rolling Stone, announcing their One Year Anniversary event, which was also advertised through Billboard on Sunset Boulevard in Silverlake. The One Year Anniversary included a number of guest DJs, like the return of Jack Barakat, FIDLAR and Mark Hoppus, and first-timers Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance, Tay Jardine of We Are The In Crowd, plus many more. Live performances were given by Have Mercy, Dashboard Confessional, Seahaven, and various others. In addition to LA, Emo Night was held in Denver and San Francisco. Plus, Emo Night announced tour dates for the 2016 year. Dates and locations include:
January 12 – Lee’s Palace in Toronto, ON
January 26 – Holocene in Portland, OR
February 2 – The Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA
February 9 – The Casbah in San Diego, CA
February 16 – Crocodile in Seattle, WA
February 23 – Halocene in Portland OR
April 5 – Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA
April 19 – Masquerade in Atlanta, GA
Last night kicked off the new year back where it all began: At the Short Stop. Jack Barakat returned for a third time to DJ the event around 2am. From what I can gather from Twitter feed, he did a pretty kick-ass job, and the event was a success for all.
To follow Emo Night LA: Taking Back Tuesday and stay updated, visit their Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram. You can also connect to Emo Night through their website by visiting emonightla.com. Interested in representing Emo Night LA: Taking Back Tuesday? Purchase merch here.