Emo Nite and Insomniac’s Road to GRAVE RAVE at Academy LA brought Kayzo, Ghastly, Whyel, Saber, and all the emo kids to the yard.
Electronic music lovers were all once emo kids, at least during this era of the scene. Emo music began as a yearning for emotional expression through guitar riffs and angsty vocals that bled into the hearts of all millennials growing up. My Chemical Romance, Dashboard Confessional, We The Kings, Taking Back Sunday – these were the bands that raised an entire generation, and when the scene slowly died down, EDM was there to take its place. Enter Emo Nite.
Co-founded by Morgan Freed and T.J. Petracca, Emo Nite was launched to reignite the once-beloved subculture and bring it back into the mainstream. From pop-ups at dive bars to appearances at prestigious festivals, they’ve quickly taken the scene by storm. Last month, Emo Nite took the next step on their journey by teaming up with Insomniac to announce a new partnership dedicated to bringing those two genres together and making us elder emos very, very happy.
I have been privileged enough to experience more than one Emo Nite and can attest that the energy in the crowd is unmatched. It’s like one cohesive flashback to simpler times – a collective experience of passionate catharsis that truly gives me chills to think about. The ones I had attended only played the original ballads of our alt, pop-punk youth.
At EDC Las Vegas, however, Emo Nite chose to shake things up with a much more EDM-inspired set packed with electronic-infused classics. The epic turnout and the positive feedback became the catalyst for this new, multi-faceted partnership with Insomniac, and their new event series, GRAVE RAVE, was born. GRAVE RAVE is set to premiere in Los Angeles in December, but until then, Insomniac and Emo Nite are throwing a few pre-party shows to set the mood, and it all started at Academy LA with the Road To GRAVE RAVE event.
Upon arrival, Academy LA was already filled to the brim with emo enthusiasts hungry for GRAVE RAVE vibes.
Boiling over with anticipation, my friend and I walked through the doors of Academy LA to see a table full of emo-inspired merch. Attendees flocked to the crowd in their new “SAD AS FUCK” t-shirts while the rest of the sea of people were all dressed in their black fishnets and dark eyeliner. The surprise acts were slapped on the walls, revealing that Whyel, Ghastly, Kayzo, and Saber were set to rock the stage along with Emo Nite.
Whyel opened the night, and he was one of my favorite acts who performed. He played classics like Fall Out Boy coupled with heavy drum and bass drops and threw in some System Of A Down and Linkin Park, steering away from the classic emo/pop punk genre and into more classic rock. The highlight of my entire night was when he had the crowd singing Freddie Mercury’s signature “Ay-Oh” live aid straight into Knock2’s “dashstar*.”
It became difficult to move around as the night progressed. I had never seen the venue so packed so early on in the night, and we grew slightly irritated at the shoving that was taking place. I was determined to make the most of our experience, and when I noticed some people who were previously at a table close to the stage had left, I snuck away from my friend and did something I don’t normally do: I bought us a table.
Once we reached the table and finally caught our breath, Emo Nite played all the classics, and there wasn’t a single moment when we weren’t dancing and headbanging on that couch. Kayzo brought a darker vibe with some hardcore heat that perfectly complemented the heavy dubstep drops, with Ghastly quickly following suit to make this experience even more memorable.
Overall, Road To GRAVE RAVE was an incredible way to round out the summer. What better way to say farewell to the season than headbanging to Kayzo, Ghastly, Saber, and all the emo songs we adore? My wallet may be hurting now, but the memories of that night will last a lifetime. It’s safe to say this event was a roaring success, and we can’t wait to see this movement grow bigger and better with every nite leading up to the real thing.