It wasn’t a phase, mom: Emo Nite LA brings teen angst back to Vancouver

Fortune Sound Club was home to the most emo event of the season

Image courtesy of @bb.coconutbuns

Written by: Winona Young, Arts Editor

Let’s face it, anyone who was a nerd in 2009 was emo. That group, of course, includes myself and just about all of the 300 or so Vancouverites who were with me dancing their hearts out at Fortune Sound Club last Thursday night. Why? Because Emo Nite was in town.

So what’s Emo Nite?

Emo Nite LA., the original creators of the phenomenon, are essentially a party tour that goes through North America playing the emo classics of your tweenhood. Consisting of three friends and a killer Spotify playlist, Emo Nite LA came to Vancouver for a night of rocking out, balloons and merch included.

The All-Canadian Rejects (AKA, the crowd)

Before the night even began at 9 p.m, the line outside the club at 8:55 p.m. spanned around two blocks. A sea of dark lipstick and darker clothing, the crowd is absolutely lovely. While my friend and I are huddled in our coats, the group in front of us offers us a free ticket — this small act of sweetness sets the tone for the crowd for the rest of the night.

Walking in, it’s a sea of straight hair dangerously parted to the side, band t-shirts galore, Vans on just about everyone, and a universal confusion for why J. Cole was blasting through the speakers. Clad in a black ensemble plus tie à la Avril Lavigne, I sway in confusion along with my friend before being approached by a friendly face, who we found out who also goes to SFU. We talk about each other’s band merch before the party finally starts.  

Misery and Partying Business (AKA, the clubbing itself)

The first song they blast at the club is Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down Swinging.” Then it’s Paramore’s “Misery Business.” Then “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” by Panic! At the Disco. Then it’s “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance. It is banger after absolute banger at Fortune Sound Club — everyone is head thrashing like no tomorrow and it is a goddamn blast.

It gets to a point that when my neck starts to get strained from the head banging, my friend keeps saying “We’ll leave after this song!”, only for us to be met with another emo classic from All American Rejects or Sum 41, and we end up dancing for another hour and a half or so. Thankfully, the bar was stocked with free water pitchers. It took a while to get the attention from bartenders, but they moved quickly from customer to customer.

When we leave for a break to check out the merch table, they have little balloons by the booth, with messages like, “Thank you for moshing with us,” and “This balloon was at Emo Nite and so was I.” by the hosts running the table and my friend opted for the enamel pin with a cartoon gravestone reading “Emo Nite.”

While the merch was adorable, by far what stuck out most was the genuine kindness from the cashier manning the table. I passed him my money with a mindlessly cheery thank you, and how he replied surprised me. The host slowly accepted my money, took the time to look at me, really look at me in my mangy-haired glory, and said, “Thank you,” in such a genuine and warm tone that I blushed and promptly went back to moshing.

Was it worth going? (AKA, You had to be there)

The playlist itself was a great mix of (emo) bangers, bops, and jams, so that by midnight, when the most quintessential emo songs came on, the crowd was ready. The DJ began with “Sk8er Boi” by Canadian music’s emo queen, Avril Lavigne, but then was promptly cut with, you guessed it, “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance.

Now even though the night was ending, let me tell you, there is no kind of camaraderie and wholesome energy better than being in a whole club singing about how their father took them to the city. Emo Nite LA was cathartic and an absolute rush. Communities like this remind us that even though you may be just a kid and life is a nightmare, there are people who will mosh with you, sing with you until their lungs give out, and, like Gerard Way sang, help you carry on.