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Emo Nite LA at The Deluxe at Old National Center

February 03, 2023

Review by Camber Sollberger


The Deluxe Room at The Old National Center welcomed emo and punk music lovers to another rocking Emo Nite LA on Friday, February 3. DJ Austin Gaule, along with special guest Hawthorne Heights lead vocalist JT Woodruff, threw a party to remember as grown-up “emo kids” got to rock out to their favorite childhood hits.


One of the best parts about shows like Emo Nite is the crowd. The music is extremely important, but without a mass of folks who are into the setlist and dressing the part, any event can lack luster. The Emo Nite crowd, however, did not disappoint. The vibes were immaculate. The crowd was a sea of black and metal and pops of color. There were countless types of fishnet leggings, ripped skinny jeans, and band tees. Party goers donned amazing makeup, dazzling colored hair, and spectacular piercings and tattoos. The emo scene is known for welcoming those who do not fit into the status quo and celebrating what makes them different. It is a beautiful sight to see.


DJ Gaule was able to take a step back and let the dancers engage the crowd while he mixed the music, but his breaks from the front of the stage never lasted long. The DJ was highly engaging with the crowd, sometimes to the point of extreme, often talking over songs and seeming frustrated when the crowd was not meeting his expectations. He also told the crowd to kneel down for songs multiple times in the night. I understand his intentions, but with the crowded space, dirty floor, and tired knees, it was not a crowd favorite.


His playlist was solid, but that is mostly how it felt - like a playlist. There was little to no mixing of the songs, just one played after another. With the lulls between songs ending and starting back up again, the crowd would tend to die down a bit and the DJ would then have to work even harder to get the energy back up, especially if it was a lesser-known song. However, he did put in the work to keep the crowd moving. He also welcomed the Emo Nite newbies by bringing them up on stage. He would often let others sing along into the mic, and he tied loads of Emo Nite balloons to the arms of those along the barrier. The crowd enjoyed his song choices, as most were singing along and dancing throughout the whole night.


The crowd was high energy. DJ Austin Gaule’s setlist mostly consisted of classic emo music and loads of 90s and early 2000s punk rock. Partiers were screaming to their favorite childhood songs along, with a handful of newer songs in the genre. The lights were well done and amplified the music and feel of the show.


About halfway through the show, DJ Gaule threw on some metal, sparking the first of many pits. Moshing has always been a part of the emo scene, and newbies were welcomed with open arms as they joined the pits for their very first time. I was splashed with water (I hope) only twice and hit in the mouth just once - and only one of those happened in the pit. Most made it out unscathed. If you go to Emo Nite next time, I highly recommend participating. It was a solid, low-level pit compared to many hard rock and metal shows that go much harder. A great opportunity for newbies to give it a try.


DJ Austin Gaule had special guest JT Woodruff join him on stage about halfway through the show. Woodruff was able to spin a couple tunes for us, including Hawthorne Heights’ biggest hit, “Ohio is for Lovers.” The night closed out with some of the biggest hits in the emo scene like “Welcome to the Black Parade” from My Chemical Romance, and even more punk rock hits like “Dance Dance” by Fall Out Boy and “Time of Your Life” by Green Day.


Overall, I would say the evening was a success, and I look forward to the next Emo Nite. See you there! RAWR XD


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