We’ve all been there: been dragged out for a “night on the town” and it winds up being over-priced, watered-down drinks to go hand in hand with repetitive electro beats that leave the “untz untz untz” noise in your head for days surrounded by people we don’t know and probably don’t like. We all rave about how much fun it is, but is it really? No, it’s not. Insert Los Angeles trio Taking Back Tuesday – a group of friends who felt the same way and decided to do something about it, and Emo Night LA was born.
Founded by TJ Petracca, Barbara (Babs) Szabo and Morgan Freed, Emo night grew from one “throwback themed” club party night into a now touring party with featured guest DJ’s (cough cough Mark Hoppus). There’s no doubt that these three friends had no idea that this party would explode into the phenomenon that is Emo Night now and it’s just beginning. Before heading to the So What Music Fest after party hosted by Taking Back Tuesday, DHN-tv had the chance to sit down and talk a little with co-founder TJ Petracca:
So how did you guys get started with “Emo Night”?
TJ: Well Babs and I sang Dashboard Confessional at a friend’s birthday party, and we were like maybe we, it’s kind of fun going out to a bar and singing music you really like, maybe we should do that at a regular bar, so we did it…at a regular bar
It wasn’t a one hit wonder, did you know it was going to go anywhere?
TJ: Yah, we didn’t know it was going to be a thing. We just invited our friends. We just wanted people to come down and drink PBR and sing along to Saves the Day and Brand New and all that stuff, and ya know. The first time we did it, we didn’t even have social media, we just posted an event on Facebook on our personal socials and our friends told their friends and then there was a line around the block. The next month we did it again, and there were twice as many people, and the third month we had to move it to a bigger venue and Mark Hoppus was our guest DJ. I was like WTF is happening!?
So who would you say is your favorite guest DJ ?
TJ: Uhm, I mean my favorite artist for me would be when we had Dashboard Confessional when Chris came and played a couple acoustic songs, that was a really special moment. I grew up listening to Dashboard, and I tried to get him to do that for like a year. The whole time we were doing it, I was like wouldn’t it be crazy… I mean we all have our wishlist of artists and I was just like wouldn’t it be crazy if like Dashboard came, and then he did it!
So that would be like your dream DJ anyways?
TJ: That was yah, that was my biggest dream person but there’s still a wishlist of artists I’d love.
So Who would be your second biggest dream artist?
I would love to have Taking Back Sunday, it’s the name of the party, Taking Back Tuesday. Brand New, ya know Chris Conley from Saves the Day, that’d be crazy.
You guys just started doing other cities, not just LA, how has that been going?
TJ: yah that’s been going great! We’ve been touring since the fall, pretty much every Tuesday we fly to a different city and throw a party. It’s all been amazing, every show has either been sold out or close to sold out. Ya know the vibe has been really similar to what we do in LA. Everyone has been really positive, really supportive. What we’re ‘selling’, or what we’re doing is really about the community and we never announce who our guest artists are or anything like that because we just want people to come out and enjoy the music and enjoy the community and the friendship and everything that goes along with it.
Is touring something you guys are going to continue to do?
TJ: Oh yah! We have more shows booked this summer, pretty much every Tuesday. And then we also have been aligning with a couple touring festivals that I can’t totally name right now, but we’re gunna be announcing a ton of cool stuff soon.
we just want people to come out and enjoy the music and enjoy the community and the friendship and everything that goes along with it.
After attending the So What?! After Party in Dallas, TX it’s easy to feel that community spirit that TJ was talking about. Anyone who grew up on “sad boy” emo music i.e. Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Saves The Day, feels right at home to whatever guest DJ is picking that night’s playlist. Members of Have Mercy, State Champs, and Neck Deep all stopped by the Emo Night party to put their own twist on Emo Night: Dallas. Playlists including emo classics such as MakeDamnSure by Taking Back Sunday and a collection of some random picks including This Is How we Do It by Montell Jordan (Thanks to the boys from Have Mercy) made it easy to scream along with other crowd members with a drink in hand. Oh the emo scene doesn’t end at just the song choices, every party has emo-themed drink specials. (If you hate puns, I’d suggest skipping this part.) “From Thirst to Last”, “We Got Older, But We’re Still Drunk”, “The Boy who Drank His Own Shot” and “Story of the Beer” were flowing all night, making the screaming along a little louder and a little more passionate as the night went on.
Encouraging the crowd to sing along, join the party on-stage and even crowd surf, it’s undeniable that the founders of Taking Back Tuesday are really onto something with this new form of party. If you know this music, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s no doubt that this is just the beginning for the trio and they won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Be sure to keep an eye out for any Emo Night events coming to a town near you- it’s a party unlike any other.