An Evening Under The Influence With Emo Nite in Denver

Photos & Story by Shannon Shumaker

Emo Nite ended summer with a bang in Denver on Tuesday night. A perfect closer to the traveling party’s summer tour, The Marquis was packed with sad former (and current, let’s be real) emo kids, ready and willing to sing their hearts out to some of their favorite songs by Brand New, Saves The Day, Panic! At The Disco and plenty more. With aptly titled drink specials such as From Thirst To Last, The Boy Who Drank His Own Shot and Story Of The Beer, things got started right when doors opened at 9 and got absolutely wild right before 10, when co-founder TJ Petracca kicked things off right with Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down.”

I’d be lying if I said that most of the night wasn’t a drunk, emotional, nostalgic blur, but honestly, that’s the best part about Emo Nite. Maybe I wasn’t paying much attention to the quieter crowd near the back of the venue, but from up on stage (because TJ and partner Babs Szabo were quick to invite everyone up there with them) all I could see were smiling, happy faces of twenty and thirty-somethings letting loose after a likely long day at work, uncaring of how hungover they may be the next morning. The beauty of Emo Nite is the fact that it’s on a Tuesday - most of these people in the crowd had to work the next morning, but that didn’t stop them from partying hard that night. You have to really want to be there, which made the entire night non-stop fun and full of sing-alongs. Even when I had to take a bathroom break, everyone in the ladies room was still obnoxiously singing along with “Mr. Brightside.” Suddenly, a dozen girls were bonding in the bathroom - it was hilarious and beautiful, to say the least. Joining TJ and Babs on stage later in the night was The Burial Plot’s Rob Denver (and many of his closest friends) who churned out even more emo classics and kept the party going.

I can’t tell you every single song that I heard that night (although I may have cried a little during My Chem’s “I’m Not Okay) but that’s not what matters. Throughout the night, I sang with countless people I’ve never met before, I made new friends and woke up with no voice and a sore body, and that’s what Emo Nite is all about. It’s about having fun, letting loose, remembering exactly why we love the music that we do and being completely unashamed about singing as off key as possible along with it. Maybe it’s the alcohol talking, maybe it’s my desire to go back to when I was fifteen and hearing Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge or Tell All Your Friends for the first time, but I look forward to those late Tuesday nights when Emo Nite comes through Denver more than a lot of shows. Even as most people have left the venue, the highlight of the night is putting your arm around a complete stranger and ending the night by singing Brand New’s “Soco Amaretto Lime” on stage, and that’s better than any night you will spend listening to top 40 music in some shitty bar with people you’ll never have a sincere connection with.

Emo Nite is coming back to Denver at The Marquis on November 8th. I know that I’ll be there - will you?