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Misery is still big business for emo night ‘scream-alongs’

My Chemical Romance lead vocalist Gerard Way performs at the Kia Forum in Inglewood on Oct. 11, 2022. | Allen J. Schaben/LA Times via Getty

Aging emo kids are still not OK, and that’s perfectly fine. Emo Night Tour, a traveling “scream-along” party centered on early 2000s pop-punk and post-hardcore, returns to San Francisco this Saturday.

For the unfamiliar but emo-curious, the setup is simple. A DJ and a special guest cover band lead the crowd in an all-night sing-along, playing old favorites from groups like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World.

As it turns out, it’s cool to be sad again. The Emo Night Tour and other similar parties have grown in popularity in recent years, propelled by millennials nostalgic for carefree Warped Tour summers and zoomers discovering the genre for the first time. Attendees can often be seen sporting graphic T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “Emo’s Not Dead” and “Sad as Fuck.”

“I think a lot of young people are discovering old music thanks to pop-punk finding its way back into the mainstream,” Avril Lavigne said in an interview with Vulture after her appearance at the When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas. That event drew around 80,000 black-clad emo die-hards, and the second year already has a waiting list of fans vying to mosh to headliners Blink-182 and Green Day. 

The official Emo Night Tour started as a throwback night at a dive bar in Los Angeles in 2015, but one of the first emocentric club nights originated in San Francisco.

The Emo Night Tour

📍The Independent 
🗓️ Saturday, Jan. 7 | 9 p.m.
🎟️ $16-25 | 21+