It’s not easy being emo. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and eyeliner, and despite all the effort that goes into the scene, goths unfortunately seem to be a dying breed.
So I revived my past self, awoke my inner emo (although she really wasn’t even that far gone) and went to a Sleeping With Sirens concert.
The iconic emo band played a show on Jan. 29 at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio. The show’s audience contained a wide array of different kinds of people. There were girls walking around with fake tails; boys in slouched, neutral-toned beanies; and more people with bright hair colors than you can count. There were parents and children, friends and couples. There were jean jackets and leather jackets and bomber jackets.
It was an alternative dream.
As a whole, it was a surreal experience. The opening bands were all different in terms of subgenre and made me feel nostalgic about my life as it was a few years ago.
Southpaw had a grunge-punk sound, The Gospel Youth had a sad and sassy vibe and Set it Off sounded like a mix between Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco and hyped me up more than I even thought possible.
But when Sleeping With Sirens came on stage, it was like 15-year-old me rose from the dead and was reincarnated into 19-year-old me’s body. Hearing Kellin Quinn’s voice (and seeing his perfect face) made my body cover itself in goosebumps.
Although the band didn’t play very many of their older, prime-time emotional material, they didn’t fail to put on a great performance with the newer, motivational songs that kind of made me feel like I could do anything.
The whole band had a sense of intense, aggressive energy while up on stage that bled into the crowd through vibrations and a strong sense of unity.
Quinn’s loud, piercing voice paired with the strength of the instruments made for an unforgettable, ear-ringing evening that I continued to feel until I made it to my car.
About halfway through the set, they played an acoustic portion that made me cry literal tears. The break from the rock music, which consisted only of Quinn’s vocals and the sounds of a single acoustic guitar, was heart-warming and sincere, and quite possibly the most emotional part of the night.
But one thing I couldn’t help but notice was the underwhelming and disappointing amount of people at the show. Even five years ago, a Sleeping With Sirens concert would have sold out and been the craziest night that the city had to offer. The pit at Newport wasn’t even fully packed, making the concept of emo endangerment even more real.
The people that were there and the atmosphere that I didn’t quite realize I had missed welcomed me back with open and honest arms as if I had never left even a little bit. The crowd was generally accepting and welcoming of everyone that means well, and although they may be a little strange on the outside, the alternative crowd wants nothing but love for those who deserve it. It felt good to be involved with something so wholesome again.