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A Night Of Nostalgia In Raleigh

Are Y’all Ready To Get Sad?

By: Darren Hohl

To me, there are few things more important in music than the power of nostalgia. That’s what tonight was all about. Bringing back memories of Myspace, skinny jeans, Warped Tour (R.I.P.), and being completely misunderstood. Get Sad Y’all – Raleigh’s Emo Night took a huge step forward as they hosted their largest show to date at The Ritz in Raleigh. The line outside the front door was wrapped around the side of the building.


Everyone was decked out in their best emo outfits. As you entered the venue just inside the door was a backdrop and a marquee labeled “A Very Get Sad Y’all Christmas” for concert-goers to get their pictures taken.


Walking into the pit area there were festive green and red lights illuminating the stage and some emo Christmas songs playing through the speakers. If that was enough to let you know the Christmas season was upon us, there was a Christmas tree on the stage with a poop emoji topper…… because, why not?  As everyone was settling in, it was time for this much anticipated show to begin. First on stage was Juxton Roy.

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This melodic 5-piece fits right in with the rest of the bands on the bill. Playing songs from their EP “Why Are You So Afraid Of ______?” released in July of this year. Their sound is accurately described as “emo” with their ambient guitars and catchy chorus’. Fans in the front row singing along was great to see. The 2 singers worked well and complemented each other.

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Up next was Glow from Winston-Salem. Glow had a great mix of clean vocals and screams. Their songs are very well composed with a lot of emotion coming from the stage. Most of their set came from their recently released EP “Cherish You”.

The final live band to play was Frontside. These 3 musicians are gifted not only at their respective instruments but as song writers. A mix of simple and catchy chorus’ and very technical guitar work.


There is absolutely nothing not to like about these guys. They just simply know what they’re doing. A more upbeat and “poppy” feel set up the crowd for the main event.

As the stage was cleared of drums, amps, and guitars. I spoke with Chris MacIntosh, the creator of Emo Raleigh. I have known Chris for over 10 years and I could tell he was a little nervous when the time came for him to address the 600 plus people waiting to get sad.

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As he was walking to the stage, the piano intro to “Welcome To The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance started to play and the crowd erupted in unison singing the infamous opening line “When I was a young boy…”.

If you are not familiar with this song, it is possibly the most quintessential emo song. Chris played hit after hit, setting the crowd up for the headliners. Derek DiScanio, singer of State Champs, a pop-punk band from Albany, New York was the first of the DJ’s up.

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Derek played a well-rounded mix of older emo classics and newer pop-punk tracks. During Derek’s set, wristbands were made available for 30 fans to come on stage with the artists. This created a more intimate setting which Emo Raleigh regulars are accustomed to. One of the highlights of the night was a little girl who couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 simply dancing and singing her heart out.

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At one point DiScanio and her had a dance-off which ended with them “flossing” together. After Derek’s set was over it was time for Kellin Quinn. Along with his solo albums, Kellin is better known for his unique vocals in the Orlando, Florida band, Sleeping With Sirens.

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Coming out to the chaos of 20 to 30 people on stage, Quinn didn’t miss a beat. Along with playing some classic emo anthems, Kellin played more of a heavier set with bands such as, Underoath, Chiodos, and Slipknot spotlighting. Already 3 hours into the show, energy in the building was at an all-time high when Quinn called the headliner, Tyler Carter up to the turntables.

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Carter, singer of the band Issues, was an absolute monster on stage. He was all over the place, singing, dancing, and interacting with the others on stage with him.

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Carter’s music choices were not quite as typical as the other DJ’s. In addition to playing more hits from the emo era, he played Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle”, along with some other 90’s staples. Carter was an absolute pleasure to photograph with his crazy antics and silly demeanor.

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While these Emo Night shows are not your typical rock concert, they are beyond fun and there is nothing quite like the sentimental and nostalgic feelings that come with it. While these shows are growing more and more popular throughout the country, Emo Night Raleigh is no doubt becoming one of the more predominant events in the area.

Check out the full gallery of the night here!

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