I have a lot of bands that I really love lots like tater tots, and I love the feeling I get when I see them live. But there is no feeling greater than the one I get when I see Emarosa. It’s so much more than just a concert: it’s an actual show. It’s crowd involvement. It’s an intense wave of raw energy that makes you forget everything else happening in the world, because for that small amount of time, Emarosa is inviting you into their world. And it’s chaotic and honest and nearly as beautiful as G-Dragon’s face.
You guys, they are my favorite band to see live, and I see A LOT of bands live!
Chooch and I already had tickets to see them last week in Pittsburgh, when they were supporting Pierce the Veil, but when I saw they were also doing a handful of headlining shows on their off-dates from the PTV tour, I quickly bought three tickets for their Cleveland show at Mahall’s. Emarosa twice in one week? SO FUCKING BLESSED.
Plus, Mahall’s is a very intimate venue and I was excited to get all up close and personal. You gotta see Emarosa up close.
After spending a lovely afternoon polluting Cleveland with our idiocy, we got to Mahall’s right around the time doors were set to open. Do you even know me? I am rarely late to a show. I need to see it all! Anyway, Chooch spotted Bradley in the back of Emarosa’s van when we were walking past, so he started doing that thing he does where he starts to approach, then backs away, then approaches, then flings himself against a wall in anguish. I don’t know where he gets that. I have never had a problem talking to musicians. In fact, I’m the greatest at talking to musicians. No one talks to musicians in a more bigly great fashion than me. My confidence is uuuuge. So many people came out to see me talk to the last musician I talked to. So many!
But back to Chooch. There were several other people standing around, observing Chooch on the brink of a nervous breakdown and it was so awkward that I couldn’t watch any longer. “Please go with him, for Christ’s sake!” I hissed to Henry, giving him a gentle (lol) shove toward the van. So Henry was like FML and went to the back of the van to get Bradley’s attention.
I stayed by the door to Mahall’s because I’m too cool for that shit.
I was too busy staring into my phone screen, willing it to suck me in and away from this situation. I’m always so worried that Bradley is going to think we’re psycho stalkers, or that we’re trying to use him for perks or whatever, but that is totally not who we are – we all, as a family, love Emarosa and their music so much. There are very few bands that all three of us equally enjoy, so it really brings us closer as family (lol, j/k – we fought like 87 times that day, but the fun we had negated that so we’re cool, guys, don’t worry).
Bradley came out of the van and hugged Chooch, etc but I still wouldn’t go over there because I was too scared, for god’s sake. I’m 12, remember?
According to Henry, Bradley said something like, “Wow, you don’t stop!” to Chooch, since he had just seen him FOUR DAYS prior. Then he said that if he saw Chooch in the crowd, he was crowdsurfing that night.
I laughed when Henry told me, like what a cute threat, amiright?
Meanwhile, some guy standing near me outside saw Chooch with Bradley and he asked me, “Are you guys friends?” I wish! But I told him that we just casually know him from going to so many Emarosa shows and that Chooch really looks up to him. I mean, my kid rarely gets starstruck, but you put him near Christofer Drew from Never Shout Never or Bradley Walden from Emarosa, and that boy has eight tongues that are all tied together and then shot 4 times with Novacaine.
He’s not talking anytime soon.
“Bradley’s a good role model to have!” the guy said, and I was like, “Yeah, he really is.” Especially when after seeing Emarosa, Chooch pulled out his Sing Machine for the first time in like, a year. I think he feels really inspired by them and that is just the best thing any parent could ask for.
Please, please, please let him have a future in music!
Then when we were inside waiting to get our tickets, Bradley came in and hugged me and I was like JUST BE COOL, ERIN, DON’T DIE.
Really though, how far we’ve come from the days of being ridiculed by a former singer for driving five hours to see his band play in Buffalo because I couldn’t get the night off work to see them when they were in Pittsburgh (OMG I’m such a loser for having a job and being broke but STILL making the drive to see your shitty face) to having the current singer say it’s nice to see me.
But enough about the past – back to the show!
There were five bands playing that night much to Chooch’s chagrin. He just wants to get in there, see the band he wants to see, and go the fuck home. Eleven-year-olds, you know? Pfft. He survived the first band – Keys and Corridors – but then “had to go the bathroom” which means he wanted to go back out to where the pinball machines were.
I liked Keys and Corridors though! Anytime there’s a girl in the band, I hope with all my heart that I will like it because we need more bands with girls.
And this one had two!
Chooch came back before the second back, Forage and Wander (I think?), started to play but he was being so fidgety and making me nervous, so I made Henry take him outside. Like he’s a dog. Take the dog for a walk, Henry! And here’s a bag for his messes.
Thank god Mahall’s has re-entry. God bless you, Mahall’s.
Anyway, the second band was fine. Nothing that my ears found inoffensive.
But the third band! Oh my sweetly-spanked Mussolini, this next band was everything I needed right then.
That sweet, melodic post-hardcore vibe taking me back to 2010? Check.
Immediate excitement that made me type things like #OBSESSED all over social media? Check.
Super hot frontwoman in a leather jacket with a voice that could knock you on your ass? Double check.
I texted Henry and said, “You’re missing this band with a super hot girl singer” and LO AND BEHOLD, minutes later, Chooch and Henry sidled up next to me.
Wow, such coincidence.
Oh! Their name is Leav/e/arth. I even love their name!!
Honestly though, they gave me that excited feeling I used to get when I was younger, seeing a local band at Nick’s Fat City and thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe this band is from Pittsburgh!” That’s how I felt during their set: “Wow, Cleveland is so lucky that have this band!” I would try to see them as often as possible if I lived in Cleveland.
Just saying, Jason!
Also, I just saw that they’re on InVogue Records so now I’m going to start hounding the appropriate parties on Instagram for a Hotel Books / Leav/e/arth tour!
Next was Cedar Green, who are on this whole mini-tour of Emarosa’s. I thought that their name sounded familiar and then I realized that I saw them three years ago in Allentown, PA when they opened for Hands Like Houses and Slaves (ugh). Cedar Green had some technical difficulty during one of their songs (ER from Emarosa came out to help them behind the scenes which was so cool of him) but honestly I thought they were wonderful regardless. They had great energy and I know I say that a lot but have you ever seen a band that’s just kind of like…there? Then you know what I mean. I was happy to be able to support them, and when they did a Twenty One Pilots cover, Chooch was on board too.
I went over to talk to the guitarist after the show that night, and asked if they’re from Allentown. He confirmed this and seemed sincerely shocked that I not only had seen them before, but remembered it, too. He called the singer over to tell him, and he was also super excited about this. I love young bands that still have that humble graciousness – it’s adorable and it makes me so excited for them! I really hope they garner lots of new fans on this tour.
They remind me of summer. <3
Ugh, and then it was time for Emarosa! I’m going to cry at the memory of it because it was one of those nights that you wish you could gather up and stuff inside a snow globe, to relive with every gentle shake. LE SIGH. My emo heart, it bleeds.
I hope that if you’ve read any of my past Emarosa posts, you’ve taken some time out to listen to their music. If not – PLEASE do yourself a favor and check out their most recent album, 131. Their whole discography is beautiful and perfectly encapsulates each era of their journey, from Chris Roetter to Jonny Craig to Bradley Walden.
But…this current era with Bradley is tops, and it’s the best starting point for a new listener. PLEASE GO LISTEN AND REPORT BACK. I’ll wait.
At an Emarosa show, you’re going to get everything from:
- charmingly funny stage banter that doesn’t come off as trite
- literal acrobatics: Bradley usually does a backflip or two; picks up their bassist and spins him upside down; gives their guitarist a piggyback ride through the crowd; and if there’s anything around for him to climb and hang from, he’ll find a way,
- tons of crowd immersion (sometimes I think he spends more time singing in the middle of the floor than he does on stage),
- but most importantly, incredibly well-written, passionately-performed music.
And this night, Saturday May 13th at Mahall’s in Cleveland, had all of these things.
(Except the climbing, although it did seem like at one point Bradley was casing the ceiling for something to grab onto it.)
Here, just watch this. JUST WATCH IT!
I was in tears from all of the beauty, when, in the middle of “Helpless,” Bradley pointed to Chooch and summoned him on stage. Chooch was trying to convince himself that the attention was actually for the girl next to him, but even she knew what was going on and turned to make room for Chooch.
So he goes on stage and I’m like OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW ARE YOU KIDDING ME and then Bradley picked him up like a regular sack of potatoes and slowly launched him onto the waiting hands of the crowd. My fucking kid was crowd-surfing. I oscillated back and forth between: “FUCK YEAH MY KID IS CROWD-SURFING!” to “OMFG PLEASE DON’T GET DROPPED!”
I can’t even believe it. I mean, I can. Bradley doesn’t make idle threats, I guess. I mean, the night was already 100/100, but this just sky-rocketed it to extra-terrestrial levels of outrageousness. How is this band so great?!
Chooch of course ran over to the merch table after the show so he could once again act all quiet and awkward in front of the band, and get another photo for his ME&BRADLEYFOREVER scrapbook (I’m just guessing he has one).
(The lighting was awkward!)
While I was getting my phone ready to take the picture, Bradley started whispering something to Chooch, and I figured it was probably something like, “Hey kid, stay in school” or “Be nice to your mom & dad, they love you” but NO.
Chooch told me as we were walking away that what he said was, “Why do you let your mom have that phonecase? Tell her to get rid of that.”
Ugh! Whatever! My phonecase is….lit? OK fine it’s dumb and clunky and something only someone riding on the back of a unicorn should have, but I love it. I mean, the manager at CVS asked to Snapchat it, for fuck’s sake!
It’s fine. No, I’m OK. I still love Emarosa.
(OK but seriously, if you made it to the end, now you have to go and listen to at least one song. And then buy their album. And a t-shirt. And then go see them. I’ll go with you, even. Maybe. If it’s within driving distance. And you’ll feed me.)