Typically when a band goes on tour, there is a headliner and then 1-2 supporting acts on the bill of that tour. Occasionally, there will be a guest performance at select cities but tonight was something entirely different.
Vanna, a household name within the Hardcore community had announced that this will be there Farewell Tour after 13 years of building a presence within the scene. Vanna's Farewell Tour was accompanied by Heart to Heart and Set to Stun.
Emarosa on the other hand was on a completely different tour. Fresh off tour with Sum-41 and Pierce the Veil where they were playing much larger venues, Emarosa was on a more intimate venue oriented tour. Emarosa was accompanied by A Lot Like Birds and Jule Vera on their tour.
Davey Muise (Frontman of Vanna) and Bradley Walden (Frontman of Emarosa) had noticed that they were booked in the same city on the same night during their respective tours. Little known to me these two actually met a few years back. They decided that it would be a good idea to combine both Vanna and Emarosa's tours.
So 6 killer bands but only one stage, and intimate venue, and 30 minutes per band. Typically this would be a disaster, but not this time. Each band ripped into their sets not wasting one second getting the crowd moving. When I say they "ripped" into their sets you can think of it like this. Have you ever thought damn, that was one really good fucking meal. That was each of these bands with each of their songs.
The night was filled with so much energy and emotion it's difficult to paint the pictures and atmosphere without actually being there but I will try my best.
The venue was The World Famous Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona, for those of you not familiar with it picture this. You walk into a coffee shop that looks like a regular cafe but has a doorman in the back left. You go up and present your ticket and they open a door leading into a huge open room that resembles a basement. There is concrete flooring, a 5ft elevated stage that spans a large amount of space, bar in the back and then massive stone walls that create a unique atmosphere.
As Jule Vera, Heart to Heart and then A Lot Like Birds performed their sets the energy continued to build. People were singing along, dancing, moshing, listening from afar but no matter what they were doing all attention was on the bands performing. Once Emarosa took the stage it kicked into overdrive. Bradley Walden, the singer of Emarosa seemed to elevate the energy to a whole new level. By the second song he had already dove into the crowd and let fans sing and engage with him while he continued to flawlessly sing. He also managed to do a flip during their song "People Like Me, We Just Dont Play".
This is when something incredible happened. During Vanna's set singer Davey Muise opened up to the crowd about some of his own personal struggles and demons. I just want to quote a few things that he said because they really stuck with me and I hope they do the same for you.
"Don't ever let anyone confuse your happiness for weakness"
Then Vanna began another song and during the performance Davey started inviting fans onto the stage one by one by one until there was a crowd of 10 people all singing along to the song as Vanna continued to slay their performance.
The last thing Davey said before Vanna began to perform their final song. This is when his words really hit me, because they described the crowd, community and whole night perfectly. Davey said:
"We love to say FUCK, but we also love to say FAMILY. You guys are all our FAMILY and we couldn't be more grateful"
This night ended up being one of the most satisfying concerts I have ever attended, and going into it only know one band I came out with 5 other new favorite bands.
I hope some of these pictures below can paint a picture of the wild ride of a night this was.
The best part about this show and one of the reasons why I was so happy was that they were in full support of the vinyl movement!
Each band had each of their records pressed on a beautiful color or splatter vinyl and they had them for sale at the merch booth. This was the first time I had ever come across vinyl
at a show let alone such beautiful vinyl.
Emarosa - 131 signed by Bradley Walden
A Lot Like Birds - Conversation Piece
Davey Muise of Vanna getting intimate with the crowd
Bradley Walden and Will Sowers from Emarosa performing their song "Cloud 9"