Imagine it’s 2014, you’re at a show. Maybe it’s that of Warped Tour, or maybe Modern Baseball. Honestly, it’s probably State Champs, but no matter the show, the energy is always the same. Dyed hair, piercings, tattoos, merch from a hundred shows before, precarious cups of cheap beer, ripped jeans, and dirty vans are the unspoken uniform of the crowd tonight. In this genre of music, there’s a phrase for our beloved emo culture. We call it 'the scene'.
On October 29, the Sinclair was transported back in time to a beloved era of too much eyeliner and not enough common sense, while still maintaining a fresh take on the genre. Dead Poet Society and Weathers opened for Badflower on their OK, I’m Sick tour, creating a perfect mix of clean to dirty, jam rock to heavy, pop rock to hard rock.
From my small amount of standing room on the balcony, I could identify that the crowd had a plethora of different fans. You could clearly see the cliches. Picture the girlfriend who doesn’t want to be there, or the guy rolling up solo, whose only plans are to get wasted and mosh like there’s no tomorrow. Or imagine the dad being dragged into the pit by their overzealous child. However, amongst these were some individuals I wasn’t expecting to see. There were a surprising amount of middle-aged adults attending, seemingly of their own volition. They were type I’d expect to see at a Five Finger Death Punch or Shinedown show - not Badflower, the young and passionately liberal, vegan hard-rock band. As it turns out, Shinedown fans recently got a dose of Badflower when they opened for Shinedown’s most recent tour. Taking this into account, I’d say they were well received, thus explaining this odd mix of a crowd.
Despite this, the energy was at an all time high. As Badflower played, a distinct group in the center of the pit formed. They switched between moshing and hugging profusely, an interesting juxtaposition that I would not have expected to see. However, it made a lot of sense. Badflower preaches acceptance, love, and eco consciousness, in tandem with their in-depth method of lyrical storytelling. The environment is full of comradery to the tune of distorted guitars. And yes, a whole lot of head-banging.
As the night progressed, the feeling in the air only became more exhilarating. I can confidently say that a show is other-wordly when I don’t feel the pull of the night drawing me towards sleep or the comfort of any type of seat I can find. Granted, while I certainly felt the effects of standing all night, my knees did not begin calling out to me until the show had ended.
Overall, it was an incredible night. From the lighting to the musicianship, and the feeling of kinship amongst the crowd, everything was a massive success.
Josh Katz, frontman of Badflower, said it best: “Tonight, we’re bringing emo back!”
You can follow Badflower HERE.