Cute Without The Afterparty: Six emo songs to love, feel, and hear at the Sinclair Kitchen


The last time Luke O’Neil hosted an Emo Night, at Brick & Mortar back in February, a fight broke out. But he doesn’t think it was because of the music being played. “Just some sort of hard assess bumping into each other or something,” O’Neil says. “Not sure what it was about.”

An Emo Night doesn’t exactly seem like the kind of place punches would be thrown — unless they’re directed inward at one’s own shameful sense of being — but anything can happen when music with such feeling is filling the air and heavy audible sighs help keep the beat during segues from the DJ booth. O’Neil, along with brothers-in-post-hardcore Texas Mike and Jeremy Karelis, delivers the Emo Night sequel this Wednesday, April 1, with a new location, the Sinclair Kitchen in Cambridge, and a built-in draw that should weed out the tough guys, as the gathering serves as an after party for the Harvard Square rock club’s sold-out Tigers Jaw show in the main room.

This round of Emo Night is open both to those attending Tigers Jaw and those who just want to come by and feel something, so we reached the trio of DJs and inquired about what we can expect to hear over the course of the night. Check out their picks below, get the full details on the event after the videos, and keep in ind that the only person you should ever beat up is yourself.


:: Texas Mike

Rival Schools “So Down On”

“One of my favorite Rival Schools songs that lyrically is about a breakup but also musically has a great spring/summer vibe which is when you’re mostly likely to meet your new ex, so it’s a very happy/sad song. Walter Schreifels’ bands have been a soundtrack for a good portion of my life.”


Jawbreaker “Accident Prone”

“This has to be one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard and I love every single second of it. I still listen to Dear You constantly because it’s just that good and I remember buying the CD for like $30+ off of eBay because it was out of print at the time.”


:: Jeremy Karelis

Taking Back Sunday “You’re So Last Summer”

“This seems like a must-play at any emo night. I only bring it up now because I just saw TBS play the other day and realized I wasn’t the only one my age losing my voice and shedding tears to this song. Growing up primarily listening to punk as a teen and not embracing my love for emo til much later in life, Tell All Your Friends was hidden in the back of my CD wallet, waiting for me after every middle school breakup. Fast forward to 2014, this album was my most played on Spotify at the end of the year. Embarrassing? You tell me. This shit ruined my life.”


The Wonder Years “Passing Through A Screen Door”

“Although this is more current emo, something that may be harder for the old, somber souls to swallow, this song is the epitome of my life; present day. At 26 years of age, working a dead end job, the lyrics, ‘Jesus Christ, I’m 26. All the people I graduated with, all have kids, all have wives, all have people who care if they come home at night. Well Jesus Christ, did I fuck up?,’ hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m a grown man on a Friday night jumping from my desk to my bed during that breakdown so of course I have to play this.”

:: Luke O’Neil


“Damn, I wish Jeremy hadn’t taken that The Wonder Years song, because I have to agree that’s probably the best emo (technically pop-punk I suppose, but we consider emo a big tent around here) in years.”

Sunny Day Real Estate “Every Shining Time You Arrive”

“Speaking of emo boundaries, this song isn’t necessarily emo in musical form, but since it’s SDRE it counts by default. That’s before we even get to the absolutely gut-wrenching feel of the song, and the wistful romance of the lyric, that perfectly captures that feeling of magic that takes over when someone you love wanders into your orbit; the title describes it perfectly, when the world seems to shine as the person you love arrives.”


Have Mercy “Let’s Talk About Your Hair”

“Another newer one — the #emorevival is real — from one of the best of the new crop of bands. The guttural vocal delivery here and the slow build of the song are brutal, as is the idea of meeting up with someone you once loved — maybe the person from the SDRE song — and realizing you don’t have anything to talk about anymore.”

EMO NIGHT WITH DJS LUKE O’NEIL + TEXAS MIKE + JEREMY KARELIS :: Wednesday, April 1 @ the Sinclair Kitchen, 52 Church St., Cambridge :: 9:30 p.m., 21-plus, FREE :: Facebook page

Emo Night April 1