It may be 2019, but Emo Nite LA is making it feel like 2006 again. The touring event is a pop-punk renaissance, bringing fans and artists together to celebrate the music that united them in the mainstream emo era of the mid-2000s. The Starting Line is one of the many bands whose music is celebrated, and frontman Kenny Vasoli is even getting in on the action himself with a DJ set when Emo Nite LA stops by New York's Webster Hall on Friday (July 26).
For those who might not get the chance to see Vasoli spin his emo favorites in NYC, the singer teased the jams he'll be playing when he takes the turntable at Emo Nite with a 15-song playlist. While Vasoli includes tunes from emo music's heyday, like Paramore's "That's What You Get" and The Early November's "Decoration," the 35-year-old singer's playlist reminds fans that emo extends beyond the mid-2000s with songs like Green Day's 1994 hit "Basket Case" and MewithoutYou's 2012 single "February, 1978."
Emo Nite cofounder Babs Szabo approves of all of Vasoli's picks: "Kenny's playlist and his reasons for choosing those songs is not only a cool way to see how emo music has influenced him throughout the years, but also makes me excited for his set at Emo Nite in New York," he says. "We have a really fun night planned!"
The Starting Line will continue the nostalgia with six of their own tour dates this fall, which includes a set at Chicago's Riot Fest on Sept. 15 and a return to Webster Hall on Dec. 22. See their full list of tour dates here, and check out Vasoli's Emo Nite-inspired playlist (along with his own tributes to each song) below.
1. Dashboard Confessional, “Screaming Infidelities”
"I spun the hell out of this back when I was a young whippersnapper trying to get signed to Drive Thru Records. I prefer this minimal version."
2. Jimmy Eat World, “If You Don’t, Don’t”
"Jimmy’s got a lot of bangers. This is at the top of the heap, not up for debate."
3. Promise Ring, “Why Did Ever We Meet”
"I wish I could spin this at Emo Nite because it’s what I grew up on, and I’d freak out if 18-year-old me heard this come on at a party. I keep this one reserved for the earphones, because not everyone in the crowd will be pushing 40 like your man."
4. Paramore, “That’s What You Get”
"They played this on Warped Tour in 2007 and it sounded better than anything anyone else played out there ever. Paramore fucking rip."
5. Neutral Milk Hotel, “Holland, 1945”
"Some people hipper than myself might claim that NMH is categorically not emo, but I say bologna! Very few pieces of music are more emotional than this song, and that’s how I’m going to keep classifying that damn abbreviation."
6. Green Day, “Basket Case”
"I want to play bangers at Emo Nite that people will sing along with, and also want to serve my inner-child. I feel like this pick is a solid compromise."
7. Saves The Day, “Do You Know What I Love the Most?”
"Underrated Through Being Cool album deep cut. Bassline is NUTS."
8. The Early November, “Decoration”
"I remember when they wrote that song and I was all like, 'Hey, that’s a good song.' Holds up."
9. American Football, “The One With The Tambourine”
"Listening to this made me more emo than I already was. I would be in homeroom getting inside my head with this EP in the Discman."
10. At The Drive In, “One Armed Scissor”
"Still amazed a song like this made it on MTV. Still sounds very good."
11. Bear Vs. Shark, “Catamaran”
"While we are on some freak-out-type emo, let’s break off a piece of this one. The screams at the end!"
12. Drive Like Jehu, “Here Come the Rome Plows”
"Real ones know. I didn’t get this band until I was into my 20s and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Yank Crime is an absolutely perfect punk record."
13. MewithoutYou, “February, 1878”
"But also… 'January, 1979.' MWY is the real deal that came from very much emo roots."
14. Fugazi, “Life and Limb”
"Not getting out of here with out showing respect to a band that was in it for all the right reasons and the influence of their extremely emotional sound is still reverberating through the newest generations of bands. This is my favorite song of theirs."
15. Title Fight, “Secret Society”
"I arrived late to the party and the band had dispersed by the time I started getting heavy into them. I just want to write a TSL song as good as this and I’ll be content."