The crowd is full of heavy eyeliner, fingernails painted with black polish, and old band t-shirts resurrected for a special night. A slender man in ripped jeans and a track jacket stands on a stage riser at Headliners Music Hall and yells out to the crowd, “Y’all ready to get sad?!” The crowd erupts in cheers and laughter. If this scene full of scene kids doesn’t make sense to you, you must have missed Louisville Loves Emo!

Several years ago, Brian Eichenberger and Billy Hardison at Production Simple developed the concept for the Cover Up concert series – charity events featuring local artists performing covers of radio favorites. At the beginning, the series was tied mostly to classic rock. This year, however, the Production Simple team asked Brian to expand the series into something new. In collaboration with Zack Pennington (also from the band Light Treasons and featured in the first article of The Backbeat), Louisville Loves Emo was born.

Zack, Brian, and more than 20 other Louisville musicians joined together to cover more than 30 songs from early 2000’s emo and alternative bands. The concert featured nearly 4 hours of songs from bands like Taking Back Sunday, Thrice, Paramore, The Used, Glassjaw, and Brand New. In between sets, a DJ (host of EmoNite502 at Barbarella) kept the crowd singing at the top of their lungs to songs from bands like Panic at the Disco!, Anberlin, Underoath, and Blink 182.

The nostalgia and good times were delivered by local artists from bands such as EmmanuelLightTreasonsFoxbat, and many others, and the event was hosted by Brian Eichenberger. And to top it all off, attendees were asked to bring towels for the Salvation Army, which is their #1 need for families in transition. Ticket sales (for those without towels) also went to support several other notable charities, such as suicide prevention.

As a self-proclaimed former scene kid, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing along to some of my favorites, and there is no better feeling in the world to know that I wasn’t alone. If you missed out on joining the crowd this time, follow @LouisvilleLovesEmo on Instagram for pictures and more, and let’s make their next event bigger and better!

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