Earth on Fire covered songs from The Fall of Troy during RALT's Emo Nite. - Photo via Dayna Stauts

On Saturday, Dec. 3, a concert was put on by the university chapter club Rowan Alternative Music (RALT) and hosted by Matt Stypa of the Riviera, a college-based venue for concert marketing. Emo Nite has established itself as one of the most popular, large-scale, and entertaining annual music events of the academic year, with the fourth Emo Nite occurring this past week.

Emo Nite is a concert that features emo cover sets by local bands and gives any performer the opportunity to take part. What began with a small piano and other small instruments in a living room has grown into a concert held in the Riviera’s basement for the second time this year.

“We get in bands from Philly, Boston, and all over the place to come to play this,” said RALT President and co-organizer of Emo Nite, Liam Devenny. “Bands perform cover sets of their favorite emo bands and it’s just a good time… you’re basically guaranteed to play a sold-out show and everybody screams along to the lyrics. We have over 30 applications this year and it had to be cut down to nine bands.”

A few of the nine bands and artists who were selected to perform included the Philadelphia band Fair Game, who covered Title Fight, and the Rowan-local band Memory Core, who covered At the Drive-In. The Story So Far was then covered by a band based in New Jersey known as Wall Carpets. Additionally, Kiaura Rose, a vocalist, performed a cover of Paramore.

“We decided to pick [At the Drive-In]. They are really cool and we feel as though they are a little underrated and not a lot of people know about them and I think it will be great to offer a very unique and different sound that they have at the scene here,” said Memory Core singer and guitarist Richard Sarles.

Also performing was Frankie Mermaid who covered songs from “Songs About Jane,” an album by Maroon 5, Sedated Sunrise with Athena as Tigers Jaw, and Spud Mackenzie who covered songs from All American Rejects. Most recent RAH Battle of the Bands winner Earth on Fire covered the Fall of Troy. The last band on this list, and possibly the most underrated was Shark Earrings.

The concert for last year’s Emo Nite was totally sold out, according to the event’s organizers Stypa and Devenny. This year, special precautions had to be made to guarantee that there would be enough space for both the partygoers’ and the bands’ safety. As anticipated, after the doors opened, the concert’s attendance was capped at about 100 individuals. Around a dozen people awaited admission outside the Riviera.

Every year this event attracts a record-breaking number of attendees when compared to other concert events held in recent months. But why? 

“Emo music is our roots,” said Devenny. “We grew up screaming it in the car. It got us through middle school and high school. Just the energy it provides and some of these bands just mean the world to many of these people.”

The artists shared their deeper understanding of what emo music means and the motivations behind their decisions on who to cover.

“I have been probably waiting for this moment since I was eleven… I really wanna do [Paramore] justice. I think her music has influenced every move I probably made within the entirety of my music career,” Rose said. 

Rose started as a solo musician but later joined forces with a band about two years ago. The highlight of the evening, according to the crowd’s adoration and responses, was probably Rose and Shark Earrings.

Shark Earrings’ musical muse of the night was the American emo band Modern Baseball.

“[Modern Baseball] was just a huge inspiration to all of us,” said Shark Earrings’ singer and guitarist Sammi Kantor. “We played Modern Baseball for the last Emo Nite under a different name so as a new band we had to come into Emo Nite and we had to play like our favorite band.” 

This year’s Emo Nite was a major success thanks to a sold-out venue and performances by incredibly skilled bands. If you have any questions or want to get involved with the club, follow RALT on Instagram at @rowanaltmusic for information and upcoming events and concerts.

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