Having seen Emarosa work a Warped Tour crowd into a frenzy just a few short weeks ago, it was difficult to imagine an intimate and unplugged version of their performance. The depth of Bradley Walden's vocal talent is merely hinted at in the melodic track, "I'll Wait," on their recent album, Versus. Needless to say, I did not know what to expect going in to the show but was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I was not disappointed.
Doors opened at 7 p.m. and within 30 minutes, Something Like December was taking the stage. The 5 piece alternative rock band played an energetic and engaging set. In an unexpected turn of events, lead singer and guitarist Austin Jones traded his electric guitar for an acoustic one in the middle of the set and performed the heartfelt original song, “Get Old." The band was successful in getting the crowd interested and involved when performing their catchy rock tunes, "I Think I've Had Quite Enough" and "You Might Think" from their EP Convalescent. This young band is one to watch.
Something Like December was followed by The Breaking Pattern. The band added cinematic visual elements to their show in the form of videos projected onto screens on either side of the stage. The band was formed earlier this year and is led by former Ezer frontman Derek Hackman.
Originally scheduled as direct support, Little Envy was up next. The duo from San Francisco parted the crowd and set up on the floor in front of the stage. The crowd reformed around them and sat on the floor. The intimate, acoustic set had the crowd enthralled. It was a completely unique experience, especially for those used to attending metal shows and opening up circle pits at the Nile Theater. Little Envy's performance of "Tell Me What You Want" and their whole set, in general, was a major highlight of the evening.
A last minute lineup change placed local band, Luxxe, as direct support for the headliner Emarosa. Coming off of a successful sold out show at the Crescent Ballroom in June and a new EP release, Luxxe continued to build upon their recent successes by doing a phenomenal job of engaging the crowd. They performed their unique brand of pop/folk music and were met with a positive response from the crowd. It was nearly impossible not to move to the energizing and motivational tracks, "Say That you Want Me To" and "Pick a Dollar" from the EP, One.
Headliner, Emarosa, shocked the audience by again parting the crowd and setting up on the floor. The band's frontman Bradley Walden was witty and charming interacting with the crowd on a personal level. The instrumentation was on point and when Walden began to sing a hush fell over the crowd. It was announced that Emarosa had secretly released an acoustic EP on this, the last day of the Intimate and Unplugged Tour, titled Versus Reimagined. Walden encouraged the audience to download it from iTunes on the spot. They performed the EP in its entirety.
The crowd sang along with their favorite tracks from Versus, like "Gold Dust" and "I'll Wait" in the subdued and hushed manner reserved for acoustic performances. True to the name of the tour, the show was extremely intimate and unplugged. The entire performance had an unexpected and pleasant house show vibe and was in sharp contrast with their crowd rousing Warped Tour sets. With the absence of the physicality typically found in Emarosa's live performances, the acoustic set highlighted the band's musicianship and vocal talent.
Video courtesy of @badbananaphotography