Emo is the new black

The Emo Is Back Tour, a tour promoting underground bands, rolled through the Midwest Region April 23-28. The tour featured bands from all over the United States.

“We wanted to use the tour and the group specifically as like a launch pad for bands to kind of get their music out to new people. The way that I look at social media, and the ways that we have all wrapped our heads around it is that when Myspace was around, there was one place for kids to go and it was all centered around the music and now that Myspace is gone you have Instagram, you have Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which all used to be in one,” Best Kept Secret’s vocalist Matt Skajem said. “And now you have all these bands who don’t really know where to go to get people to hear their music now. So, we wanted to make a group, it doesn’t matter genre wise like we use Emo Is Back, but we use it as a general term for the community, but we just want it to be a place for people to get their music heard by more people.”

With what started as a merchandise design for Best Kept Secret, a band from Hollywood, California, soon became the name of a Facebook group created by the band. The Facebook group currently has almost 23,000 members with hundreds more joining every week. Now, Emo Is Back and its message is traveling across the U.S. as a tour.

“It’s very similar to how, again, to what when we used to go to shows,” Best Kept Secret’s guitarist Benji Bryan said. “What people used to call emo back in the day, didn’t necessarily mean anything specific, you know, but it’s very similar to that, because it’s the community that we used to have.”

The Emo Is Back Facebook group provides a convenient place for bands to share their music with potential fans. Through this convenient place, Best Kept Secret has begun to create a sort of community with not only their fans, but also with other bands and those band’s fans. Now as a tour, Emo Is Back is bringing the bands directly to their current and also their potential fans, which helps the community to continue to grow and form.

“We were like let’s get all these bands that are underground and let’s put them all together and let’s have a good tour,” Best Kept Secret’s bassist Brady Szuhaj said.

The tour features the bands Best Kept Secret, An Honest Year, Take A Breath, This Is All Now, and Beneath The Spin Lights, along with special guests throughout the tour Kickbox (Chicago), We Are Forever, and RVLS.

The first show of the tour was at The Garage in Burnsville, Minn. on April 23. The show kicked off with a VIP meet and greet, which was soon followed by the first band taking the stage. The night was filled with amazing music from talented bands, along with audience members that were full of energy. Before fans left and the bands packed up for the night, audience members were able to take pictures and talk with the bands that had played the show, further emphasizing the idea of creating a community of people with similar interests.

Although not connected with campus, the tour and movement behind it provides an all-inclusive community and encourages people to check out the various underground bands located around them, including those located in Platteville, Wisc. and surrounding communities.

The tour will be rolling back through the region with a stop in St. Louis on May 9, bringing with it awesome music and the goal of promoting underground bands while providing those bands with a place to grow and share their music.