The Glass House
There are some bands that keep a core following no matter what music trends happen to be in at the moment. Last night at the Glass House in Pomona, post-hardcore quartet Emery proved that they can still attract that kind of fan base. Many of the scene kids that grew up with them have matured into scene adults since the height of their popularity in the early '00s, but they've managed to stay true to the music all these years. Even though it was the songs and not necessarily the popularity of the scene that brought the fans to the gig, there were still plenty of asymmetrical haircuts and eyeliner to go around.
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Unfortunately, the opening bands didn't do much justice to Emery before they had gone on stage. In fact, Eighth City Takeover was probably the worst band I'd heard all year. The lead singer's vocals were completely off, even squeaky at some points--as if his voice was still battling puberty. Although there were some younger kids wearing the band's t-shirts, appreciation for their sound of this L.A. five-piece seems destined to stay at the teenage level. They were followed by metal/hardcore hybrid My Children My Bride who delivered an okay set, nothing really spectacular in spite of their rollicking stage presence.
The crowd was starved for Emery by the time they hit the stage. The band's energy was something that none of the other bands could match, partly because of the strength they absorbed from the crowd, who spent most of the show straining their vocal chords to copy the lyrics of singer Toby Morrell. Even the new song "I'm Not Here for Rage I'm Here for Revenge" was executed without a fan missing a beat. The band also ripped through a large selection of songs from their old catalog, including "The Party Song" and "The Cheval Glass."
As a unit, Emery turned in a pretty riveting stage performance. However, Keyboard player and lead screamer Josh Head was probably the most rambunctious--flailing his mic around he was Roger Daltrey, climbing on the drum kit and banging his head so hard, he seemed destined to slam it into his keyboard. Though the band is often labeled as a "Christian" act, the fact that their band has an occasional religious bent was hardly a focal point of their set--though they can still command a pretty lively congregation. If anything it was nice to see a band exhibit some true passion on stage last night for a change, no matter what spirit may have inspired it.