Emo Night BK has quickly become the one night a month that I consistently look forward to. I’ve gone to every show they’ve had in the city for almost a year now. I can honestly say that each night is so memorable and I couldn’t imagine my life without the amazing friends that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through Emo Night BK. It’s unreal how much you can connect with a group of strangers through nothing but the music that was a huge part of our childhood.
The crowd that you will be a part of and meet at an Emo Night BK event is unlike any other. Trust me….I’ve been to more shows than I can count and Emo Nights will always be my favorite, between the atmosphere that is not only created by the founders, Ethan and Alex, but by the ever so inviting crowd of people there every night. It’s unlike any show you’ve ever been to and I wouldn’t suggest any other show before this one.
I had the pleasure to ask the bestfriend duo, Ethan and Alex, that created this wonderful thing called Emo Night BK some questions, but first let’s start with what you’re probably asking yourselves right now….
What exactly is Emo Night Brooklyn?
Emo Night Brooklyn was founded by two lifelong friends, Ethan Maccoby and Alex Badanes. The pair grew up in England until 18 years old, moving to Boston for college, and now both residing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Growing up in England gave Alex and Ethan a pretty amazing exposure to a fast-evolving music scene in what is often called the golden years of Emo. The pair, along with many other friends, would routinely attend multiple shows and festivals per month, seeing the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Saosin, Underoath, Yellowcard, and many other great influences.
Even after moving to the states, a typical pre-game for Alex and Ethan would simply be drinking beer, blasting Emo music, and rocking out. But they knew they couldn’t be the only ones who felt so strongly about a scene that shaped their childhood. There might be many more people out there who felt a deep nostalgia for the era and connected happy memories of the time.
In was then in January 2015, that the two decided to book out a basement of a small bar in Williamsburg called Cameo for a night to celebrate the genre among friends, friends of friends, and whoever else happened to show up. Surprisingly to the founders, hundreds of people showed up that night and the bar was packed. What ensued there that night was magical — hundreds of twenty and thirty somethings in a room, drinking, rocking out, and screaming their lungs out to the music that helped shape who they are.
The night was a huge success, and so began the beautiful tradition of Emo Night Brooklyn. Moving from a small basement of a bar, to their main room, to Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, to Irving Plaza — the night has quickly taken Brooklyn by storm. What was once simply a fun celebration of great past-times has now become a monthly staple for thousands of people in New York City.
Now the pair have begun spreading their love and celebration of the genre with others to different cities — not only around the country, but around the world.
Friendship, memories, music, shared experiences, and the deep love for connecting with others who feel nostalgic for a time that made them who they are, has routinely made each show Alex and Ethan’s favorite night of their lives. They are only getting started, and look forward to continuing to spread this love to other parts of the U S, and indeed, the rest of the world.
In short, Emo Night Brooklyn is a night that celebrates the best of emo/pop punk music.
About the Founders:
Ethan grew up just South of London, England until he was 18 years old. He moved to Boston to attend Tufts University, majoring in Economics and minoring in Entrepreneurship. After college, Ethan moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he has spent the last four years developing, training, coaching, and leading sales teams in a few different tech startups. He is currently Director of Sales at Bond.
Alex grew up in Surrey, England and moved to Boston after graduating high school, where he studied music business at Berklee College of Music. Alex now lives in Brooklyn, New York and works in client relations for Kobalt Music.
Kaitlin: “How did the two of you meet?”
Ethan: “Alex and I grew up in England together and have been bestfriends since we were two years old.”
Alex: “Funny thing is, we’ve lived about 10 minutes apart from each other for the last 25 years. After England, we both went to school in Boston and then moved to Brooklyn.”
Kaitlin: “How did the concept of Emo Night BK originate?”
Alex: “Ethan and I have been blasting Emo and drinking beers for the better part of the last decade. What started in the garage in high school, we took to college dorm rooms, then to our apartments. It’s always about the pregame, and our ideal Friday night has always been turning up the speakers as load as possible and blast Taking Back Sunday and Brand New.”
Ethan: “When we had our first night in a basement in Williamsburg that held less than 100 people, our ultimate goal was just to have our friends come out and (maybe) get some free drinks. We never thought in our wildest dreams that this party would grow to the point it is now, and the community we’ve built is truly inspiring.”
Kaitlin: “Who do you feel are some underrated Emo bands?”
Ethan/Alex: “Hidden In Plain View; You, Me and Everyone We Know; Anberlin.”
Kaitlin: “One of your best Emo Night memories?”
Ethan: ” Definitely way too many to count, but some of the highlights include my favorite band, Hidden In Plain View, playing an acoustic set for us, Ryan Key singing along to Only One, and Kenny Vasoli rocking out to Best of Me. Every night is seriously the best night of our lives.”
Alex: “I’ve seen Taking Back Sunday probably 40+ times over the past decade. They are my favorite band, so bringing Fred onstage, and rocking out to Decade Under The Influence with him and a crowd of 800+ singing every word…. that was very special. I don’t think I’ve heard our crowd sing that load before, and after the song finished, Fred paused and commented on how happy he was that so many people still cared about the music all these years.”
Kaitlin: “What was the last live show you guys went to?”
Ethan: “Sleeping with Sirens / State Champs at PlayStation Theatre.”
Kaitlin: “When you guys first came up with the concept of Emo Night BK, did you ever think it’d become what it is today?”
Ethan: “HA! Not at all. This is definitely what we always hoped for though. Just bringing together amazing groups of people all over the world to celebrate the music that made them. Definitely beats Alex and I drinking beers and moshing in my apartment.”
Kaitlin: “Your all-time favorite band?”
Ethan: “That is tough, but probably Hidden In Plain View or Taking Back Sunday.”
Alex: “Taking Back Sunday.”
Kaitlin: “I know you’re doing small tours/shows across the US, what’s next for Emo Night BK as a brand?”
Ethan: “More shows, even bigger and more epic, more guest DJ’s and definitely more beer.”
Kaitlin: “How would you describe Emo Night BK in just 3 words?”
Ethan: “SCREAM. DANCE. RAGE. (Repeat).”