If this piece sounds like shit it’s because I lost my voice at the Emery show and I can’t read my writing aloud. Emery has that effect on its audience. They have been the soundtrack for numerous formative moments. My head is still pounding and my soul is aching for more of their mysticism.
It was a Thursday evening and everyone everywhere seemed to be attending some show (like Dainon at Lykke Li). Among the lineups on that moonlit night one band stood out to me: Emery. They have forever created emotions in me that are still hard to explain. Their lyrics and sounds have at times made me want to cry, fight, or fuck.
That night I took three deep breaths before entering Bombshell’s Tavern in College Park on Edgewater Drive. It was 9:30, and I wondered if I was ready for the onslaught of feelings that would come? With Emery by my side I knew all would go well and Bombshell’s would be the building for my rebirth. It’s a dark place, filled with welcoming smiles and the warm sounds of low voices flowing through the smoke. Bombshell’s was packed to the brim with non-believers, unaware of the spiritual journey we were all about to embark on. The masses all met at the bar to wash away their sins and sorrows with some holy water. The group of gauges, mohawks, metal heads, and ink fiends would soon become messengers.
Bombshell’s stage is located around the corner from the main entrance and bar. A small vestibule filled with merch tables leads to the altar. The stage is tucked backed in the corner with just enough floor room for patrons to be brought to their knees. Norma Jean was finishing up their set as I forced my way through the ferocious frenzy before me. I took a couple of pictures while loosening up to “Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes.” All I could think of was the hilarious video that accompanies the song of bloody passion:
Soorya was there to catch Night Verses with their lead singer Douglas Robinson (formerly of The Sleeping). I checked Night Verses out after the show and I was not disappointed; neither will you be. Check it:
Everyone entered with a percent of angst that quickly vanished when Emery took the stage and the opening chords of “Studying Politics” played through the place. The crowd of carnivores soon turned into converts. Toby Morrell, Emery’s lead singer, is someone who understands pain, through thick or thin, he has the warrior words to help his listeners fight through it. Emery wants you to let loose of your losses in life.
After a minor mix-up with mic feedback and some other sound problems, the show took off at full force. I am still amazed that anyone had time to catch their breath. Emery played with a relentless barrage of god-like energy, hit after hit. The floor was covered in triumphs and tears and as the crowd toppled towards the stage; their trepidation was lifted.
When “So Cold I Could See My Breath” began, the chorus of screams was definitely heard by the surrounding homes and trailer park. I was lost for the entire moment. My feet were trampled, my body took more blows than I could count, and my legs were sore from jumping up and down. None of that mattered though, we were strangers crammed into a crowd but all connected. We understood one another and the darkened corners in our minds were now brightened. Emery extended their hands out to us and nothing can escape their healing harmony. Every soul in that sizable station released their agony, it was the ultimate cleansing.
Emery Live Review by Martin Cardenas. Norma Jean Live Photos by Martin Cardenas.
All Emery Live Photos by @amartcard
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