I cover one of the punk/hardcore scene’s most jam-packed tours in recent memory

Note: This piece originally appeared in the Mass Media.

I feel bad for bartenders at punk and emo concerts. Either the majority of the crowd is too poor, too young, or straight edge.
This was a thought going through my head at the Paradise Rock Club while waiting for bands to switch over at the Citizen and Turnover concert on Sunday night.

As a former bartender, I know the feeling of not working much, but there are still plenty of people around your bar, causing a commotion, but still not buying any drinks. It can be pretty frustrating.

Probably not as frustrating if those people are flocks of emo and punk kids having good time in the revival period of both of those great genres.

This was a special tour to experience. All four acts on the bill—Milk Teeth, Sorority Noise, Turnover, and Citizen—are at varying levels of impact in punk and emo revivals.

MILK TEETH.  Photo by Katy Hamm.

Milk Teeth, hailing from the UK, were making their Boston debut on this tour, since this was the band’s first-ever tour of the United States. I was particularly excited for the band because their debut LP, Vile Child, which was released in January on Hopeless Records, is currently my favorite album of the year.

No joke. The band, fronted by bassist and vocalist, Becky Blomfield, brings a blunt, energetic, and dynamic performance to its first LP offering. The album is full of fast punk tracks that alternate the juxtaposition of Becky’s sweet female vocals with guitarist/screamer Billy Hutton and his guttural screams and yells.

MILK TEETH.  Photo by Katy Hamm.

Milk Teeth did not disappoint and visibly won over many fans as the set wore on.

Up next were the veritable torch-bearers of the new wave of emo and garage punk,Sorority Noise. 
Sorority Noise, fronted by the oft-vulnerable Cameron Boucher, have risen to a lot of recognition as a powerful act in the emo scene due to Boucher’s willingness to be honest with his struggles as a manic depressive.

Boucher even took a moment during the band’s set to acknowledge his history of depression and discuss support for suicide prevention. And while I struggled to enjoy the band, sonically—even with their much-acclaimed 2015 LP Joy, Departed—I gained much respect for the way they owned their live show, transcending the confines of recorded music by putting on an incredible set that expanded into post-rock territories.

I was antsy as hell when co-headliner, Turnover, took the stage.

Their 2015 LP, Peripheral Vision, was my fourth favorite album of 2015. It is the singular album that helped me through a very dark depression last year.

Essentially, the band ditched its pop punk roots for a more shoegaze and chill sound, akin to The Cure meets Joy Division. Each song on the new LP fills me with positivity and the comfort to take on my struggles.

Turnover’s live set mirrored the consistent aura of good vibes present on “Peripheral Vision,” with the band giving love to the crowd during their entire set. The crowd returning the love in spades.

Citizen. Photo by Katy Hamm.

The almighty Citizen closed out the night with the most energetic set of the evening and maybe that I’ve seen in recent memory.

The Michigan-native Citizen started off their set with a few tunes from their instant classic 2013 LP Youth. The crowd was engulfed in excitement and rage as the band pressed into “Cement,” a post-hardcore opus from their 2015 LP, Everybody is Going to Heaven.

Everybody is Going to Heaven is an album no one expected. It is reminiscent of Brand New transcending Deja Entendu’s follow up expectations with The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me.

Everybody is unceasing in their anger, glorious in their beauty, and powerful in their ability to wrap the listener in an atmospheric hardcore reality, mostly unheard of today.

Citizen. Photo by Katy Hamm.

Citizen brought all it had to give to the Paradise as lead singer Mat Kerekes consistently commanded the stage and crowd, similar to when I saw the band open for Circa Survive on the anniversary tour for Juturna last fall.

The bands have raised over $2,000 for Planned Parenthood over the three-week tour. Each band gave a separate pitch for why folks should support Planned Parenthood. It made me proud to support such great human beings that are making genuine tunes and giving back.

It’s a very cool time to be following this scene. I am very grateful to have witnessed the initial run of emo, and now, its rebirth.

What a time to be alive.