Last week, I was able to catch Emery on their way to Texas to play with Oh, Sleeper for some shows around the state. They stopped in Salt Lake City on their way out, and it was great to see them again.
I have a very distinct memory of the first time I saw Emery. This was back when they were the hot band blowing up. They had released “The Question” and were towards the end of that touring cycle before getting ready to release the much-maligned “I’m Only A Man”, which was a total flop for them commercially.
I even remember being disappointed with it when it came out, and yet, that album has grown on me and is one of my favorites now. It just wasn’t what everyone wanted and expected at that time, including me. But I’m off topic now…
The first time I saw them, I distinctly remember everyone getting up at one point in the show, standing on their amps (at least a half stack, maybe full stacks) and swinging their guitars around their heads like a lasso. They did it with so much aggression that I thought for sure a strap was going to break, and someone in the crowd was getting impaled by the head of a guitar.
But it was AMAZING to watch. And nothing broke. And I’ve never seen anything like it since. Those guys knew how to rock out like few bands I’ve ever seen.
Now, Emery is older and wiser. No guitar swinging. Just moving around like a bunch of dads, playing their incredibly well-written songs. And I still loved it.
Well I take that back – Josh hasn’t changed – he still puts on the Michael Jackson dance moves throughout the set and gets into the crowd on his screaming parts.
Josh, never change.
Also a shoutout to Comrades who opened for Emery. These guys totally killed it and put on a killer performance.