|Cole Becker of Emily's Army|
It isn't every night that a show at DiPiazza's is packed to the brim with teenage girls--unless East Bay pop-punk band, Emily's Army is listed on the lineup. Originally hailing from Oakland, the band decided to name themselves after Max and Cole Becker's (vocals and guitar respectively) 15-year-old cousin, Emily, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Since then, the band--including drummer Joey Armstrong (son of Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong)--have taken it upon themselves to spread awareness on the disease.
Girls screamed as the band walked on stage in Long Beach, each with their own unique attire: a boy scout costume, a checkered speedo, and basketball shorts. As soon as the quartet kicked off their set, the room erupted with movement-- kids dancing and getting shoved against the tiny stage in the pit. Shoes were lost, shirts were ripped, even an iPhone got tossed up for grabs, but the crowd of dominantly chicks didn't shy away from the chaos that was instigated from three dudes in the pit. A guy later voiced, "I didn't know girls where so tough!"
At one point, the band covered a snippet of a track from One Direction, to which girls screamed in delight; others stared completely unaware of the song being covered. Then, a band shirt was thrown into the crowd, and it got intense. Two girls fought for it on the ground and shamelessly battled it during a big chunk of the band's set.
Emily's Army ripped through their set list not allowing much time for banter, or for fans to catch their breath. The band seemed to enjoy the nonstop chaos of the crowd, even during one of their slower songs. Vocalist Max and Cole Becker controlled the audience well, instigating fist pumps and sing-a-longs during catchy numbers like "Good Looks" and "Broadcast This."
Despite being a fairly young band, Emily's Army have a catchy garage sound that's alluring to the ears with fast guitar riffs and catchy bass licks--even if they aren't exactly lyrical geniuses., But their ability to keep the crowd amped non-stop throughout their entire set says a lot when compared to most bands that fall short during live performances. It won't be long until their $10 shows are long in the past, so enjoy 'em while you can.
Critic's Bias: Once the band's female fans started screaming, I thought I made a huge mistake by coming to this show. Thankfully, that immediately changed once the band started playing.
The Crowd: A swarm of chicks in the front, a few dudes in the pit, and the older crowd hanging in the back, away from the chaos.
Overheard: "Wonder Woman with a laso--if that were in real life, I'd be afraid!"
Random Notebook Dump: Chicks can throw it down in a pit just as hard as men.
"The Kids Just Wanna Dance"