The past and the present collided on Saturday, September 6th at New York’s Bowery Ballroom for a reunion tour that showcased the best the genre has to offer. Seminal emo group Mineral took their reunion to New York for the third of four straight nights of nostalgia, bringing along with them Evan Weiss’ emo revivalist project Into It. Over It. Mineral, who broke up in 1997 after releasing only two albums, announced their comeback in April to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their formation. Along with a full U.S. tour to celebrate their first shows in 17 years, the band also announced Mineral – 1994-1998: The Complete Collection, containing both their albums along with some bonus tracks and recordings to mark the occasion.
Into It. Over It. strolled to the stage at 9pm to open the show. Evan, who used to perform with nothing more than a stool and acoustic guitar, has built Into It. Over It. into a four-piece band over the past two years with the help of some hometown musician friends. Following a headlining tour earlier this year with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and a supporting tour last year with Saves the Day, the band appears more comfortable with each performance, and playing the songs with full instrumentation has allowed Evan’s songs to come to life and take on a new level of energy. Songs like opening track “Embracing Facts” and “Upstate Blues” are particularly more vibrant thanks to the addition of a full backing band as opposed to a lone acoustic guitar.
Evan’s exhibited a refreshingly self-aware attitude, announcing to the crowd “Thank you to Mineral for allowing us to come on tour and bum you guys out.” The band’s emo roots felt at home on this tour, and Evan seemed to appreciate the opportunity and embrace it fully, performing some sadder tunes (“No Amount of Sound”, “22 Syllables”). The band made sure to sprinkle in the high-energy “Discretion & Depressing People” and “Brenham, TX”, which Evan added to switch up the setlist for fans attending more than one night. The group was joined on-stage by Matt Fazzi (A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Ex-Taking Back Sunday) to perform keys on some new songs and to close the set with fan-favorite “Midnight: Carroll Street”. Into It. Over It. received a warm reaction from the crowd and proved the perfect opener for this type of show.
Into It. Over It. Setlist:
Staring at the Ceiling
No Amount of Sound
Obsessive Compulsive Distraction
Discretion & Depressing People
Midnight: Carroll Street
Mineral, the main attraction of the night, took the stage a little after 10pm to a raucous ovation. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Simpson playfully stated, “Tonight, we’re gonna party like it’s 1995” and truer words have never been spoke. This tour is the culmination of a wave of nostalgia which has brought about a heightened demand for emo bands from American Football to Texas is the Reason to Mineral. While these influential bands were popular in their day, the emo resurgence has allowed a younger generation to discover these bands, which existed and made their name in the mid-to-late 90’s.
Though the band just played their first show in 17 years, they sounded great and inspired the crowd to fold their arms, nod their heads, and sing along (as Evan Weisshumorously noted during his set as being the proper action to take at an emo show). Their on-stage set-up was simple and lacking any flashy lights or colorful backdrops, focusing instead on four men pouring their heart into the music. With only two albums to choose from, the group presented a balanced mix of their heavier debut album The Power of Failing with their more emotional and slowed-down EndSerenading. Chris Simpson’s classic crooning was in top form, bringing the emotional weight of “Five, Eight, & Ten” and “February” out. The audience sang along to fan-favorites like “Gloria” and “&Serenading” as if they had been waiting their whole life to experience it. While the band members didn’t seem to exude much camaraderie as is seen during some reunion tours (turmoil while recording EndSerenading led to the break up), they all seemed genuinely happy to be playing music again and gave the audience a solid 90-minute trip down memory lane.
The term “emo revival” is often met with scorn from older fans, finding the idea that emo went away laughable while condemning newer bands as not worthy. But what’s clear is that there is a demand for emo bands reviving. With new music from Sunny Day Real Estate, an upcoming sold-out reunion tour from American Football, and more Mineral shows in America and Europe coming for Mineral, it’s safe to say the emo resurgence continues to find an audience in older people who experienced it as it happened and younger kids who are experiencing the revival now and want to get a first-hand look at the bands who influenced the fresh wave of up-and-comers. On a night like this, it was clear that there is no competition between old and new, they can each exist in perfect harmony and compliment each other nicely.
Five, Eight, & Ten
If I Could
Parking Lot (encore)