Emo and Pop-Punk Fest When We Were Young: Questions We Asked

On Tuesday afternoon, an emo festival designed to entice millennials everywhere materialized out of nowhere. Titled My Chemical Romance and Paramore, When We Were Young will take place in Las Vegas on October 22. The poster is full of band names you haven’t thought of in years or thought of every day since hitting puberty: AFI, the Used, 3OH!3, Hawthorne Heights, the Ready Set, Anberlin. Alongside emo and pop-punk heavyweights like Bring Me the Horizon, Bright Eyes and Avril Lavigne are new names, like viral punks Linda Lindas and TikTok stars Jxdn and Lil Huddy.

The festival almost looks like a desert mirage: is it too good to be true? Are we ready for Fyre’s own emo revival festival? Here are five questions we have about the hottest 2000s nostalgic post of the year.

Where the hell does this festival come from?
Believe it or not, this is actually the second When We Were Young festival. The first was in Santa Ana, California in 2017, a week before Coachella. For two days, a similar but less flashy ensemble of punk, emo and indie-rock nostalgia acts shared a bill, with Morrissey, AFI, Descendents, Cage the Elephant and Taking Back Sunday among them.

Does all this seriously happen in one day?
The festival line-up is extremely packed, and it’s pretty ridiculous to expect so many bands to appear in just 12 hours, unless all their sets are reduced to 20 minutes of pure hits. According to ticketing information, there will be three stages on the festival grounds, which means a ton of gruesome choices on which bands to prioritize throughout the day-long festival, which is due to start at 11 a.m. and end at 23 hours. a big question about the co-headliners…

Will we have to choose between My Chemical Romance and Paramore?
We feel for any emo kid who has to make that heartbreaking call. Both groups are listed at the top of the poster, right next to each other. Both also remain very popular. Paramore returned from a hiatus to record a new album while My Chemical Romance reunited in 2019, only to have their tour pushed back twice now due to Covid. Given the single day of performances spread across three stages, it seems likely (although unconfirmed) that the two headliners could be performing at the same time. So many great things come with hard choices.

Was Fall Out Boy not available?
Enthusiastic tweets about the festival opened the floodgates to find out who was left out. The lineup is, in many ways, a snapshot of an early 2000s alternative rock music era and place. own tours and schedules to respect. But the absence of Fall Out Boy (who only play their first three albums, for the pleasure of the atmosphere) is a personal vendetta that I will carry against this programming.

Are the people behind Warped Tour furious?
Credit where credit is due: Warped Tour has been a major launch pad for the majority of artists on this bill. It officially ended in 2019 with a 25th anniversary mini-tour, but the real final trek was back in 2018. The sound of the Warped Tour is currently enjoying a huge revival, not only for the kids who grew up there, but also for Gen Z. artists, many of whom have landed on the WWWY lineup.

Warped founder Kevin Lyman teased that a Warped-adjacent festival would be coming under a different name in 2021, though that didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Attila’s Chris Fronzak was considering buying the rights to Warped, though he couldn’t legally hold the festival until 2023. Hot Topic nostalgia is itching.

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