Proving once again that pop culture often goes in 20-year cycles, 2022 has brought a return to the days when Hot Topic, Alternative Press, and Victory Records were revered cultural touchstones in underground America. Start packing your suitcase for the When We Were Young Festival, scheduled for October 22 in Las Vegas.
The lineup looks like a dream one for anyone who once bought black nail polish, black hair dye, and blacks shirts, pants, socks, and shoes in bulk. Headlining will be reunited editions of My Chemical Romance and Paramore. At the top of a deep undercard is Jimmy Eat World, AFI, Dashboard Confessional, Avril Lavigne, and Bright Eyes.
If that gets you thinking circa-2000s, that’s no accident. When We Were Young Festival 2022 is billing itself as “an epic line-up of emo and rock bands from the past two decades”. Which is at least somewhat more original that “Kind of Like the Warped Tour Back When You Actually Left the House”.
Speaking of leaving the house, the good news is that you don’t have to do that to secure tickets. Instead, click here for the pre-sale this Friday (January 21).
The rest of the bill reads like a who’s who of bands that were more emo than Pete Wentz in the post-garage-rawk revival of the ’00s: the Used, Taking Back Sunday, Alkaline Trio, Bring Me the Horizon, Anberlin, Silverstein, Sense Fail, Thursday, and the Starting Line.
In a welcome acknowledgment that kids are not only still buying guitars, but making new music with them, When We Were Young Festival will also include the likes of Car Seat Headrest, TikTok upstart jxdn, and English dream-pop indie darlings Wolf Alice.
The emo-extravaganza will see Paramore—currently working on new music after a hiatus—return to the stage for the first time since 2018. After breaking up in 2013, My Chemical Romance reunited with a live show in 2019, only to have a full-blown comeback derailed by COVID-19 in 2020. Nothing if not optimistic, the band has announced plans for a major tour later this year.
Meanwhile, hang onto your Machine Gun Kelly trucker hat, Billie Eilish plaid woven blanket, and Megan Thee Stallion booty keychain. Trust us: in 20 years you’ll be cashing big time when all three headline the Dark COVID Memories Festival in Vegas.