6 Bands That I Loved When I Was 16 and Where They Are Now, 4 Years Later

6 Bands That I Loved When I Was 16 and Where They Are Now, 4 Years Later

Four years really changes people...


Summer and good music go hand in hand. Just think: every year between June and August, there are countless discussions both publicly on talk shows and privately amongst friends and families about what Top 40's hit will become that year's Song of the Summer.

This summer, Spotify made me a Your Summer Rewind playlist with all of my absolute favorite music from summers past and it got me thinking a few things. The first was, obviously, "wow I have great taste in music go me," and the second, somehow not egotistical at all (if you can believe it) was "I wonder where my favorite bands are now...."

When I was 16, I was big on the alternative pop punk indie rock teeny bop sho-op scene and I was one of those "obsessive" and "aggressive" fans. I shoved my way up to barriers, stood on barriers until I was almost kicked out, and broke through police barriers one time in a well thought out but never executed plan to meet the band. I loved the bands I listened to back then with such a fierce fervor then that I wonder where it all went now.

In the spirit of music in the summer, I decided to look at 6 different bands I loved when I was 16 and ask the question: where are they now?

Panic! At The Disco

When I was 11, I was prematurely going through my goth phase and no, I will not elaborate more on that. But during that year, I heard Panic!'s signature song "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and before it was over, I was obsessed. It's fair to say that Panic! and I grew up side by side: with each of their albums, the band rebrands themselves and their sound, and each new sound matched the stages I was going through in my life.

When I first found the band, there were four members. When I was 16, there were only two. Now, the band is just another name for frontman Brendon Urie, the heartthrob of my adolescence. The band just released their sixth studio album this month and are going back out on tour. But, arguably, my favorite role that I've ever seen Brendon Urie in was not when he had the flu at the concert I went to back when I was 15 and on the precipice of truly understanding life beyond the scope of a teenager's mind and he still sang and I truly felt that God was in that Chili's that not.

It was seeing him onstage in Kinky Boots as Charlie Price. My mom turned to me in the middle of the show and said, "I get it now. I think I'm in love with Brendon Urie."

X Ambassadors

When I was sophomore in high school I saw Panic! live in concert (obviously making my entire life). It was right before my sixteenth birthday and I thought life couldn't get any better.

And then I discovered X Ambassadors.

They were one of the two opening acts, the first of which none of my friends or I could stand. When X Ambassadors came out after, we were understandably weary until a group of girls next to us told us they were unbelievably good. And they were. This was pre-"Renegades" so they had never experienced any form of fame aside from being invited on this tour, and they were so kind and humble when we met them after and told them we now loved their music.

I stopped listening to X Ambassadors after they released their song for the movie "Me Before You." Everything they released began to sound too contrived and boring. The two brothers are still in the band, but the once four piece has become a three person band. They're still releasing music, but I would rather their original EPs any day.

5 Seconds of Summer

Listen, there is a section of my heart dedicated to this band. I was there at the very start when they did covers on YouTube and opened for One Direction and were the pop punk teenage boys of my dreams. I've seen them perform twice now, once after taking a 2 am train to New York City to see them perform at 8 am on Good Morning America in Central Park (16 year old me was one of those teenage girls newspapers compared to the Beatles' fans).

Now, the band has released what is my current favorite album and has grown up alongside of me. Once nerdy and quirky guys (qualities which were glorified during the height of 1D's teenage years), they have glo-ed up harder than anyone I know, including myself! And, in 16 Year Old Emily's honor, I already have tickets to see them in Stockholm during my semester abroad. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Griswolds

In full honest, my love for The Griswolds never came close to what I felt for some of the other bands on this list. But according to my Summer Rewind mix, I used to listen to them a lot. I don't know any of their names or their backstory or even if the top photo is of them (I'm pretty sure it is....)?

Regardless, I've stopped listening to the Griswolds new music, but I'll always return to their song "Beware the Dog" because good bops are sometimes hard to find these days.

Wherever you are, whoever you are Griswolds, I hope you're doing well.

The 1975

It's a well known fact that when I need to shut out the world and write a paper or power through studying or just be alone, I listen to The 1975's deluxe first album on auto replay. It's just an Emily Factoid. The 1975 is one of those bands that really resonated with a pop punk post goth (still not talking about it) Former Me when she found them and, much like with P!ATD, has grown and evolved with my personal growth and development.

Now, the band's newest single off their third album is a lot boppy-er while remaining very heavy lyrically. The prospect of what's to come next with their new work is both exciting but nerve racking.

One Direction

This wound is still fresh. If you think I'm dramatic, I am, but besides that, think of how millions of people across the entire world felt when the Beatles broke up, divide by four than add in the now quantified sensation of loss per band member one more time (for Zayn Malik ☝️) and that's how much it hurt to lose One Direction!!!

We won't go into too many details because I already have repeatedly, but essentially the members of One Direction are all doing fine on their own and, aside from Harry and Liam when he wants attention and performs "History" (a questionable at best solo concert cover), they all seem more than happy to grow away from their Simon Cowell Produced™️ roots.

It's fine, I'm fine, we're all fine!

Cover Image Credit:


Popular Right Now

9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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