There was a touch of winter in the air, and Emo's was bursting at the seams with black clothing, teenage angst, and an uncontainable fandom for heartthrob Travis Hawley. The concert-esque atmosphere never fails to feel like coming home. I double-checked my lipstick and slammed the passenger seat visor up. Psyched out of my mind. Self-given pep-talk complete. With my fully charged phone in one hand and memo pad in the other, I was ready to makes my dreams a reality.
But you can't have dreams without the Night. Night Riots.
Propelling off of the success of their most recent album Love Gloom, released on October 21st, 2016, Night Riots has been taking the music industry by storm opening for bands left and right all across America. After traveling with Andrew McMahon on his Zombies on Broadway tour (I joyously attended their Omaha show), to currently wrapping up their Modern Nostalgia tour with The Maine, it goes without question that the next time they take the stage by storm, it will be their own headlining show.
Rows of fans screamed every lyric back without fail to the California-based anthemic dream that is Night Riots. Let me be the first to tell you that if Travis Hawley tells you that you're just someone he used to see, you are in fact, just someone he used to see.
Between glow in the dark drumsticks, a tribute to Tom Petty, and a mini Halloween celebration, I truly felt as though I was having my own personal, emotional, dance party with these genuine, passionate, musicians.
The ringing in my ears will eventually stop, but this pure, musical, connection, along with my inability to resist boy bands, will not. It takes something special to invoke these feelings in an audience, and I will proclaim without hesitation that Night Riots has that special something.
After the show came to a close and Night Riots made their way to the back of Emo's, I knew it was time to shine. I was more than ready to talk to a member of the band. Fortunately for me, Nick Fotinakes, one of their guitarists, was hanging out by merch and his dark eyes were calling my name.
I was nervous, shaking, and pumped. I introduced myself to Nick, whom in return was super welcoming and let me ask the interview questions I had prepared without hesitation. In hopes of being vulnerable with my readers, I will let you know I can barely read my handwriting in my memo pad due to how star struck I was upon actually interviewing a famous musician. In that sweaty, beer-scented, moment at 11:00pm on a Sunday, my dreams were coming true right before my eyes.
In hopes of breaking the ice, I first asked him if he could be in any other band, what would it be. He was very quick to reply, “something 80's," which was definitely my first guess. He mentioned U2 and Metallica as his band preference for another life.
The question that meant the most to me that I presented him with was what does their band name mean to them and where does it come from?
Nick then explained to me that the “night" aspect of their name is representative of the darkness interwoven into their lyrics and music, while the “riots" aspect is more representative of the feeling and energy they want back from the crowd when they perform.
I am well aware the question everyone wants answered is what is in the works, so as my journalistic duty required of me, I asked Nick what Night Riots fans everywhere could be expecting in the near future. He informed me that after this tour, they will be headed to the studio in December in hopes of releasing some music next spring, and that the next tour they have will hopefully be their first headliner.
*mentally puts aside money for concert ticket*
Not only am I excruciatingly thankful for the opportunity to cover this concert, I am in awe of how Nick just treated my questions like a normal conversation.
I asked him what the best and worst parts about touring are, and he told me that they have a “rose and thorn" amongst the band where they tell each other their highs and lows.
His “thorns" of touring are the inconsistencies like “eating at random times," the lack of sleep, and being away from family. He said the band feels like they “are constantly battling health."
As glamourous as being a rock star is, I'm sure it does take a toll on your body.
His “roses" of touring are getting to travel and make music all the time and be with his friends every day.
The tour life comes with ups and downs as one can expect, and Nick was vulnerable enough with me to share some of the realities of life on the road.
After I wrapped up and thanked him for his time, I asked for a photo with him in the most professional, “I'm an aspiring writer but also a huge fan" way as possible.
Night Riots, is a stand-out-for-the-better group of musicians, and I have thoroughly enjoyed both times I have seen them live. Their concert feels like a synth heavy dance party with a side of freedom. If you get the chance, this is a band you definitely want to see in concert. Check out their music here and their website here.
Thank you Night Riots for the best night of my life. Rock on forever.