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Photos by Rahel Foxx

image1 Emo was never just a phase, and Brass Monkey’s emo throwback night, “Jimmy Eat Wednesday,” is here to prove it.

In December 2014, a group of friends in Los Angeles had the idea to host an emo-themed night at a local bar and ended up creating an event far more popular than they could have imagined. Since the take-off of LA’s Taking Back Tuesday (a play on the band Taking Back Sunday), emo-fueled throwback nights have been popping up all around the country, and Texas is no exception.

Cousins Alex and Stephen Chavez are the masterminds behind the creation of the Austin, Houston and San Antonio emo clubs. The two got the idea to start their own emo-themed night after attending one in another city.

“[We] honestly just thought we could do it a lot betterwithout the egos,” said Stephen. “Basically we’re fine playing a lot of the hits instead of trying to play the most obscure emo to look cool. It’s what the people want!”

Since Alex had worked at Barbarella in Austin, the two decided to first try their emo night there. After pitching the idea, they were given the opportunity to host the emo-themed night. Alex was inspired to name the event “Jimmy Eat Wednesday” after flipping through his own music collection.

“I originally wanted to call it ‘Tell All Your Friends’ or ‘Through Being Cool’,” said Alex. “However, there were other nights that popped up with those names. I went through some albums in my collection, and when I picked up ‘Clarity’ by Jimmy Eat World, I thought to myself, ‘that’s the best name to play on,’ especially since we were doing it on a Wednesday.”

Shortly after the Austin debut of Jimmy Eat Wednesday in July 2015, the Houston chapter of the event, called Saves The Tuesday started. And in February of this year, San Antonio bar Brass Monkey joined the emo club.

The monthly event, also called Jimmy Eat Wednesday, takes place on the last Wednesday of every month. Owner Mark Manuelle admitted he was hesitant to host the pop-punk and emo themed night, but was convinced by those closest to him.

“My girlfriend used to attend Alex Chavez’s event in Austin when we were living there last fall,” Manuelle explained. “Her excitement about the energy, music and the nostalgia it brought is what made her suggest the idea that I do a pop-punk/emo night at Brass Monkey. It wasn’t until she took my brother to check it out for himself, and his positive response, that convinced me on the whole idea.”

Manuelle was never worried whether or not people would come to Jimmy Eat Wednesday.

“I knew there would be an audience for Jimmy because no one else was doing a night like this. We were bringing something completely different to the St. Mary’s strip, and ultimately, bringing a monthly night for that audience.”

Attendance at all three events has been so outstanding that the Austin and Houston chapters each celebrated their first anniversary this summer. According to Manuelle, his event at Brass Monkey has “grown significantly every month…even though Alex has his event in Austin every first Wednesday of the month, we still have people coming down from Austin for our event as well.”

Millennials grew up during the peak of the emo era, and many 20-somethings now fondly remember the passionate, fast-paced songs for which the genre is known. For many “emo kids,” the intensity of these songs hit at the same time as puberty, bonding with a rush of hormones and making a lasting impression.

As the millennial generation continues to age and take over the bar scene, it makes sense that events like these are drawing such large crowds.

“The crowd that comes out to Jimmy Eat Wednesday not only enjoys the music itself, but being able to come together and reminisce,” said Manuelle. “Not to mention, the sing-alongs and screaming at the top of their lungs.”

The next Jimmy Eat Wednesday is next Wednesday, Sept. 28.

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