Midwestern indie juggernaut Evan Weiss is a man of many talents, having either played in or revitalized the Chicago emo brand to a huge degree. Weiss rolls into town on Tuesday with equivocally genre-appropriately named support acts The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die and A Great Big Pile of Leaves at Pub Rock on a tour that's already seen a couple of sold-out dates. It's worth nothing that Weiss' work here differs from that of Their / They're / There, going more for the heart than the technical side of things, to a greater effect.
If you've come looking for the toothsome likes of Into It. Over It.'s Proper on this tour, you're in the wrong place. A cut like "The Shaking of Leaves" from last year's brilliant Intersections is tailored to play to softer sensibilities with Kinsella-esque instrumental touches and Ben Gibbard imagery. It melds together well for a sound that's hardly dated, more likely to make you recall sepia-toned days of youth than a record with an expiration date on it.
That might be the biggest virtue to Weiss's approach in terms of "emo" as a genre. Stripped of excess instrumentation and pretense, we're reminded as to why this branch of music resonates so much with its fans -- rare is it that such relativity is easy to come by, much less pinpoint.
One could look at the rollicking good times in country or lust and longing personified in R&B in a similar light, but it's really within emo that such an exposed heart-on-sleeve approach comes without the cringing and kitsch when a similar theme is applied to other genres.
For the same reason, it's even more frustrating that emo gets often lumped in with the unfortunately perennial term "screamo," often swapped out for true post-hardcore stylings by those who don't know any better. We can thank many a Warped Tour darling for this, such as Hawthorne Heights, Armor for Sleep or any similarly named act that watered down the work of At the Drive In or Refused.
Today, however, it's worth reclaiming emo, removing the stigma, and applying it once again to the works of Matt Pond PA and The Album Leaf without having to worry about uttering the word in the presence of that surface-value music snob in your social circle. Wear your Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon shirts with pride.
When you walk through the doors of Pub Rock tonight, remember that this isn't a show to find solace in the pit or shake some hips to -- it's worth being introspective for a moment, and there's no shame in telling your friends you were just at an emo acoustic show. Weiss is as good an ambassador as any for the genre, and while it may have never have actually gone anywhere, emo definitely isn't a four letter word anymore. Into It. Over It. may just teach you a thing or two about yourself by the time the night is through.
Into It. Over It. is scheduled to perform tonight at Pub Rock in Scottsdale. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12.
Find any show in the Valley via our extensive online concert calendar.
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