Words & Photos by Amber James
2017: a year in the midst of, depending on who you talk to, either the second, third or maybe fourth revival of emo. All depends on how you spin it. But, despite the new surge of emo making a comeback, nothing ever quite ages the best like the originals. And Matt Pryor plus his handful of projects like The Get Up Kids and The New Amsterdams are some of the best of the best.
Almost a throwback to yester year shows of old, you descended down into the basement of the huge, looming church on Delaware Ave. That one you always wondered about because of its sheer size and gloominess. Lights were dim and the bar was serving up various different types of drinks from Coke to your cheap beers that were perfect for this type of show. People crammed into the space, waiting for one of the emo OGs to take to the four inch tall stage.
Pryor’s set consisted of a combination of Get Up Kids songs as well as songs by Pryor’s original solo project, The New Amsterdams, and his current solo project going simply by his name. He started his set off with an original, ‘Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down’. In the truest sense of the word ’emo’, Pryor played a few love songs by Get Up Kids such as ‘Better Half’ and ‘Out of Reach’. If your eyes scanned across the crowd, you wouldn’t be surprised if you saw numerous aged out emo fans singing along to most of these songs, most likely with their eyes glistening or blinking back a few tears over the nostalgia, and, of course, the emotions of the songs themselves.
Out on this leg of the tour with him, the tour split into four separate one week spans over four months, was his teenage daughter Lily Pryor. She played a few songs to open up the song and then came on stage to play a few songs with her dad. Playing her ukulele, Lily dueted with Pryor on two of his original songs, ‘Loralai’ and ‘I Won’t Be Afraid’. Their onstage banter was the perfect sarcastic wit exchanged between a dad and his daughter who obviously share a lot in common.