Dashboard Confessional in concert circa 2007. Photo by Melissa Bobbitt
Perhaps my generation is having a hard time admitting we're turning 30. We're no longer cool (instead of consciously Through Being Cool). We are now those "old" weirdos at concerts that saunter into the venue 10 minutes before showtime instead of proving our fandom by lining up in the wee hours to get a front-row spot at a GA gig. (My posse and I used to get up at the crack of dawn, midterms be damned, to see Zwan or Something Corporate at intimate venues.) We're now like grown-up Stevo at the end of SLC Punk-- our younger selves would kick our current sellout asses. Maybe these growing pains have led to the recent nostalgia trip sweeping the Internet, back to the glory days of Dashboard Confessional and Jimmy Eat World. Blink-182 just announced special 10-year anniversary shows for the excellently emo self-titled album. LA Weekly remembered the hotties of the messy-hair and messy-lyrics genre. Alternative Press lamented the loss of classic emo and punk record labels. What's going on? Not that this writer is complaining. To be honest, I'm tired of the onslaught of overconfident vocalists and "we rule!" mantras. Constant self-empowerment is a farce; emo dealt with our weaker moments and told us it was OK to feel something other than powerful. Weezer's Pinkerton gave beta males a savior in bespectacled, partially disabled Rivers Cuomo. Rainer Maria took a shy girl's love of poetry and gave her the courage to shout, even if it resulted in an off-key warble. Emo made imperfection cool. In our monogenre world where everyone is simultaneously fierce and "nerdy," the authenticity of emo is a lovely pacifier for us entering our fourth decade on this mysterious planet.