2015 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78741
Hours: Show Times Vary
Established: early 90’s/2011
Written by: Allison Ullrich
Emo’s East is new to the Austin live music scene, but its name and heritage is certainly not. The club is the east-side expansion of the well-known 6th Street/Red River venue, Emo’s, now shuttered. The live music scene is growing on the east side of Austin, and Emo’s East is capturing and defining a piece of the action. Opened in September 2011, the venue has already been host to such well-known acts as: Butthole Surfers, Anthrax, and Big Sean.
Anyone familiar with the Emo’s brand is used to the gritty, punk feel of Emo’s downtown. With the opening of Emo’s East, Ross Bennett, marketer for Emo’s, says the goal is to “step up our game by giving them [concert go-ers] the best experience possible.” Not only does Emo’s East have cleaner restrooms than its big brother Emo’s, they have raised the roof 35 feet, brought in the best sound system money can buy, and also thrown in showers and laundry machines in the green room. Ross says, “The line of sight is perfect everywhere. You can see the stage no matter what—[in a] full room—from the very back corner you can still see the stage.” With all the upgrades to Emo’s East, the hope is that fans will “come to have a great time. It’s going to be the best-sounding-looking-thing you can ever watch. We want you to have your favorite time here.”
The name Emo’s doesn’t come from the genre of rock music, or even the confessional attitude many fans now grasp, but was the nickname of the original owner. Founded in the early 1990’s, Emo’s was a place where many teenagers saw their first live music show. Whether they were sneaking out of the suburbs to come downtown with their friends, or using their petty allowance to catch their favorite band, Emo’s brought the love of live music to many people. Both the inside and outside stages of Emo’s have been host to groundbreaking and legendary acts, such as Johnny Cash and more. Though the downtown Emo’s is no more, Emo’s East hopes to capture the essence of the original venue, while adding in some new flare for the next generation of live music lovers to come.
Emo’s East will “continue to grow by bringing in some of the larger acts. We’re also partners in the Beauty Ballroom, so that’ll be the new, mid-size room that will neighbor us on the east side,” says Ross. An additional stage in Emo’s East is planned for the back wall, with the capability of dividing it from the rest of the room. This will give the 1700 capacity venue the intimate feel of a 300 person capacity show, such as those that were held at the original Emo’s inside stage.