The first time I walked into Emos in 1992 I thought I’d died and went to heaven. Agent Orange were playing, there were big cushy sofas scattered about, a Lonestar was a dollar and there was no cover. As an added bonus the punk/alt girls of Austin at that time were in the middle of a Betty Page renaissance wherein most of them were toddling about on skyscraper heels and dressing like early 60’s pin up models.

The only thing lacking was a big, rusted pit over in the corner with an ancient Black man handing out brisket sandwiches.

Things change.

The modern Emos is a heartbreaker.

It’s devolved into being no more than a showcase club with stratospheric cover charges and offers little in the way of lounging unless you count standing in line to buy a Blue Moon as a relaxing endeavor.

I still go by once in a great while [ Blind Guardian, Dirt Nasty, Redd Kross….the list of acts that can cajole me through the doors is short ] but typically I’m on my way somewhere else and pass on by with nary a glance.

But from 1992-2000 this was one of the great live music clubs in the USA.

The entertainment just to get into the bar was as fine as any in Austin. One night the cops were beating the hell out of a punk on the street corner when all of a sudden a slice of Hoek’s Pizza comes winging through the air and catches one of Austin’s finest right in the kisser.

The boys in blue take off running after the pizza hurler and the kid who was getting his ass kicked picks up the slice of pizza and walks off contentedly munching on his prize.

I love this town

603 Red River Street


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