I can still remember the first time I heard the Juliana Theory. My friends and I just got out of the water and “If I told you…” started playing on my friend’s car stereo. I was hooked. Like many others I was saddened to hear they called it quits a few years ago… even more so because I never got to see them live. So when the “Emotion Is Dead Reunion Tour” was announced late last year, I jumped at the chance of getting tickets and to shoot this incredibly influential band.

After buying a shirt, I found myself surrounded by those equally as anxious as me for the show to start. After hearing instruments being checked behind a closed curtain, the house lights cut off and the band was revealed. The collective cheering definitely gave me goosebumps. Finally, the band that I had been missing out on seeing for the past 10 years was in front of me and performing. The Juliana Theory started off with a set of fan favorites spanning their entire discography. No barrier between the stage and the audience meant that the fans could share an intimate performance one last time.

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Before diving into playing “Emotion is Dead” in its entirety, the band walked off stage to take a short break. With only 6 shows on the reunion tour, obviously a lot of people had to travel out for this show. I also heard people reminiscing of how they listened to the band growing up. The big observation made by several people was that the crowd was made up of older fans in their mid-to-late twenties (myself included).

As the Juliana Theory went on with the “Emotion is Dead” set, it was clear that age was no factor for the audience. Everyone sang along, moved around, and some (despite the wishes of the band not to) took to the skies in an attempt to crowd surf to the front of the venue. Technical difficulties with microphones and guitars seemed to loom overhead for the entire show, but it didn’t phase the band one bit. Their energy and chemistry on stage felt as fresh as they probably were 10 years ago at the album’s release.

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Smiles on their faces toward the audience and smiles toward each other showed a genuine feeling of happiness amongst the members of the Juliana Theory. But toward the end the “Emotion is Dead” set and the encore set, the smiles changed shape: It seemed like the band didn’t want the show to end. Looking out into the audience for the last song, it was clear none of us wanted it to end either. It was sad to see them walking off the stage, but the memory of this performance will be with me and a lot of other people for a very long time.

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Many thanks to Brett Detar for clearing me to shoot the show. Thanks to No Friends for putting TJT in your videos and introducing them to me and my friends. Thank you to the guy who let me take his place up front (sorry I didn’t get your name!). And of course, thanks to the Juliana Theory for coming out one last time for us fans.