Cities have begun to reopen and some people are finding socially-distant ways to put on concerts, but the world of live entertainment as we know it is still far from back to normal. While you wait to finally attend a show IRL again, we recommend these awesome videos of 15 emo and post-hardcore bands in their '90s/'00s primes...

Samiam @ CBGB - 10/22/1994

Berkeley emo/punk vets Samiam had gotten scooped up by the major label feeding frenzy in the early '90s and released their sole album for Atlantic, Clumsy, in 1994. The major label deal didn't last long, but they made good use of Atlantic's budget and came out with what is now one of their most classic albums. "Capsized" became a minor hit, and they played it on a legendary Jon Stewart Show appearance, but as great as it was to watch Samiam rip it up on TV, they were really more at home at a place like CBGB, where they tore through tons of favorites from Clumsy (and Soar and Billy) that same year. [Andrew Sacher]


Jawbreaker @ Lupo's in Providence, RI - 10/23/95

The late NJ '90s punk scene fixture Tim Morris filmed tons of amazing bands back in the day, often in unconventional venues like houses and VFW halls (but in plenty of "real" venues too), and as we mentioned, Chris Haug has been digitizing Tim's videos and adding more and more to Tim's YouTube page all the time. This one was added just a week ago of Jawbreaker playing Providence about a month after the then-divisive Dear You had come out. Jawbreaker's recent reunion has proved they've very much still got it, but there's nothing like watching them rock out during their glory days like this and it's a treat to hear the Dear You songs when they were still fresh. [Andrew Sacher]


Drive Like Jehu @ CBGB in New York, NY - 1995

Post-hardcore vets Drive Like Jehu reunited in the mid 2010s for a comeback that was brief but triumphant. They put on some shows that were truly hypnotic, but here they were back during their initial run when they were not only hypnotic but also rowdier and more energetic than they were during the reunion. This show was at CBGB in 1995, the final year that DLJ were a band until the reunion, and it's clear that they went out with a life-affirming bang. They played their goddamn hearts out at this show, and even with the graininess of this footage, you can feel their raw, primal power. [Andrew Sacher]


Rainer Maria @ Fireside Bowl, Chicago - 3/28/1997

This Chicago show from Rainer Maria predates their debut LP, Past Worn Searching, by months - it came out in December of the same year. It's a compelling look at the band's early days, with the seeds of raw potential already firmly planted. [Amanda Hatfield]


Jimmy Eat World @ Skater's World, Wayne, NJ - 12/5/1997

Back before Jimmy Eat World were the polished professionals they are today, they were a hungry, modest, underground emo band and this 1997 video captures the charm of that era perfectly. (The Get Up Kids played this show too.) Jim Adkins and Tom Linton were still splitting vocals back then (and Jim even screams!), and though Clarity wouldn't be out for over a year, they played a few songs from that album and it's a treat to hear these super early renditions of these now-very-familiar songs. Jimmy Eat World are still a great band today, but this era is long gone and there's always something special about revisiting it. [Andrew Sacher]


Jets To Brazil @ The Black Cat in Washington, DC - 4/16/1999

It still feels like a miracle that Jawbreaker finally reunited, but when this lockdown finally ends, I'll still be crossing my fingers that Blake Schwarzenbach reunites Jets To Brazil too. Their 1998 debut Orange Rhyming Dictionary is just about as timeless and influential as anything by Jawbreaker, and here's a recently-unearthed video (by Scott Heisel, who's been uploading a lot of cool old footage lately) of Jets playing DC the year after that album came out. Like Jawbreaker (and drummer Chris Daly's former band Texas Is The Reason), Jets were an intense live band, and that really came across in this video, in which they look like pros on stage and sound as sharp as they do on the record. Making this video extra special is that it's got footage of them playing "Won't You Come Down," a "new" song they played a lot on tour in 1999 but never recorded. It's a great one. [Andrew Sacher]


Sunny Day Real Estate @ Breakroom in Seattle, WA - 5/31/1999

As much as Diary is perhaps the most important emo album ever, Sunny Day Real Estate themselves just may have topped it with 1998's How It Feels to Be Something On, an album that took the band more in art rock direction. This show was in support of that album and it includes life-affirming performances of a nice chunk of its songs. And when they do reach back to Diary, it's to do "In Circles" and "Song About An Angel" in a more relaxed, atmospheric way, making them fit right in with the then-new stuff. [Andrew Sacher]


At the Drive In @ Big Day Out 2001

The first time I saw from At the Drive In perform was not in person but this live performance recorded a few months after Relationship of Command's release at Sydney's Big Day Out festival, which was filmed for television along with an interview. They opened with the same one-two punch as the album, "Arcarsenal" into "Pattern Against User," and not only did they sound razor sharp, but this performance made it clear right off the bat how physical a thing At the Drive In was. These guys were flailing their bodies across the stage -- even in an environment as non-intimate as a major festival -- and the music sounded as intense as they looked. The set became extra infamous when ATDI walked off early because Cedric Bixler-Zavala was pissed off at some aggressive moshers in the pit. He now says he could've handled the situation better, but it's still badass to see Cedric bring these Fugazi-esque punk ethos to a crowd of thousands. [Andrew Sacher]


Taking Back Sunday @ The Sahara in Syosset, NY - 2001

The new Koyo EP (members of SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Typecaste, Hangman, and more paying tribute to classic Long Island emo) got me thinking about back when Taking Back Sunday were directly tied to the Long Island hardcore scene, which got me thinking about this amazing full-set video of them playing a tiny room in Long Island before their debut album even came out. People are going nuts, opening up the pit, yelling along to now-very-familiar songs (which were out as a demo at the time), and the band -- who are right there on the floor with the crowd -- already sound as great as they did when they started playing to crowds of thousands. [Andrew Sacher]


Bright Eyes @ Magic Stick, Detroit, MI, 5/12/2002

Bright Eyes have new music out finally, and in honor of that I revisited this show from much earlier in their career, a few months before the release of Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground. There's an appreciable amount of crowd noise, but that adds to the feeling of actually being in a club, and Conors sounds fired up and impassioned playing an incredible setlist of songs from Letting off the Happiness, Fevers and Mirrors, and Lifted, backed by a full band, string section included. [Amanda Hatfield]


Pedro the Lion @ Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth, TX - 5/14/2002

Pedro the Lion have been reunited for a bit now and they've been putting on great shows and released a great new album, but as good as they are today, there's very specific charm to the era of the band captured in this video. Their much-loved Control had just come out a month earlier, and David Bazan's joined by some of the band's classic members: guitarist TW Walsh, bassist Johnathon Ford (leader of Unwed Sailor), and drummer Casey Foubert. They sounded fantastic, and the very modest, no-frills performance (with no visuals, light show, or anything) really makes it look like an unpolished snapshot of indie rock history. [Andrew Sacher]


Desaparecidos @ Magic Stick in Detroit, MI - 8/1/2002

Conor Oberst is a super busy guy. These days, he's back with Bright Eyes (whose first new album in nine years is on the way, and who will eventually tour after this whole pandemic ends), but today I'm going back in time to his punk band Desaparecidos' initial, short-lived early 2000s run, during which they released their killer debut album Read Music/Speak Spanish and played some truly life-affirming shows. (They also reunited in the 2010s and released their 2015 comeback album Payola, which we named one of the best punk/emo albums of that decade.) Conor's quiet singer/songwriter stuff can silence a room, but he's also a pro at the loud, hard-hitting punk stuff and his scream-singing sounds even more badass in this live video than it does on record. The band is tight, the songs are great -- the whole thing rips. [Andrew Sacher]


Rilo Kiley @ Mary Jane's Fat Cat in Houston, TX - 11/16/2002

This show was part of Rilo Kiley's tour supporting their second (and best) album, 2002's The Execution of All Things, and the setlist is everything you'd want, mostly Execution songs and a few from Take Offs and Landings, too. Jenny Lewis sounds raw and earnest and aching, nearly screaming on "The Good That Won't Come Out," and it's a treat to see Blake Sennett take over vocals a few times too. [Amanda Hatfield]


Hot Rod Circuit & Say Anything (Acoustic) @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn - 1/14/2007

Back in January of 2007, the same year Say Anything would later release In Defense of the Genre and Hot Rod Circuit would go on hiatus, the two bands' singers -- Max Bemis and Andy Jackson -- did an acoustic show together at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory. Most excitingly, they teamed up to play Hot Rod Circuit's "Consumed By Laziness" together, but this show was also exciting because Max debuted a few In Defense of the Genre songs before the album was out, and it's still a treat to hear those songs in these early, stripped-down forms. (I especially recommend the acoustic version of "About Falling" that he played at this show.) Max and Andy both played tons of older favorites too, and though I haven't found video of the whole set, I've rounded up as much of this very special show as I could find in this playlist. [Andrew Sacher]


The Weakerthans @ Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg - 4/2009

John K Samson's beloved band The Weakerthans has been broken up for over five years now, but their influence hasn't faded, and this hometown Winnipeg show from a few years following their fourth and final album, Reunion Tour, is a good reminder why. It's a pristine recording with a fantastic setlist (including two thirds of the saga of Virtute the cat - the third part, "Virtute at Rest," wouldn't be released until Samson's 2016 solo album Winter Wheat) and listening to it is a great comfort in these weird quarantined times. [Amanda Hatfield]

See also:

* 10 classic '90s punk concert videos

* 15 classic grunge and alternative rock concert videos

* 15 classic '90s indie rock & shoegaze concert videos to watch right now

* 10 classic '80s hardcore concert videos

* 10 classic '80s post-punk concert videos

* 10 classic '70s punk concert videos to watch right now

* 10 classic '80s thrash metal concert videos

For more of our favorite live videos, head here.

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