Origami Angel, Pool Kids & Insignificant Other live review – emo’s next generation is leaving its mark
The Origami Angel / Pool Kids / Insignificant Other tour is on its last few dates, and it rolled through Brooklyn for a show at Elsewhere Hall last night (11/18). The show sold out in advance and was packed for all three bands, and it marked Origami Angel's first time headlining in NYC. But before I get to the music: a crowd member suffered an injury from falling while stage diving towards the end of Insignificant Other's set, and after nearby fans alerted the band, the show was paused and the venue was temporarily evacuated while the person was brought to the hospital. The show eventually resumed, and the crowd was told that thankfully the person is expected to be okay, and all three bands spoke about the incident, encouraged crowd safety, and thanked everyone for looking out for each other and quickly bringing the injury to the band's attention. It was a scary moment, but seemed to be handled as well as possible, and we'd just like to extend our thoughts to the fan. We hope everything's okay.
Insignificant Other's set did end up getting cut short, but they were able to play most of it before the incident occurred, and they sounded great. The Birmingham, Alabama band make big, catchy, punky power pop with the occasional foray into synthpop, and their songs feel like hits even if you'd never heard them before. In addition to playing a chunk of their 2019 debut LP i'm so glad i feel this way about you! last night, they played two new songs, and the new stuff instantly felt just as impactful as their more well-known songs. Vocalist Sim Morales is a totally magnetic performer, and they make it impossible not to have fun at an Insiggy Baby show, and the rest of the band (which currently includes For Your Health vocalist Hayden Rodriguez on drums and Woolbright's Candice Maritato on guitar/backing vocals) are no slouches either. Everyone was on point, full of energy, and getting the early crowd going like it was a headlining set.
Insignificant Other seemed genuinely blown away and grateful that this many people had come out to see an opening band, and Pool Kids expressed the same sentiment. They're fresh off releasing their self-titled sophomore album -- one of the year's most widely beloved emo albums -- and they played the many fan faves off that album, with a little bit from their 2018 debut LP Music to Practice Safe Sex To as well. A big chunk of the crowd knew every word, and Pool Kids sounded great. The dual guitar tapping of vocalist/guitarist Christine Goodwyne and guitarist Andrew Anaya is even more thrilling live than it is on Pool Kids' records, and the whole band really rocks out. And the one song where Christine put her guitar down to just sing and jump into the crowd ("Talk Too Much"), Pool Kids rocked in a totally different way. (Sim and Candice from Insignificant Other also came out to sing on that one, making it even more awesome.) There were no dull moments during Pool Kids' set, and never a lack of energy from any person on stage or off.
The energy level in the room couldn't have been higher by the time Origami Angel took the stage. From the moment the DC two-piece played their first few notes, the whole crowd was jumping around and gearing up to scream along at the top of their lungs. They get an incredibly full sound with just guitar, vocals, and drums, and Ryland Heagy makes it look effortless as he bounces around the stage, breaks out flashy Mike Kinsella-meets-Van Halen guitar licks, and remains perfectly locked-in with drummer Pat Doherty. They mixed it up well between their two albums -- last year's Gami Gang and 2019's Somewhere City -- and also worked in other stuff like this year's DEPART and re: turn EPs, and last night's show made it clear that Gami already have a lot of scene classics. The nearly-700-cap room was full of people singing their hearts out to so many of these songs, and somehow Gami still harnessed the intimacy of a scrappy emo basement show.
Origami Angel were technically the headliners, but the whole show had a very egalitarian feel. Every band brought it, and the crowd came ready to give it right back each time. And for three relatively new bands to pack this place and get the amazing reactions that they did, one thing was very clear: the new generation of emo is in full swing.
The tour wraps up with two Boston shows this weekend and Philly on Monday (11/21). Check out some videos from last night's show below.