To continue with my unspoken romances I had while being on Vans Warped Tour, another guy who I grew to really appreciate on the tour, but in a totally different way than the others, (see: Part 5, Part 4, Part 1) was Jonny Craig. Jonny is the lead singer for Emarosa, a band on the tour that summer, though I knew of Jonny from Dance Gavin Dance, one of the few hardcore bands that I really like. He is pretty well-known in that whole scene, being one of those vocalists’ who is in multiple bands and has his own following. While I’m not particularly attracted to him, I did fall in love with his talent.
Fucking auto-tune and pre-recorded tracks. So depressing. If I had to guess, I’d say that 50% of what you hear at a concert, is pre-recorded tracks. This is why I enjoy seeing and supporting local music and smaller touring bands because what you’re hearing is real; it’s raw. When you find yourself thinking, they sound exactly like their CD! That’s probably because most of what you’re hearing is from their CD. It makes me want to throw-up and punch someone. My whole beef with the present-day music industry though will be a rant for a different day. Jonny was one of the few lead singer’s of the larger bands that didn’t use auto-tune or vocal tracks, and considering the notes that kid hits… that is respectable. He also didn’t wear in-ears, which scores him cool points in my book.
Caitlin Rule: Use your monitors! In-ears make you look like a vagina as well as making it appallingly obvious that the sound engineer is doing most of the work.
From what I witnessed, Jonny embraced almost every form of self-destruction. In other words, he knows how to party. Every night, that guy got fucked up, and everyday, he would get up on that stage and just make love to his songs and it was beautiful. I don’t know how he did it. He did not take care of himself even a little bit, but his voice never faltered. He even broke his ribs during one of his performances, and still did not miss one show. The next day, he was on that Ernie Ball stage and like always, singing his guts out and hitting notes that very few men can. Somehow, he made those notes sound even better than they do in his recordings, giving you something truly worthwhile by seeing him live. I’m not even much of a fan of Emarosa, I don’t own any of their albums, but I caught their show that summer as often as I could because of Jonny’s ability to sing unlike anyone else on the tour.
Emarosa (live) – Here is a link to a video of them performing, and of course, this shitty youtube video doesn’t do him much justice, but it at least gives you an idea of what I’m talking about.
While I wasn’t attracted to Jonny, I will say that I was oddly fascinated by him that summer. He has this very “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and demeanor, but underneath it all, I think I saw this little boy vulnerability that again, like a lot of what I experienced that summer, I probably would not have noticed had I not been miserable. After hours, when we’re all going from bus to bus, mingling, destroying our bodies with substances and watching the dismantling of the stages, (which looking back, was oddly metaphoric) though he was always surrounded by many people, Jonny sometimes looked lonely. Maybe I’m over romanticizing, maybe there was nothing vulnerable underneath those sharp eyes, but I think that somewhere between those high notes and after hour adventures, he was screaming for some sort of real human connection, something real to hold on to.
I think we all were.
Touring- (verb) a sea of internal uncertainty with home never feeling so close and so far away.