Midwest Emo Legends Sunny Day Real Estate Take NYC

After 13 years, Sunny Day Real Estate made a grand comeback to New York City at Brooklyn Steel for two nights.

The Seattle, Washington-based band consists of lead singer Jeremy Enigk, guitarist Dan Hoerner, drummer William Goldsmith, live bassist Chris Jordan, as well as guitarist and backing vocalist Jason Narducy who also plays for Superchunk. The band credits their music inspiration to Nirvana, Black Sabbath, and King Crimson. After recording their second album in 1994, LP2, the band parted ways. Three years later, they got back together to release two more albums along with a live album.

Unfortunately, their union was short-lived, breaking up again in 2001, going as far as changing the band’s status to inactive.

Nonetheless, the band appears as though they can’t separate from one another. Sunny Day Real Estate announced its reunion tour in January 2022 and began touring as of last month with The Appleseed Cast.

While The Appleseed Cast may have just “opened up” for the band on both nights, they are true veterans to the emo scene. Hailing from Southern California, The Appleseed Cast performed their famous post-rock tracks, including “Fishing the Sky” and “Ceremony.” The band’s music and vibe were perfect matches to that of Sunny Day Real Estate.

Once Sunny Day Real Estate took their place on stage, the crowd immediately started headbanging as the first notes of their song “Pillars” echoed through the venue. On both nights they performed “One” and “48” right after their first song. It’s rare to hear a singer’s vocals sound exactly like the record, but Enigk put auto tuners from all over to shame.

Throughout the night, they played tracks such as “Song About an Angel,” “How It Feels to Be Something On,” and “Seven.” Both nights featured tracks from all of their albums, including LP2, How It Feels To Be Something On, The Rising Tide, and Diary.

Their 1994 album, Diary, received great attention as it was recognized on Rolling Stone’s list of “40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time” in 2016, as well as the LA Weekly’s “Top 20 Emo Albums in History” in 2013. Despite not fitting the description of your typical Midwest emo band, Sunny Day Real Estate was pivotal in paving the way for the Midwest emo scene.

To put it simply, some of our favorite bands might not have been around had it not been for Sunny Day Real Estate creativity and bravery. Sunny Day Real Estate walked so other bands could run! Bands like Promise Ring, Braid, Texas is the Reason were greatly influenced by the Sunny Day Real Estate’s legacy.

On Thursday and Friday nights, the band came out once again for the encore and performed “The Rising Tide,” “Circles,” and “Days Were Golden.” As they performed “Days Were Golden,” each member would stop playing, put down his instrument, and leave the stage one by one until only but the drummer was left on the stage. Now that was something I had never witnessed at any show. Their exit was dramatic yet powerful, delivering quite an end to an already incredible show.

Although I initially went to this show on a whim, it was such a special experience. If you ever have the opportunity to see a band or musician making an appearance after a hiatus or break-up, you just simply must.