Following a last-minute cancellation of its first day due to a wind advisory, and speculation that the line-up was too good to be true, the highly-anticipated emo and pop-punk festival, When We Were Young finally held its inaugural event in Las Vegas, Nevada. The “epic line-up of emo and rock bands from the past two decades” came to fruition this past Sunday, October 23, with My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon and more taking the stage.
If you missed out on the nostalgia, don’t worry. NME’s photographer Jenn Five was on hand to capture all the live action and grab some of the day’s biggest and best acts for some exclusive backstage portraits. Here’s your all-access pass to When We Were Young.
The Linda Lindas
We got cosy backstage with young punk rock rebels The Linda Lindas.
We watched TikTok superstar HUDDY bring his punk rock prowess from the screen to the stage.
Speaking of new generations of pop-punk, Jxdn serenaded the crowd with viral emo-rap hits.
We took a moment with Neck Deep behind the scenes before they hopped on stage.
Palaye Royale showed us how to look the part and bring the energy, both backstage and in front of the crowd.
Motionless In White
Pennsylvania heavy metal outfit, Motionless In White gave a dark and gritty performance once the sun went down.
Royal & The Serpent
Royal & The Serpent fulfilled our hot pink neon dreams before bringing her pop-punk hits to the When We Were Young stage.
Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil took a moment to relax before heating up the desert with their performance.
Story Of The Year
Story Of The Year showed us a full range of emotions as we snapped a sunny pic of them backstage.
Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World gave us live renditions of ‘Sweetness’ and ‘In The Middle’ and we definitely sang along to every word.
Dashboard Confessional helped us time travel with their hits ‘Screaming Infidelities’ and ‘Vindicated’.
Tyson Ritter of All-American Rejects
Tyson Ritter of The All-American Rejects came to the rescue with a free show for fans following the cancellation of When We Were Young’s first day and we got a candid moment with the alt-rock hero backstage.
We ran into The Used next to their tour bus before their set, and they were already leaning into the punk energy they were about to bring to the stage.
AFI not only played their hits but also a gravity-defying rock performance.
Wolf Alice played a dynamic set before the sun went down, warming up the pop-punk crowd.
Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me The Horizon left it all on stage, even when they hopped off to spend time with fans in the front row.
Crowned pop-punk princess, Avril Lavigne led the crowd in multiple sing-alongs of her hits, before surprising fans with a cover of future When We Were Young headliners, Blink-182‘s track ‘All The Small Things’.
Before taking the stage for their headline set, Paramore’s formidable frontwoman Hayley Williams shared a heartfelt letter with her fans and supporters. If a letter which read “Young girls, queer kids, and anybody of any color… We have shifted this scene together, messily, angrily, heartbroken, and determined” wasn’t enough to give fans goosebumps, the band giving the fest their first ever live performance of ‘All I Wanted’ definitely was.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance rocked elderly prosthetics during their When We Were Young set, which we assume is a nod to their legendary emo-elder status. Gerard Way and co. also brought back their ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ era outfits, sending When We Were Young’s first night off with more than a healthy dose of nostalgia.