You are not famous until you have performed on the same stage as 2 Chainz or been tweeted at by Drake Bell, and pop-punk band Emily’s Army has done both. Band members senior Cole Becker, graduates Joey Armstrong and Max Becker, and Bentley High School graduate Travis Neumann embarked on a journey to Austin, Texas to perform at South by Southwest, a festival stretching from March 7 to 16.
South by Southwest is an annual festival that integrates art, film, and music into one event. This year, Emily’s Army was featured in it, performing three times throughout the whole festival, said Armstrong.
“South by Southwest is exactly how I would picture Mardi Gras if instead of naked ladies there were thousands of musicians, sometimes also naked,“ Cole said.
Cole said that the concerts got pretty wild, as indicated by his dad breaking a rib while crowd surfing at the Foxboro Hot Tubs set. From meeting chef Rachael Ray and the actor from Drake and Josh, Drake Bell, to exploring Austin’s antique scene, Cole said he really enjoyed discovering new bands, meeting new musicians, and exploring Austin.
“Playing at the festival was really great, because no matter how many people are in the club or at the stage you’re playing, they are all musicians or people who really respect the trade,” Cole said.
Like Cole, Armstrong enjoyed walking around and hearing incredible music throughout Austin. Armstrong said the festival was like one crazy, huge party as thousands of of individuals walked along the streets for hours on end.
“I loved seeing Blondie and Albert Hammond Jr. as well as discovering new, young, up and coming bands like Diane Coffee,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the biggest venue Emily’s Army played at was Brazos Hall, where rapper 2 Chainz performed a day after. But Emily’s Army was not solely celebrated for their music, gaining recognition for their costumes as well. The band sported multi-patterned shorts with matching white button ups.
“We wore these outfits everywhere,” Armstrong said. “We got honored as the best dressed band by the festival and got recognized all over.”
Emily’s army passed out “Official friend of Emily’s Army” pins at the nightclubs where they performed. The pins are available to anyone who is looking to wear one, upon request, Max said.