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PREVIEW: Emo Orchestra Feat. Escape the Fate

Photo credit: Big Picture Media

Combining emo hits of the 2000s, rock band Escape the Fate’s hits, and a full orchestra, Emo Orchestra is set to bring together seemingly disparate things. Coming May 4 to the Lillian S. Wells Hall at The Parker in Ft. Lauderdale, this is the second year of this tour. 

Created by husband and wife team Ben and Kristen Mench-Thurlow in 2023, the inaugural run featured emo mainstays Hawthorne Heights

The idea for the Orchestra was, according to The Dallas Observer, “‘Ben’s brainchild,’ [and] was born out of [Kristen’s] husband’s love for the music he grew up listening to. After over a decade of working as a booking agent, Ben and Kristen started their family, which made him want to create a show for emo rock lovers who are beginning to have kids of their own.”

 Emo music has held a special place in many 30-something’s hearts as it was the music that was with them during the tough times, the growing times; so it’s only natural that they’d want to pass that on.

As Ben Mench-Thurlow said, “Turning 30 doesn’t mean you need to listen to ‘grown-up’ music. There’s no such thing.”

The Orchestra has been featured in/on Kerrang!, Stereogum, Consequence, Rock Sound, idobi Radio, New Noise Magazine and The Noise. The tour started on April 17 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will end on May 24 in Portland, Ore.

Escape the Fate formed in 2004 in Las Vegas and has had many lineup changes over their 20 year history. Their current lineup consists of lead vocalist Craig Mabbit, drummer Robert Ortiz, rhythm guitarist and vocalist TJ Bell, guitarist Matti Hoffman and bassist Erik Jensen. They’ve spawned many hits over their career, such as “Situations”, “One for the Money”, “Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliche” and “Broken Heart”. Escape the Fate has gone from metalcore to hard rock to, currently, post-hardcore so they would seem like an odd choice for an emo show, but maybe the Mench-Thurlows wanted different. 

As Mabbit says: “We have been on the road almost 20 years now so to do something this different and special is very exciting for us as artists and we hope it’s just as exciting for you.” 

The band released their newest 22-track album, “Out of the Shadows 2.0”, on April 19. They are playing such festivals as When We Were Young Fest and Download Festival. 

There will be a VIP experience at every show where fans will get to ask questions of Escape The Fate and the conductor pre-show, will get signed sheet music of “This War is Ours”, an exclusive Emo Orchestra patch, commemorative laminate, can of Escape The Fate and Dead Sled Coffee cold brew and early access to the venue and merchandise. 

If you’re at every Emo Nite, love classical music or both, this is the show for you. Or, if you’re new to the genre, this is a chance to see songs you might have fallen in love with but not gotten to see live. Either way, this fusion of emo and classical will be one to remember.


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