• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

On August 1st Jonny Craig returns to Las Vegas, this time to one of our favorite downtown spots, Backstage Bar & Billiards. This is a bit of a change up from his regular all ages showcases here in the City of Sin, but I’m not complaining. I’ve worked so many shows in this building it’s practically home for me. 

For those unaware, (outside of any personal aired drama) Jonny Craig is most known for his past frontman positions in Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, and Slaves; along with a spot with the post hardcore supergroup, Isles & Glaciers. Between all of these names you can find well over 10 records with his vocals, as well as a plethora of solo and collaborated tracks and albums. (Jonny’s work with Kyle Lucas is my favorite personally. “The Blueprint for Going Around in Circles” has some of my most played tracks of this genre.) 

Having watched Jonny Craig through this journey since the later DGD years and really diving into his stuff with Emarosa back in 2008, I have to say there’s something extremely special about how he blends the R&B and post hardcore sounds. It’s unlike anything else in post hardcore. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about artists like Jonny without mentioning his own battles with addiction, and despite that, he seems to bleed onto the pages with his lyrical content. The heartbreak and experienced pains are ever apparent and relatable.

Recent work and KeepMySecrets

As mentioned above, I’ve been following Jonny Craig’s journey for about 15 years and each release just seems better and better to me. “The Places We’ll Never Be”, was released in 2021 and followed by a string of singles and features with other artists. Lately Jonny has been out on tour with KeepMySecrets.

KeepMySecrets embodies a similar vibe as Johnny, so this doesn’t seem too unusual to see them working together. KeepMySecrets definitely has more electronica vibes, but the vocal style has some similarities. One of the newer tracks, GOOSEBUMPS features Jonny Craig and Shaker, who is also listed on the tour for this bill. Overall I’d say it’s an interesting track but not impossible for someone like me to get into. I enjoy these elements blended together and I’d love to see more from these three working together. 

Another new track released this year, The One, features just Jonny Craig and Shaker and I like the contrast that this song brings to Jonny’s overall collection of work. I fell in love with all of Jonny Craig’s work with Kyle Lucas, and I can definitely see myself having a similar connection with some of these other collaborations. 

Expectations?

I’ve only seen Jonny Craig a couple of times since my fandom began all those years ago. My expectations for this round are a pretty blank slate given all of the growth and changes within the last five years or so, and I like to see how artists’ shows can change with time. I go into these things with as open a mind as possible. Recent setlists show a mix of his solo music and popular tracks from his Emarosa and Slaves days. No complaints from me with that, if I did have an actual list of expectations, that pretty much meets them. 

For tickets and venue information head on over to the Backstage Bar & Billiards website! The event is 21+ and tickets start at $20! 

Previous Jonny Craig coverage:

Live photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

By Courtney Ware

Lead photographer, art director, editor, and writer. Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Avid music lover, but favorites include thrash metal, deathcore, metalcore, and post hardcore. - Photography is my passion, and I've carried cameras around for as long as I can remember. I endlessly strive for the constant growth and capabilities this medium can offer. Nothing makes me happier than capturing emotions that I see, and sharing my knowledge in how I did it. - I have an undying love for my local music scene, having been a part of it since my teens.

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