BY BROOK WADLE
SC Staff Writer
Do you believe in love at first sight? I didn’t until I discovered Emblem3.
The California-bred surfer-esque trio rose to fame on last season’s The X Factor.
Although they ultimately ended up in fourth place in the competition, their real journey was just beginning.
I don’t watch The X Factor. Let me rephrase that—I didn’t watch The X Factor until the heavens opened up and God placed Emblem3 on the stage.
I was up late one night being a typical college student—2am, couldn’t fall asleep, aimlessly browsing the internet—sounds about right.
I came across The X Factor auditions on YouTube and stumbled upon Emblem3. One listen to their original song “Sunset Blvd” and the rest was history. Their blend of pop, hip-hop, and reggae was something I’ve never heard before. I was hooked.
From then on, I found myself religiously following them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other media source I could get my hands on.
I admit I was a little obsessed. Can you blame me? Three good looking guys who could sing, play guitar, and had their little California-style going on? Somebody pinch me because I must be dreaming!
Every Wednesday night I was itching to get out of my night class so I could run back to my dorm in hopes of catching Emblem3’s performance. Even if I missed it, I know it would be on YouTube later.
Instead of homework, I would sit on my bed and dial the voting hotline about 50 times every show.
When they were voted off X Factor in December I was completely bummed. I refused to watch the show any more. All I could do was wait, stalk them on social media, and hope they got signed to a record label.
That soon became a reality in early January when Simon Cowell signed Emblem3 to Syco Music and Columbia Records. I knew it was only a matter of time.
And their career took off! Emblem3 was gaining an even bigger fan base, writing their debut album, and planning a tour… in California. The problem: I live in Pennsylvania, over 3,000 miles away!
Thankfully, God decided to open up the heavens again because Emblem3 announced their East Coast tour! I was definitely not going to miss this.
Saturday, March 9th: I rolled out of bed at 9:45am and anxiously sat in front of my computer until tickets went on sale at 10am. I wasn’t taking any chances! 9:58…9:59…10:00! I refreshed the page quickly…Yes! Two tickets to what I call paradise.
Good thing my ticket-buying skills were on point because the five east coast shows sold out in minutes.
I had to brush my shoulders off for that one. Now just to wait two more weeks… long, long weeks.
Saturday, March 23rd: At last! The day has come! I kept calm, but inside, I wanted to scream with excitement like a little kid in a candy store.
I arrived to the Encore Event Center in Freehold, New Jersey at around 2pm with my friend. Because it was general admission, I knew I had to get there early if I wanted to get close to the stage.
The line was already about fifty feet long and it wasn’t getting any shorter, so we took our place in line. Only four hours until the doors open. Right…only four hours.
It won’t be so bad I thought, until the wind blew, time started to stand still, and I became so cold I was shivering.
Call me crazy, but I wasn’t the only one! I quickly realized I was one of the oldest girls there, along with my friend.
As time went on, I noticed so many girls getting dropped off by their mom or dad. Was I the only girl there who was old enough to drive? No, wait, I see an older lady… standing there with her daughter!
Alright so what, I may or may not have been the only 21-year-old in the midst of hundreds of high school teeny-boppers. Two words: no shame. I loved Emblem3.
At least I wasn’t one of those crazy fan girls who was wearing a homemade t-shirt they designed with Puffy Paint. Emblem3 is totally my age anyway.
The oldest one in the band is my age, the middle one is a year younger than me, and the youngest, well he’s jailbait. But two out of three isn’t bad!
By the time 6pm came around, every person in line was freezing. Once we got inside, we waited in line for at least another 30 minutes until they let us into the actual venue.
Finally, we got in. There were about 8 rows of people in front of me. My thoughts: not good enough. I had to somehow make my way closer when Emblem3 got on stage.
The show was scheduled to start at 7:00. I was anxious, my back began to ache, and my patience grew thin. The time passed. 7:15…7:30…8:00… WHERE WAS EMBLEM3?! A little after 8:00, a man announced that Emblem3 would soon take the stage… a little later.
The two-thousand some teeny-boppers, my friend, and I all booed the man on stage. We wanted E3!
We already waited an extra hour and now we had to listen to the opening band. The opening act was a five-man band with a female lead singer called The New Royalty. I must say, I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard them on the radio one day. The lead singer’s voice was beautiful, but I was too antsy to see Emblem3 that I couldn’t really enjoy their acoustic set.
The time was now 8:30—an hour and a half past the scheduled start time. And yes, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Emblem3 took the stage! I was star struck, starry-eyed, whatever you want to call it. I couldn’t believe it was actually them—in the flesh!
I was forced out of my daze as the crowd shifted back and forth. Girls were storming the stage. I was crammed. I felt like a sardine. I swear I never broke out in a sweat so quickly.
Somehow I made my way up closer until there were only about four people in front of me.
Thankfully, I’m tall. I had no problem seeing them. And what a beautiful view it was.
But let me just say: girls are crazy! There’s really no way to describe their craziness except for absolutely out of control, screaming at the top of their lungs, hyperventilating, giving themselves an anxiety attack type of crazy.
Many girls couldn’t handle it and had to get pulled out by the bouncers.
One girl next to me literally started to freak out. Rookies. I was a veteran. This wasn’t my first rodeo!
The whole show was a blur. It went by so fast, but I loved every second. Just for the record, they’re even more beautiful in person. Totally worth it.
After obsessing over Emblem3 for months, it’s safe to say I’ve calmed down a little after seeing my heartthrobs in concert, but I’d still take a trip to Sunset Boulevard with them any day.
Now that I’ve taken care of that dream, all that’s left is to make it out to California, find a nice surfer guy, and ride off on his surf board into the sunset together. Hey, dreams do come true.
Email Brook at: