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Emo's is heating up in August for metalheads

Patrick Caldwell
101X DJ Chuck Loesch hosts No Control Radio, a three-hour show on Friday nights, which sponsors a series of metal shows at Emo's.

When former Emo's in-house booker Will Evans came to Austin in January 2009, the die-hard fan of all forms of extreme music found every kind of genre under the sun, and in ready abundance — except, he noticed, for his beloved metal.

"When I came, everyone told me that it was a dead town for metal. It died with the Back Room. But because I'm an Austin outsider — I moved from Los Angeles — I've seen metal all over the country and how well it could do and how bad it could do and how to do it right," Evans says. "When I first started booking, everybody told me not to book metal in Austin. 'No one will come. You'll lose money.' But I've not found that to be the case."

Evans began booking an increasingly large number of metal shows at Emo's, and quickly secured a sponsorship with No Control Radio — the three-hour block of metal and hard-core rock hosted on 101X every Friday night by DJ Chuck Loesch. Loesch started the program in 2005, and between Evans' booking and Loesch's sponsorship, the No Control shows have grown into an increasingly prominent Emo's fixture, and a hub for Austin metalheads. Tonight kicks off the biggest month for the series yet, as cult favorite Christian metal band the Devil Wears Prada takes to Emo's for a two-night stand — and No Control shows number seven in total for the month of August. "It's been great. It's really helped the club, the city, and it's enhanced our repertoire here at Emo's," Evans says. "We try not to specialize in any sort of music except what's hot and good. We want to keep up the diversity, and the metal shows help with that."

Diversity, Evans says, is the key to the No Control shows. Although the various subsets of metal might sound identically abrasive to the non-fan, devotees of the sound can appreciate the wide span between the Emo's shows. And though Evans left Austin and his job at Emo's behind at the end of June to pursue graduate school, he's encouraging the new in-house booker — Kevin Hoskins, formerly the booker for Boston's beloved Middle East nightclub — to keep the ball rolling.

"After the loss of the Back Room, the Austin metal scene kind of lost its focal point, and it's been kind of tough getting that back," says Loesch. "So the local metal scene has been a little rough the last couple of years. But I'm starting to see more people come out."