50 Best Emo Bands of the 2000s

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

The 2000s saw the rise of emo music, a genre characterized by its confessional lyrics, emotive singing, and a strong emphasis on punk rock influences.

Emo bands of the 2000s often dealt with themes such as heartbreak, self-discovery, and mental health, and they helped to pave the way for the genre’s mainstream success.

Some notable emo bands of the 2000s include My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and Dashboard Confessional.

These bands, along with many others, helped to define the sound and style of emo music during the 2000s and continue to have a lasting impact on the genre today.

1. My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance, which was founded in 2001, is thought by many to be the best emo band of the 2000s.

They have sold millions of records, with The Black Parade, which sold about five million copies on its own, being the best-selling.

They have incredible energy to spare and are skilled at writing songs that keep you intrigued.

They don’t hold back when it comes to making noise, but the music they play doesn’t blow your eardrums out and leave you wondering what’s going on.

Instead, they make sure you follow them on their journey, and what a journey they take you on.

2. Paramore

The band Paramore, which was formed in 2004, burst onto the scene in 2005 with the release of “All We Know Is Falling.”

Hayley Williams is the band’s lead vocalist, and I think every song she sings is just fantastic.

She can also alternate between high screams and low growls, giving different tunes at different depths.

It’s not just about her, though.

They certainly possess the ability to put together some catchy choruses, and when energy is added, the result is a powerful combination.

3. Fall Out Boy

Thanks to their ability to create some memorable songs and entertaining music videos, Fall Out Boy became very popular in the 2000s.

However, the reason they are on this list is because of their capacity to captivate you with their lyrics and infect you with their special style of softer punk rock.

This music is not offensive, and each song romps along, making you want to hear more.

4. The Used

The Used have been performing for more than 20 years, and I love how every album they put out is so unique.

You can never predict where they will go next because they can switch from typical emo music to a more experimental sound.

But that just serves to increase the excitement of their music, which explores the unknown and is the reason I chose to include them.

I simply enjoy not knowing what will appear next, and they are masters at it.

5. Good Charlotte

With The Madden Brothers as the lead, this emo music band was formed way back in 1996, but they became popular in the 2000s.

They were a major contributor to the mainstreaming of emo music thanks to their punk aesthetic and upbeat, naughty tunes.

It almost seems as though they enjoy making light-hearted fun of the music industry.

When it comes to Good Charlotte, emo music is for the entire family.

6. Senses Fail

Senses Fail is one of the most popular emo bands of the 2000s.

Founded in 2002, their music from a decade later sounds as though production standards have significantly increased, which does imply that part of its true authenticity is lost

Although their music has evolved much since then, I believe that the first ten years are the key to understanding this band since the raw vibe from their early years managed to capture the mood of the moment.

7. Escape The Fate

One of the best 2000s emo bands is Escape the Fate.

This band’s ability to connect with its followers on a deep level is something I find appealing.

They know how to write some wonderful tunes that capture you and don’t let go, and their energetic performances leave you wanting more.

Additionally, they create a real beat in their songs that carries you along and makes you happy just to have listened to them for a while.

8. Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots is one of the famous bands of the 2000s.

Now a musical duo, this band has a flair for profound lyrics and is not afraid to stun you with the message they convey in their songs.

Additionally, I appreciate that they express emotion in their music rather than just follow the rules to create songs that have the potential to be hits.

They also combine various musical influences in an intriguing way that draws your attention.

9. La Dispute

La Dispute, currently considered a post-hardcore band, is included on the list of top 2000s emo bands because their lyrics frequently have meaning and significance beyond simple misery.

Some even describe their lyrics as soul-touching, and while I’m not entirely convinced of that, there’s no denying that they make you pause and think about the point they’re trying to make.

10. Of Mice & Men

The American rock band Of Mice & Men was established in 2009 in Costa Mesa, California (commonly referred to as “OM&M”).

What you get with Of Mice & Men is a band that is bursting with sheer power and energy.

Don’t expect their songs to simply reassure you that everything is OK because they blast out their tracks with true fury.

Instead, they will challenge your preconceptions of this musical genre.

11. Panic! At The Disco

Their emo beginnings were what propelled this band onto the main stage, even though their sound has since changed to be more pop-rock.

Their riffs and lyrics were catchy, but if you want to hear their emo sound, you need to listen to their first few albums.

When you do, you sense a feeling of excitement in their music that comes from realizing you have achieved that breakthrough.

12. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is one of the greatest emo bands.

This band, which was founded in 2003, has a more rock emo feel to its songs, and its sound has been very consistent.

Despite their ongoing success, their first album, Don’t You Fake It, is perhaps their greatest because of its authenticity.

That’s what I appreciate most about them because you always know what you’re going to get—great music, over and over again.

13. Dashboard Confessional

In the 2000s, the band Dashboard Confessional produced a great number of emo classics.

To truly understand who they were, listen to the song “Vindicated.”

But don’t hold out too much hope for intense emotion.

Instead, they simply tell it like it is, which means they are direct and don’t mince words.

They will jump right into it if they have a message to convey.

14. Falling In Reverse

Falling In Reverse is one of the greatest American emo rock bands of the 2000s.

It was founded by lead vocalist Ronnie Radke in 2008 while he was incarcerated.

One of Falling In Reverse’s strengths is its ability to write catchy song hooks that can draw you in and take you on a musical adventure.

I love how they incorporate rap, dubstep, and a variety of other musical genres.

They are engaging to listen to because of their versatility, which enables you to experience aspects of music you may not have previously known about.

15. Brand New

Brand New’s lead singer Jesse Lacey’s vocals are the sole reason I’ve included them on this emo band’s list.

Instead of merely thrashing out the lyrics, he can bring a good amount of passion to each song.

In this instance, he provokes thought, which draws you more into the song.

I’ll admit that there are moments when I enjoy music that provokes thought, and this is one of the bands that do it effortlessly.

16. Say Anything

From Los Angeles, California, comes the American rock band Say Anything.

Say Anything was founded in 2000 by Max Bemis and his friends.

Although they began firmly in the emo culture, they have since evolved into a rock band.

Every time you listen to one of their songs, something new comes to you because of the intricate lyrics and multiple levels that each song has.

This band’s music makes you think about things, and I adore how complex it can be at times.

17. All Time Low

From Towson, Maryland, comes the American rock band All Time Low, which was founded in 2003.

This band had to be on the list of emo-pop bands because they employ comedy so effectively in their songs to set themselves apart from the competition.

Although they do not take themselves seriously, their music is still well-produced and has over the years produced several excellent songs.

I love how this band makes it clear that they enjoy what they do since it gives their songs a completely new level.

18. Mayday Parade

The American rock band Mayday Parade hails from Tallahassee, Florida.

Without any label assistance, their 2006 debut EP, Tales Told by Dead Friends, sold more than 50,000 copies.

Since 2006, they have been bringing joy to their fans, and their songs are renowned for their energy and vibe.

It feels more like they are dragging you through their tracks, which is a pretty wonderful sensation.

It is sad for me to say it, but I think they haven’t received the kind of praise they deserve.

19. Hawthorne Heights

The American rock band Hawthorne Heights, formerly known as A Day in the Life, was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 2001.

Hawthorne Heights did things its own way and worked hard to increase its fan base, which I think is admirable.

They jam their music with so much energy that it’s difficult to avoid feeling infected by their musical approach.

20. Sleeping With Sirens

The American emo rock band Sleeping with Sirens, originally from Orlando, Florida, is now based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For me, this band stands out from the competition due to the strong voice of lead singer Kellin Quinn.

They also began with a really powerful sound, but I appreciate how they changed and began to lean more toward the softer emo-pop genre, which allowed them to reach a larger audience.

21. Silverstein

The Canadian rock band Silverstein was established in 2000 and is based in Burlington, Ontario.

This Canadian band made the list of emo-pop bands because they consistently work to incorporate new sounds into their music.

I appreciate how they don’t just create copies of their previous work.

This implies that each album and song is a genuine discovery, and your desire for more music will be fueled by your sense of excitement.

22. Bayside

Founded in 2000 by lead vocalist Anthony Raneri, Bayside is a punk rock band from the Bayside, Queens region of New York City.

In my opinion, the lyrics that this band puts into their songs are what make them stand out.

They don’t just write surface-level songs; instead, they go deep into your subconscious and seize your emotions before pinning them down.

This band is not for you if you’re looking for soothing music.

23. Armor For Sleep

New Jersey-based Armor For Sleep is an American rock band.

They aren’t your typical emo band.

These punk rockers have an enthusiastic vibe, and their songs have great tempos.

I also appreciate how they can create a certain atmosphere with their music.

24. We The Kings

The American rock band We The Kings is based in Bradenton, Florida.

We The Kings used to be far more emo than you would expect from their current music, even though they occasionally drift toward power pop.

But one thing hasn’t changed – how happy their music makes you feel. 

You will smile after listening to this band.

25. MewithoutYou

The amazing part about this band was that their lyrics centered on their Christian beliefs and that they were also a Christian band.

They put a lot of effort into the message they want to convey through their music, and I admire the complexity of that.

Spoken-word vocals and acoustic instruments like the guitar, bass, and drums are typically what set the band’s sound apart.

 26. A Day To Remember

Guitarist Tom Denney and drummer Bobby Scruggs formed the American rock group A Day to Remember in 2003.

The group is sometimes referred to by the acronym ADTR and was once known as “End of an Era.”

They are renowned for fusing metalcore and pop punk.

Their riffs bring added excitement to the band, which they frequently use in their songs.

The satisfaction you get from their songs makes listening to their albums seem to end in an instant.

27. Sunny Day Real Estate

In comparison to other bands, Sunny Day Real Estate wasn’t exactly a big hit in the 2000s.

But the emo music that followed was all made possible by the work they did in the 1990s.

Even though they might not exactly be mainstream, this band is one that music lovers in particular appreciate.

However, the group does appear to be more active now than in the past.

28. The Promise Ring

The Promise Ring was a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based American rock band that is regarded as a representative of the second emo wave.

Another emo band that is a little less well-known, The Promise Ring, however, contributed significantly to the creation of the emo genre, much like Sunny Day Real Estate.

The Promised Ring did release some music in 2002, yet the majority of their output came out in the 1990s.

Their catalog’s later half is more heavily influenced by pop-punk elements.

29. Jimmy Eat World

The American rock group Jimmy Eat World was founded in Mesa, Arizona.

In contrast to most emo bands, Jimmy Eat World has a more pop-punk vibe.

The group originally started in the early 1990s, but it took them almost a decade to achieve mainstream fame.

Fans of emo music first became aware of the group thanks to their fourth album, Bleed American.

As of 2022, the band is still quite active and putting out new music.

30. American Football

The American rock band American Football, originally active from 1997 to 2000 and then again starting in 2014, hails from Urbana, Illinois.

American Football stands out from the majority of other emo bands in a significant way.

This band has a melodic sound that is enhanced by musical elements from math-rock.

One of the most significant albums ever released in the genre’s history is their self-titled album.

However, unlike many other bands, you won’t hear that hardcore scream here.

31. The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids are a Kansas City-based American rock band.

But, they may have escaped your notice if you just listen to mainstream emo music.

However, this band is regarded as being crucial in the development of the modern emo genre.

They are regarded as the pioneers of the emo genre, and many bands, such as Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance, have been influenced by them.

32. Cursive

The American indie rock group Cursive is from Omaha, Nebraska.

The early 2000s midwest emo sound is best represented by the band Cursive.

Tim Kasher, who plays guitar and is mostly responsible for songwriting, is the band’s frontman.

For anyone interested in the genre, their album The Ugly Organ is a must-listen.

It is one of the best rock albums of all time, in my opinion.

33. Thursday

The American post-hardcore band Thursday was founded in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Whether it’s due to their name or their music, Thursday is considered one of the most-known bands in the emo genre.

The screaming voice technique was made popular by this group and later diffused throughout the genre.

Full Collapse, the group’s second album, was released in 2001, and it helped the group become more well-known.

War All The Time, which was released in 2003 and featured the number-one single “Signals Over The Air”, is likely their most well-known album.

34. Taking Back Sunday

One of the most popular 2000s emo bands is Taking Back Sunday.

The American rock group Taking Back Sunday originated in Long Island, New York.

When this group signed with Warner Bros. Records and released its first album on a major label in 2006, they hit their stride.

Jesse Lacey of Brand New was actually among the group’s initial members, which is intriguing.

It’s difficult to pinpoint which group was more successful because they were all well-known.

35. Motion City Soundtrack

The American rock group Motion City Soundtrack was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Another well-known name in the emo genre, their sound has more of a pop-punk vibe and was created in 1997.

The band’s debut album, I Am the Movie, was released in 2003.

Commit This to Memory, their breakout hit, debuted in 2005.

Because of the unique hairstyle and sideburns of lead vocalist Justin Pierre, this group is instantly recognizable.

Motion City Soundtrack was a regular performer on the Vans Warped Tour for a while.

36. Mae

The American rock group Mae was founded in 2001 in Norfolk, Virginia. Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience is the abbreviation for the band’s name.

Mae was never as well-known as some of the others on our list of emo-pop bands.

But it wasn’t unusual to have their name included with numerous others on major emo touring shows.

Another outfit that benefited immensely from Myspace’s social media platform was this one.

Of all the years in Mae’s career, 2006 and 2007 were without a doubt the most significant.

37. Something Corporate

The American rock group Something Corporate, popularly known as SoCo, was formed in Orange County, California.

Although it was somewhat short-lived, Something Corporate did enjoy a great deal of success.

The band finally rose to fame between 1998 and 2002, topping music charts and making appearances on mainstream television.

The group’s final album, which was released in 2003, was highly praised.

However, despite a few brief reunions here and there, the band would dissolve completely.

38. The Spill Canvas

The Spill Canvas is one of the top American emo-pop punk bands.

They were formed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In May 2003, The Spill Canvas independently released Concept EP, a five-song CD.

The Spill Canvas’ 2004 album Sunsets and Car Crashes is likely their best-known work.

Even though the majority of this album was acoustic, it had some emo undertones.

The band eventually started to adopt a more electric rock sound.

They, unfortunately, emerged like every other band in the emo genre at the time as a result of this adjustment.

39. Circa Survive

The American rock group Circa Survive was founded in 2004 and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Concerning the emo genre, Circa Survive is somewhat of a supergroup.

The band includes members from Saosin and other well-known bands in the genre.

Because of this, Circa Survive quickly gained notoriety in the public eye.

Circa Survive was regularly charting on the Billboard pop charts at the end of the early 2000s.

40. Jack’s Mannequin

The American rock group Jack’s Mannequin was founded in 2004 and is from Orange County, California.

Andrew McMahon, the lead singer of Something Corporate, created Jack’s Mannequin as a solo project.

The project eventually grew into a full band as the name gained widespread recognition.

Fans of the emo genre continue to listen to the band’s 2005 debut album, Everything in Transit.

To commemorate the album’s 15th anniversary, the group reunited in 2020.

41. The Juliana Theory

The American rock band The Juliana Theory is based in Greensburg and Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Even the most successful music business projects frequently start as jokes.

That statement certainly holds true for The Juliana Theory.

The Juliana Theory had a relatively brief history as a band, but they excelled quite quickly.

It wasn’t unusual to see their name listed with several other bands on the schedule of major touring shows.

Since then, the group has come together three times: once in 2010 for eight shows, and once more in 2017 for a tour honoring their twentieth anniversary.

42. Finch

The American rock group Finch hails from Temecula, California.

Before announcing a break in 2006, the group put out an EP called Falling Into Place as well as two full-length albums called What It Is to Burn and Say Hello to Sunshine.

Non-emo fans probably picture the cute bird when they hear the name “finch.”

But if they were expecting the band Finch to sound like that, they would be rudely surprised.

One of the groups that successfully brought the hardcore element into the emo genre was Finch.

The majority of the band’s music features screaming vocals.

43. The All-American Rejects

One of the most popular emo bands of the 2000s is The All-American Rejects. 

American rock group The All-American Rejects was founded in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1999.

It is uncommon for a band’s debut album to be certified Platinum.

This band continues to be a persistent presence in the emo genre.

They keep putting out new music on a semi-regular basis, making sure that emo endures forever.

44. Thrice

The American rock band Thrice was founded in Irvine, California, in 1998.

While still in high school, lead guitarist Teppei Teranishi and guitarist/vocalist Dustin Kensrue established the band.

Thrice is not typically thought to be an emo band.

The term would probably offend the group’s supporters.

The band’s hardcore sound does, however, incorporate some emo music elements.

Additionally, the performance by Brand New served as motivation for the group to reunite.

45. Yellowcard

The American rock band Yellowcard was founded in 1997 in Jacksonville, Florida, then relocated to Los Angeles in 2000.

Yellowcard had an incredibly lengthy and successful career as a band, especially when compared to other bands in the genre.

Even though their violinist makes them stand out from other bands, this band has a more pop-punk sound.

The best years for Yellowcard were undoubtedly the early 2000s.

The group did, however, maintain a sizable fan base up to its dissolution in 2017.

46. Cute Is What We Aim For

The American rock band Cute Is What We Aim For is from Buffalo, New York.

Two albums, The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch and Rotation, have been released by the band since its formation in 2005.

The band is well-known among emo fans despite only having released two albums.

Another band that benefited greatly from their presence on the social media platform Myspace.

Their early demo releases helped them garner enough interest for their debut album to reach the Billboard rankings.

47. New Found Glory

The American rock band New Found Glory, was founded in Coral Springs, Florida, in 1997.

New Found Glory is one of the most well-known band names in the last 20 years.

Despite being classified as an emo band, this group has a strong pop-punk vibe.

There wouldn’t be a problem putting this band on a playlist that also included Blink-182.

People who are fans of this band are typically devoted and fervent followers.

48. Underoath

The American rock band Underoath, often written as Underøath, hails from Tampa, Florida.

Dallas Taylor, the band’s main vocalist, and Luke Morton, the guitarist, founded it.

Underoath is a popular band that initially incorporated elements of Christianity.

Given that there were other emo bands of comparable caliber in the early 2000s, this wasn’t completely unusual.

The group uses multiple vocalists to give their music a more aggressive edge.

The melodic, non-screaming vocals are usually performed by Underoath’s drummer, which is exceptional for any music genre.

49. Saosin

Saosin is one of the most popular emo bands of the 2000s and had huge popularity on the social media platform Myspace.

The American rock group Saosin was founded in 2003 by Beau Burchell, Justin Shekoski, Zach Kennedy, and Anthony Green in Orange County, California.

It is practically unheard of for an EP to sell over 60,000 copies on its own.

This band has been a well-known figure on lineups for events like the Vans Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos.

Their first album is still regarded as a masterpiece and can be recognized by its beetle cover.

50. Chiodos

The American post-hardcore band Chiodos originated in Davison, Michigan.

Chiodos, a group that was founded in 2001, was once known as “The Light-hearted Carpet Knights.”

If you were a resident of the Midwest of the United States in the early 2000s, you probably saw Chiodos come to prominence.

The band’s first two albums are considered classic emo recordings.

All’s Well That Ends Well, the group’s debut album, made it into the top 5 of the Billboard charts.

Best Emo Bands of the 2000s – Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the 2000s was a decade that saw the emergence and rise of many emo bands that made a significant impact on the music industry.

These bands, characterized by their introspective lyrics and emotive delivery, resonated with audiences who were searching for a form of music that could express their feelings and struggles.

The 50 emo bands mentioned in the list are a testament to the diversity and evolution of the genre during that decade and have all left a lasting impression on the music scene.

The genre continues to evolve and inspire new generations of musicians today.

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