No matter the genre, performing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live is a huge feat for any rising musician.
SNL performances are moments in history, and artists tend to know that. There has been no shortage of over-the-top performances and onstage gags that have made headlines for years to come.
And the best part about the long-running skit show is that it doesn’t favor one genre over the other—pop stars, underground rappers and garage bands alike have all taken the same stage to perform their songs live.
Because there have been so many iconic performances in the past, we decided to highlight 10 emo artists who have brought scene culture to the SNL stage. You can check those out below.
Machine Gun Kelly
While Machine Gun Kelly has made a name for himself in the rap scene, he brought his pop-punk flair to the SNL stage at the beginning of 2021. He performed “my ex’s best friend” and “lonely” from his latest album, Tickets To My Downfall, proving that emo music is alive and well.
Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy appeared on SNL at the height of their emo peak in 2006 to play “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Dance, Dance,” which was a sight to behold for scene kids. Watching the footage now is like being transported back to the mid-’00s in the best way ever, so it’s definitely solidified as a moment in history.
While Korn are veteran rockers now, they made one of their first TV performances back in 2005 on SNL. To be honest, going to one of their live shows is vastly different from watching them on a TV screen, but it was cool to see the show feature a band from such a different genre.
Death Cab For Cutie
2006 was huge for scene bands on SNL, as Death Cab For Cutie also were musical guests that year. They performed their emotional songs “Soul Meets Body” and “Crooked Teeth,” which probably made everyone in the audience have their own emo moment during the set.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance brought the theatrics to their 2006 SNL appearance, and of course, they had to bring the Black Parade. However, their performance of “Cancer” really shows off Gerard Way‘s insane vocals and the band’s raw live talent.
Panic! At The Disco
Also back in the good old days (2008), Panic! At The Disco brought their scene pride to SNL. They performed “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Nine In The Afternoon” during their set, truly transporting us back to the peak emo days.
Who could forget when Will Ferrell crashed Green Day‘s iconic performance with a cowbell in hand, complaining about the length of the song. In addition to this set, the band also played the late-night show back in 1994 and 2005, so they’re no strangers to the SNL stage.
Linkin Park have also played on SNL a couple of times, including a bombastic performance of “What I’ve Done” in 2007. The video will bring any Linkin Park fan to tears as Chester Bennington‘s vocals serve as a reminder of his raw talent.
Phoebe Bridgers made waves with her SNL debut this year when she smashed a guitar onstage and caused quite a controversy (for some reason). She gave powerful performances of “Kyoto” and “I Know The End” from her Grammy-nominated album Punisher.
You couldn’t ignore Nirvana’s iconic two appearances on SNL even if you tried. Back in 1992, Kurt Cobain (donning pink hair), Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic gave a punk-rock performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” complete with gear smashing.