Before he gets his back up, Dewey's look of pain after being kicked out of the band. And later, when some guys on the street are making fun of his posters. Before he gets the kids together (which in itself is a little heartbreaking that no adults want to work with him), Dewey's situation is pretty dire as a dedicated musician with no direction.
Zach acting withdrawn after a one sided talk from his discouraging father.
Rosalie admitting her inner pressure to be a certain way because shes a prep school principal and saying that same pressure is making her into a bitch.
Ned admits to Dewey that he misses being in a band, while coldly telling Ned that he ought to move out.
Both Tomika and Lawrences confessions that they dont feel like theyre good enough or cool enough to be in the band.
The kids' genuine disappointment before they decide to stand up to authority and "play the damn show." They really look heartbroken and anyone whose heart doesn't break along with them is made of stone.
The additional backstory the kids get leads to a real tear-worthy musical number in act one, as we see them all trying to be heard by their too-busy, overbearing, or unaware parents in "If Only You Would Listen". This song gets an even more tear-jerking reprise in the second act, as the kids, trying to get Dewey to come with them to the Battle of the Bands, tell him that he was the first one to really hear them. And it's only taken him three weeks to achieve this!
Rosalie Mullins gets her own tear-jerking moment in the musical too. Instead of just getting tipsy and jamming to Edge of Seventeen in her quasi-date with Dewey at the dive bar, she gets a heartbreaking number about how she's lost the music and joy in her life, and how Dewey has reminded her a little bit of what it used to be.