This is a tour I’ve been promoting to not just my friends, but everyone. Every band on this bill’s live show is unique, fun, and engaging.
Hailing from the UK and playing their first US tour, I wasn’t sure what to expect from these guys at first. As soon as they took the stage with “Everybody,” they had the entire crowd off their feet, jumping to drummer Matt Donnelly’s beat. The liveliness from the band running around and jumping on stage spread into the crowd, and back to the band as the crowd and band fed off each other’s energy and built each other up. Throughout the set, singer Rob Damiani would jump down from stage and onto the barrier that holds the crowd and sing into the crowd, sharing his microphone with ecstatic fans singing along. At the start to the title track off their most recent album, Automatic, Damiani asked the crowd for a bit of help. He encouraged the crowd to repeat a series of “oo”s, as the crowd happily obliged in unison. During the same song, Damiani again asks the crowd for help. He tells everyone to crouch down low and brings everyone back up jumping as high as ever with the start of guitarist Si Delaney’s huge guitar riff. Later in Don Broco’s set, they played a brand new, recently released song, “Pretty,” for the very first time live! The song has a bit of a heavier, darker vibe that the crowd adored. Mid-song Damiani asks the crowd if they know what a “wall of death” is, proceeds to split the crowd in half, separates the two halves into their respective sides of the room, and jumps into the middle as both crowd sides run together to form one giant mosh pit with everyone involved. If there’s one thing I took away from Don Broco’s set, it’s that they’re kings of crowd interaction and participation.
“With Con” aren’t quite on their first US tour, but they are on their first US concert tour, having previously played on last year’s Vans Warped Tour on the Full Sail Stage. There wasn’t a dull moment on stage or in the crowd for With Confidence either. Between the crowd surfing, circle pits, and mosh pits, and the band’s running, jumping, and dancing on stage, their set is something to watch. About three songs in, guitarist Luke Rockets’ amp blew out. It was suggested they play their full-length album’s piano-driven ballad, “Long Night.” After a bit of convincing, singer and bassist Jayden Seeley borrowed guitarist Inigo Del Carmen’s guitar to play the heartfelt ballad, as the lights narrowed on Seeley and the crowd sang along during the song’s live debut in the states. By the end of the song, the band was back up and running at full speed as the energy in the room returned and circle pits formed and crowd surfers surfed. Whether slowing things down, or playing pop-punk jams, With Confidence can hold their own with their live show.
Against the Current
The crowd calmed down a bit during Against the Current’s set, as everyone joined in hand waving. The crowd surfers may’ve ceased for this band, but the passion did not. The crowd sang together as loud as ever to some of AtC’s biggest songs, such as “Talk,” “Forget Me Now,” and “Runaway.” Singer Chrissy Costanza’s energy on stage seemed endless, as she ran across the full stage, singing her heart out with an infectious, lively energy. Costanza also joined the audience at the barricade for parts of songs, hold fans’ hands and singing with them. During Against the Current’s last song, “Wasteland,” Costanza did her renowned, impressive back bend, to the point where her hair touches the stage beneath her. An impressive set, to say the least.
State Champs’ opened their 20 song set with drummer Evan Ambrosio starting the beat to “Remedy,” off 2013’s The Finer Things. As soon as the band started playing, crowd surfers were all over, giving the security quite the workout as they made sure to catch them as they came over the barrier. The crowd also brought back circle pits, and even having two or three happening at the same time! When the band announced they were playing a new song, “Slow Burn,” from their just-released CD/DVD deluxe edition of Around the World and Back, the crowd roared in cheers. Mid set, singer Derek DeScanio and guitarist Tyler Szalkowski took things down a notch, playing a couple acoustics “Stick Around” and “Around the World and Back.” Costanza(of Against the Current) came out to join DeScanio and Szalkowski on stage to help sing the latter, which received a cheer just as loud as when State Champs announced they were playing their new song. The crowd and full band bounced right back to the same energy as earlier with “All You Are is History.” After leaving the stage following playing “Elevated,” the crowd chanted for “one more song,” only to be surprised with a two-song encore of “Critical” and fan-favorite, “Secrets.” It’s safe to say this was a fantastic night for everyone involved!
Show date: May 7, 2017
Against the Current
AGAINST THE CURRENT
Review and photos by Shane Haley