The streets of Worcester, MA echoed with the Palladium’s sold out crowd singing their hearts out to pop punk anthems last Saturday night at the Creeper, Speak Low If You Speak Love, Seaway, and Neck Deep show.
Up first, Creeper originates from the south of England and, after garnering a following in their home country, the band has started branching out stateside. This isn’t the band’s first US tour, however. In 2017 alone they came over here twice – Once in the early Spring with Waterparks and Too Close To Touch, and again all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour. Those tours proved beneficial to Creeper in building their American fanbase, enough so to get the crowd singing boisterously along with the band’s crowd favorites, like “Black Rain” and “Hiding With Boys.” The band calls for the crowd to open up into a circle pit before jumping right into “Suzanne,” which the crowd happily obliges to, even bringing a couple enthusiastic fans crowd surfing up toward their favorite band. “Misery” closes the set, bringing the past-paced, high-energy show to a slower, moving note, before the song’s build up, ending Creeper’s set with a bang.
Speak Low If You Speak Love
The only American band on the lineup, Speak Low If You Speak Love, take the stage for the second spot in the four-band tour lineup. Having started as a solo project of State Champs’ Ryan Scott Graham, Speak Low just released its second full-length album, Nearsighted, as a full band on January 19. The band has a crowd surfer by their third song, Graham excitedly announcing them as the first of the tour. Though Speak Low is the most mellow band on the bill, that initial crowdsurfer sparks something in the crowd, drawing in even more surfers and pits throughout the whole set – Just leave it to New England fans to bring the passion and dedication bands work hard for! Speak Low play songs off both their albums, pleasing old and new fans alike, with songs such as “Knots” and “Contrasting Colors.”
After remedying a flat tire on their way to the venue, the band made it just in time for their set. Even with the minor setback to both their van and morale, the band manage to pull off a lively set for the people of Worcester. I think there’s something rejuvenating in hearing an entire room of people scream along “Sometimes I think I’d rather be alive than dead” from their song “Airhead,” I know it was for me. These Canadian pop-punkers are making quite a name for themselves in the scene with full-length “Vacation,” the late-2017 follow up to 2015’s “Colour Blind,” as loud as fans are with songs like “London” and “Lula on the Beach.”
A large white sheet is hung in front of the stage. Guitar rings through the room. Enter drums. Bass. A silhouette appears behind the curtain with his arms outstretched above his head. The crowd goes crazy. The curtain drops. Neck Deep is revealed to the crowd. The headliners. The band everyone’s been waiting for.
The fans go crazy for opening song, “Happy Judgement Day,” as the band starts their set with high-energy jumps and spins. Singer Ben Barlow gives credit to their lighting designer for the Patriot’s jersey he adorns, ahead of the Super Bowl, the most-watched American TV past-time. During their third song, Barlow welcomes the crowd to sing their uplifting anthem, “Gold Steps,” the crowd demonstrated their ability to be even louder than the band. Crowd surfers persisted through their entire set, much to the band’s glee. After asking the crowd who knows track one off their new album, The Peace and The Panic (released Summer 2017), without looking, the band takes the loud cheering as a cue to spring right into “Motion Sickness.” The band’s set spans their discography, hitting songs like “In Bloom,” “Rock Bottom,” “What Did You Expect?,” and dating even back to 2013 release A History of Bad Decisions with “Head To The Ground.” For the latter, Barlow takes the crowd to a softer, melodious acoustic performance, leading into “Wish You Were Here” with an accompaniment of bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans, and then ending on the duet “A Part Of Me,” with Hannah Greenwood from Creeper.
The full band returns for their two-song encore, starting with “Can’t Kick Up The Roots.” Encore song number two, “Where Do We Go When We Go,” brought one of the loudest crowd sing-alongs I’ve ever heard. Barlow has the crowd sing the choruses for him, but when the time comes for the last chorus of the night, fans take it up a notch, their voices reverberating throughout the entire venue and surrounding areas. It was a night not to miss nor forget.
Show date: February 3, 2018
Speak Low If You Speak Love
SPEAK LOW IF YOU SPEAK LOVE
Review and photos by Shane Haley