A sold-out pop punk show on the east coast, but specifically in Philadelphia can’t be beat, and the one that happened at the Theater of the Living Arts on March 10th was no different. Currently traveling the US on the “Living Proof” tour, State Champs packed the room on a Sunday, the energy was infectious and the crowd was ready to party like Monday wasn’t looming around the corner.
The acoustic session and meet-and-greet within the VIP package was laid back and fun. The 50 fans in VIP had an opportunity to talk to the guys in the band one-on-one, giving hugs and gifts and taking lots of photos. It was much more personal than a quick group photo with the band and being hustled through for sake of time. I appreciate the approach Champs chose more than the traditional group photo method. As time crept closer to doors, those within VIP could take their places on barricade if they wanted, and get ready for the rest of the show!
First up was Philadelphia-based Grayscale, and the crowd was there for it. Within the first few seconds crowd surfers were coming down over the barricade and running to the back for more. Collin Walsh and the rest of the guys of Grayscale delivered a performance that a hometown crowd demands. My only complaint was I wanted more, but I’ll just catch them on their next tour for that.
Next, The Dangerous Summer. Watching these guys perform had me grooving along to the beat, and I’ve now downloaded more than the handful of songs I had on my phone.
The third opener, Our Last Night, came out strong. It felt as if they were trying to prove they were more than the cover band that Twitter seems to label them as. Playing original tracks off their newest album Let Light Overcome, with a cover thrown in to keep the crowd engaged, Our Last Night came out with an energy that set up the mood for the act to follow.
Following a quick snippet of the newest Jonas Brothers’ track (the guys are pushing to tour with the Jo Bros after all) the lights went out and it was show time. State Champs came out strong playing a great majority of the tracks off their newest work Living Proof, mixing in a few songs from the albums predating that. Crowd surfers came down over the barricade in waterfalls and the crowd surged, reacting as the mosh pit was created.
The focus on detail throughout every aspect of this tour is nothing short of incredible. The lighting, interludes between songs and smoke machine were all done well, adding a little extra fun to the show that the guys don’t already bring to the table. The Living Proof era seems to reflect growth, in both the band itself and the band’s popularity, and it has me feeling some type of way.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that State Champs are the cause for a great number of cities on this tour to have sold out. If a date near you hasn’t hit yet I highly recommend getting tickets ASAP. This is a tour you don’t want to miss.
A great big shout out to Jess Clary for letting me showcase her photos! Make sure you follow her on twitter @clary_photo!