State Champs kicked off their North American “Living Proof” tour at the beginning of March and ever since the tour lineup was announced, everyone was immediately hyped up and ready to purchase tickets. Touring with bands such as Grayscale, The Dangerous Summer and Our Last Night, fans are afforded an impressive mix of both the pop-punk and post-hardcore genres.
State Champs released their third album, Living Proof, early last June and it highlights their growth as a group, both musically and lyrically. Right from the opening track, fans get exposed to the powerful, high-energy vocals as well as catchy guitar riffs that hook you right away. After the release of their last album, Around the World and Back, State Champs had to outdo themselves to make an even more impressive album and Living Proof is, well, “living proof” that they did just that.
Grayscale energized everyone and prepared them for the evening. Being from Philadelphia, the crowd was sure to show Grayscale some love being so close to home. The audience couldn’t remain still during the band’s set and the crowd surfers were endless. With their catchy pop-punk presence you could tell that their spot on the tour lineup was well deserved. Grayscale definitely left their impact as the openers and left the crowd longing for more.
This music video for Grayscale’s “The Fever Dream” is a great example of the energy you’ll get from this rising band.
The Dangerous Summer calmed everyone down a bit by performing some of their softer tunes but did not fail to grasp everyone's attention with their melodic guitar riffs. The band created a nice shift in energy with fans from screaming and crowd surfing to in-sync clapping and jumping to the beat of each song. You could tell The Dangerous Summer were excited to be performing close to their hometown, being just a short drive away from Ellicott City, Maryland. During their set, lead vocalist >AJ Perdomo expressed his gratitude towards all of the fans that take the time to attend their shows. Being my first time seeing and hearing The Dangerous Summer live, they have definitely gained a new fan.
Our Last Night was the next band up to perform and they had the crowd moving from front to back. They took the stage and caused an immediate uproar of cheering from fans. You could tell that Our Last Night was one of the most anticipated bands of the night. Being known for their renditions of songs by popular artists such as Post Malone, Selena Gomez, Kendrick Lamar and Katy Perry, their original songs were just as impressive. Lead singer Trevor Wentworth had such a powerful voice that it kept fans engaged as they sang along to each song. Our Last Night is one of those bands that are just as good live as they are on their albums. Seeing them live made me want to attend more of their shows because of how unreal their energy is and I am positive other people felt the same way.
It’d be “Criminal” of you to not watch this new State Champs music video.
The moment everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived and State Champs were about to take the stage. A large banner that spanned across the entire length of the stage read "State Champs" and was illuminated by vibrantly colored lights. At that point, the only thing in the room that could be heard were the chants and screams from fans. Each band member took their spot on the stage and began to then put on the show on of a lifetime. The anticipation was over and every single body in the room was moving.
Fans were piling over the barricade and the security was struggling to keep up. I have never seen such a rush of energy form in such a short amount of time. During the performance, State Champs had a special surprise guest, Saxl Rose, join them on stage. Many people may know him from touring with Neck Deep where he played the saxophone to some of their popular songs. He is local to the Maryland area and has made multiple sax covers of pop-punk songs that have made him well-known to many fans.
The amount of happiness in the room reminded me of why I love photographing concerts so much. Hearing the hundreds of voices echo as people sing along to every song is such a special moment to experience. As their set went on, singer Derek DiScanio got to performing "If I'm Lucky" from the band's acoustic EP The Acoustic Things. Phone flashlights illuminating the room and the voices in the crowd softened as they tuned in to DiScanio's vocals and crisp guitar playing. The night was coming to an end but fans still wanted more. State Champs left the stage to end the night but the uproar of chanting from the crowd led them back on stage to play two more songs. Everyone used any amount of energy that they had left and let loose. State Champs put on an unbelievably energetic and flawless performance that everyone needs to experience because, rest assured, you will not be disappointed.
The album Living Proof dropped June 15th, 2018, via Pure Noise Records.