NEWS

Review: State Champs – 23/10/18 – Northumbria Institute, Newcastle

30/10/2018

Wednesday 24th October saw Northumbria Institute host New York pop-punk band State Champs and their Living Proof UK Tour. The cold and windy Autumn night did not stop the crowd from packing out the venue to see the band, who haven’t been to the city to play a show in over three years…


The tour was announced in support of their third album also titled ‘Living Proof’ which was released in June earlier this year. It features some of the bands finest material yet.

Support on the night came from a range of the best up and coming talent from all around the world. It’s unusual for a band to bring along three support artists, let alone three of the same genre they know their audience will love.

Kicking off the night was a Scottish pop-punk band called ‘Woes’. They were followed by Australian female fronted band ‘Stand Atlantic’ who played original music including their newest single ‘Lavender Bones’ and ‘Coffee at Midnight’.

They played a set around 25 minutes long and warmed up the crowd nicely for Canadian rock band Seaway who were main support of the evening. Totally proving they can hold their own with a large crowd, they got everyone to jump and sing along to their original material.

They totally engaged the Institute and if they come back to headline their own tour, they definitely gained themselves a good few more supporters on this tour.

After a short interval it was time for State Champs to take to the stage. From the very start of the set with ‘Criminal’ off their new album it wasn’t just the vocals that stood out. Complex guitar, bass and drum work complemented each other perfectly. It showcased how well the band work together.

Followed by ‘Frozen’ and then an older track ‘Losing Myself’, they led us through a highly energetic performance. They completely took the crowd with them, who were eagerly joining in and singing along throughout the whole set. The younger crowd continued to join in with a mixture of their newer work and also material from their previous two albums.

The track ‘Lightning’ was a stand out moment of the set. It really showed off Derek’s raspy, hearty voice as well as the bands musical talent thanks to its powerful chorus. In a similar way, the song ‘Safe Haven’ – from the new album had the same vibe.

Slowing the set down, frontman Derek played solo with an acoustic performance of ‘If I’m Lucky.’ Then the rest of the band re-joined him on stage for ‘Our Time To Go’ which was easily my favourite part of the set.

It is an emotional song which changed the pace of the gig, but certainly not the energy. ‘Easy Enough’ and ‘Dead And Gone’ are the real crowd pleasers of this setlist, both uniquely catchy and encapsulate what pop-punk is all about. Making everyone chant, jump and scream the lyrics back.

To bring the set to a close, State Champs encore included the tracks ‘Elevated’ and ‘Secrets’ – older tracks but nonetheless the most perfect songs to finish with.

The Living Proof Tour was full to the brim with everything you would expect. Amazing choruses, energy from start to finish, powerful lyrics, punchy vocals and just about everything else in between. State Champs are the perfect package of pop-punk. As an album, ‘Living Proof’ is good, but live it is spectacle. 

PHOTOS: ZOE MARTIN

WORDS: LAUREN STEWART

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