March 10, 2017
02 Academy- Bristol, England
Pop punk band State Champs from New York, stopped off in Bristol on their UK/ European headline tour. This was a momentous event for State Champs as this was their first time headlining in the O2 Bristol Academy. The band had previously played at the venue in 2014 when they supported New Found Glory on their UK tour. Supporting them on their UK/ European tour was fellow American band Northbound as well as UK pop punk band As It Is.
Opening up the night was Northbound, hailing from South Florida. The band set the tempo with fast catchy riffs and high energy. There offered a slightly heavier sound compared to the other two acts, which was well received from the crowd. The band played tracks from their album Death Of A Slug including Actor, Lucky Sentimental and Leech as well as playing their new single Fade To Black which particularly went down well with the crowd. This was only the second show the band had played in the UK and it’s safe to say that they left their mark as their set ended to cheers from the crowd.
Next up was As It Is; The band have gained a large following in the past couple years having played at Vans Wraped Tour as well as Reading and Leeds Festival. The band kept the high energy going, opening up with the second track Okay from their just recently released album Okay. The band played tracks from Okay, including Rachel, Patchwork Love and Soap. As well as playing tracks from their previous release Never Happy, Ever After including Speak Soft and Dial Tones. Notable mentions was the band’s crowd interaction and specifically the relentless energy of frontman, Patty Walters with his crazy high jumps as well as his crowd pleasing act of swinging and catching his microphone.
With the crowd now really hyped for State Champs, the lights on the stage turned red as the band walked on to the stage, greeted by screams from the crowd and the place erupted as the band went opened up with Losing Myself. The band played tracks from their latest release Around the World and Back including Shape Up, All or Nothing and crowd favorite All You Are Is History which had the whole crowd jumping. The band also played tracks from their previous release Finer Things including Remedy and Elevated. A notable mention was an acoustic part in the set where frontman Derek Discanio was joined by guitarist Tyler Szalkowski and they performed stripped back versions of Leave It Alone and If I’m Lucky which was greeted by the band being partly lit by the phone lights from the crowd.
The band smashed through their set and Discanio lead the crowd all the way. As the band ended and left the stage, there were chants from the crowd of ‘one more song’ and to the crowd’s delight, the band came back and played a two song encore of Critical and Secrets. As the band left the stage for the final time, Discanio mentioned news of a possible new album, which was greeted by cheers from the crowd. Many have been eagerly anticipating this tour and it defiantly delivered with all bands putting on stellar performances which were met from the crowds energy.
Review by: Anthony Shaw
As It Is