State Champs / Stand Atlantic – Leeds O2 Academy – 30/10/18
The gigs are coming in thick and fast as the festival season closes and we dive into the final few months of the year. One stand out tour is that of State Champs and Stand Atlantic’s eight date run across the UK for some Pop-Punk madness. We’re well into the tour as the entusiastic crowd pile into Leeds O2 Academy nice and early to greet our favourite new pop punks Stand Atlantic before Stage Champs explode onto the stage. With only a couple of dates left, both bands are feeling well up for it!
Ozzie pop-punks Stand Atlantic (8.5) had a taster of Leeds in the summer at Slam Dunk Festival as they took the Beckett by storm, but tonight they return this time to the slightly more daunting O2 Academy stage. Having just released their full length album ‘Skinny Dipping’, Stand Atlantic are more than equipped to warm up the early birds at the 02.
Lead single ‘Lavender Bones’ gets the show underway and its bouncy chorus and is everything thats needed to have the rooms full attention. They couldn’t be on a better stage than supporting the likes of State Champs to win a whole new following as Stand Atlantic are tailor made for this crowd. ‘Sidewinder’ and ‘Chemicals’ from their debut EP follow suit to drive us into a pop-punk spiral of moshing fun.
Frontwoman Bonnie Fraser is full of life as she shreds her guitar with great intent whilst shouting her way through the lyrics with plenty of attitude. Her stage presence has grown since the last time we caught them and their live show screams confidence, and rightly so with such strong new material. ‘Skinny Dipping’ and ‘Lost My Cool’ are both solid tracks and are delivered even better live, so it’s clear to see why Hopeless Records snapped them up so quickly.
With guitarist David Potter and Drummer Jonno Panichi backing up Bonnie, the Ozzie outfit are solid and their energy is infectious as they throw everything into their final song ‘Coffee At Midnight’. It sparks a reaction from the crowd as the mosh pits break out for one last time before leaving the stage to a proud applause. This UK tour will do them wonders, and deservedly so.
State Champs (8.5) know how to start a party, and that’s exactly what we get as they burst onto stage for ‘Criminal’. The opening track erupts into life with a pounding beat and heavy riffs for an emphatic chorus that has the band flying around the stage. Sparks shoot high behind the band throughout the breakdown for a quick firework display a week early of Guy Fawkes night. ‘Frozen’ follows to keep the pace moving in the right direction as they start with the opening tracks of the recent album ‘Living Proof’, the bands 3rd album which boasts some massive tunes.
It’s a whip back to 2016 for ‘Losing Myself’ to keep the mosh pits and crowd surfers in full flow as the excitable crowd give everything they have from the start. Similarly State Champs really match their enthusiasm, as they constantly bounce around the stage leaving no space untouched. Clearly touring with the likes of New Found Glory, A Day To Remember, Neck Deep and many more explosive bands has rubbed off on the New Yorkers who know how to work a crowd.
The set consists of a generous mix of old and new as we’re flung from the recent tracks of ‘Living Proof’ back to the likes of ‘Remedy’ and ‘Easy Enough’ from 2013’s ‘The Finer Things’. Frontman Derek DiScanio is on top form throughout the set and the band back him up with ease barely putting a single note out of place.
An encore of the boisterous ‘Elevated’ and bouncy ‘Secrets’ both squeeze every last bit of energy from the Leeds crowd before the curfew puts things to an end. We’re pretty sure State Champs could gladly power on all night, but they’ll be more than happy to leave us wanting more, and we’re sure we will get it as 2019 shapes up to be a huge year for State Champs if they keep rising at a rapid rate.
(PLEASE DO NOT CROP OR EDIT PHOTOS)
Photo Credit: © Danny Peart Photography 2018