It was a grand night for pop punk fans: Not just one, but three bands supported State Champs on their Living Proof Europe tour. The acts spanned across the continents, heading from the US, Canada, Scotland and Australia. What happens when international punk clashes could be witnessed at Berlin’s Bi Nuu on September 6th.
The aeroplane landed in Canada first. The emo-influenced Seaway have released three full-length record and three EPs to date. During their second ever trip to Germany, they focused on performing their newest LP Vacation, with a few glimpses of the past shining through.
Somewhere between power pop and alternative rock is the flavour of Australian pop punk trio Stand Atlantic. The two EPs they’ve released so far promise a fervent first long-play; the riffs in the likes of early 2000’s pop punk make the band exemplary companions to the main act.
In a country where the local pop punk scene has yet to grow, Scottish Woes are carrying the torch for their home. Self Help was released this May, following incessant touring with Welsh friends Neck Deep. With three more bands under their tour belt, the future is looking bright for them.
As if State Champs knew when they wrote their sophomore Around The World And Back, the New Yorkers are storming the stage at last. It’s a subdued start: Derek DiScanio’s mellow voice drifts over a dreamy guitar riff. It’s Criminal, he shouts, and the full band sets in to play the first track off their newly-released Living Proof.
The first couple songs are gliding somewhere between 2015 and now, having been released on the band’s second and third album. The experimental composition of Frozen or Mine is Gold mingle with the catchy hymns of Losing Myself and Shape Up. Yet, it’s a major throwback to 10, 15 years past – the saccharine wistfulness spreading from the strings evoke imagery of when pop punk celebrated major mainstream success.
The new generation of listeners is gifted an extensive tour through State Champs’ discography. About halfway through the set, classy euphoric Remedy off their debut sneaks in, fluttering about the 9 out of 13 songs released on Living Proof that are being performed. It won’t remain the only visitor off it, Easy Enough and Simple Existence assure the band hasn’t forgotten its roots.
As the night turns darker, soulful acoustic Our Time To Go and bass-heavy Something About You have evaporated into the shadows, State Champs play one last song before the lights branch off too: Dead And Gone.
But of course, an auspicious band like them wouldn’t just leave after such an implicative title.
Lead singles Elevated and Secrets resonate from the stage as the quintett returns for an encore. A much more fitting end to the night: State Champs delivered a breath-taking life performance that has elevated the crowd for sure, and will leave them wondering what other secrets they have for us in store in the future.