After bringing their highly-celebrated new album to life earlier this year, State Champs hit Europe, starting off their tour in Dublin and rocking the O2 Academy in Leeds in at the end of October.
The opening acts – wonderfully-chosen punk bands Woes, Stand Atlantic and Seaway – warmed up and entertained the crowd with their robust punk tunes. I highly recommend checking them all out; Seaway in particular, a Canadian classic punk band, had a unique style and managed to charm us all with their rocking songs and with the lead singer’s surprising dance moves.
Finally, projecting lights started flashing, and Discanio, lead singer and frontman of the group jumped on stage with a scream, followed by the whole band. The band kicked it off with ‘Criminal’ and ‘Frozen’, also the first two tracks in the bands’ third studio album, Living Proof.
The excited crowd sang along and screamed back as the set list moved on quickly, one song after the other, in a greatly thought-out setlist which mixed classic older tunes like ‘Losing Myself’ and ‘Shape Up’ from the popular sophomore album, with (of course) their most recent tunes.
The room kept warming up, reaching an ultimate level of sweat and shared love, an astonishing amount of crowd surfers reaching the front of the mosh pit.
This pop punk dream could not have been complete without the beautifully performed ‘If I’m Lucky’, an emotional bit with Discanio alone on stage just with his acoustic guitar, and ‘Our Time to Go’.
State Champs kept on playing, with the fans hanging onto every lyric, losing themselves to the music; they were in their own little world, forgetting about life for a moment, shaking their heads back and forth, dancing crazy. The crowd’s expectations were satisfied all the way through to the end, when the band strikingly closed with their most famous tune ‘Secrets’, promising everyone they’d be back soon.
Header image via BBC