In true rock n roll fashion, State Champs literally walk through the venues door and right onto the stage. What follows is one hour is of excitable energetic emo punk rock that the audience has paid to see.
Opening with Elevated the band set the pace, and the level of performance for the next hour. Follow up Mine Is Gold has the crowd bouncing around like it’s their last night before the pop Outta My Head is sung by everyone in the room.
The headliners are not the only feel good band of the night. Openers Paperweight are a delightful slice of upbeat fun summer time music. The Melbourne four piece bounce around the stage, connecting with the audience at eye level to create a tangible chemistry that radiates throughout their set
Manchester’s Hot Milk are everything you expect, and definitely want, from a part of the world where attitude is delivered in equal measure with class. They are vibrant, and the mix and match of dual vocalists Jim Shaw and Hannah Mee combined with dance beats, harmonies and aggressive guitars is particularly infectious. They are here for a ‘fookin’ party’, so let’s party.
The Maine could arguably be the headliner such is their catalogue and performance of tunes. Almost instantly, the crowd are singing along with each and every song.
The set list covers their whole career as they open with Sticky and Numb With You shortly after. The vibes all round are one of being in a happy place.
Vocalist John O’Callaghan is a charming showman. He picks out audience members to dance with and at one point even hands the microphone over to one lucky fan who belts out the words with every sinew of emotion.
The music ranges from the emotionally effective Taxi to the feel good Don’t Come Down and Bad Behaviour. There is even an improvised rendition of Smash Mouth’s All Star which literally becomes an a cappella version sung by the crowd.
You can’t help but have a good time with The Maine, the band cover every part of the stage, the banter between the band and crowd touching and the music magical as they finish with ‘Love You A Little’ and ‘Black Butterflies’
Which brings us back to the rock n roll entrance of State Champs. After jumping their way the first part of the set, the kinetic energy push pull between the band and crowd uplifts through Fake It as the crowd clap and sing along.
Deadly Conversation, Slow Burn and Act Like That are greeted with high pitched cheers, as vocalist Derek DiScanio wraps the audience up in his performance.
As they finish with Everybody But You State Champs leave as champs of the stage to a rapturous applause. This line up of four feel good bands, over four hours of music, is the perfect tonic to the midweek blues.
Live Review By Iain McCallum