Upstate New York’s finest purveyors of pop-punk make their eagerly anticipated return to Tyneside.

State Champs arrive in the North East hot off the back of a high profile appearance at Download Festival this weekend. This current tour sees the band performing a run of intimate shows for their loyal and die-hard fans. It goes without saying that such was the demand for tonight’s show at the Riverside Newcastle that it is a complete sell-out.

As the US-based five-piece hits the stage, they set up shop with a high octane trio of numbers featuring “Criminal”, “Mine Is Gold” and “Secrets”. Immediately from the off crowd surfers propel themselves towards the front of the stage during this action-packed opening.

The Geordie fans sing wholeheartedly at the tops of the voice throughout, and even by the band’s own admittance they are impressed by the response they receive tonight. Having performed in London the previous evening, the band didn’t expect they would be able to top their show in the capital. However, early in the set, it certainly looked like the band’s Newcastle fan base were up for the challenge set by their southern counterparts.

State Champs delivers a high energy set that doesn’t subside at any point. There are no mid-set lulls or dull moments, it’s just nothing but relentless pop-punk anthems from start to finish. With the up close and personal nature of tonight’s show, frontman Derek DiScanio is constantly at the edge of the stage whilst simultaneously spurring on the crowd, and the fans in attendance certainly don’t require much encouragement. State Champs has the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands from the off, creating somewhat of an adrenaline fuelled atmosphere in the room.

The US-based five-piece are currently celebrating the one year anniversary of their third studio album Living Proof and this evening’s set largely centres on their latest offering with six tracks from the record featuring. This includes the likes of “Crystal Ball”, “Lightning” and “Frozen” – State Champs recently released a new video for the latter last week.

Despite the emphasis on their new record, there’s still plenty of room in their fourteen song setlist for old favourites including the anthemic “Slow Burn”, a thunderous airing of “Remedy” along with their main set closer “Elevated”. A two-song encore featuring “All You Are Is History” and “Dead And Gone” brings the band’s short but sweet 50 minute set to its explosive conclusion.

During the course of their fast and furious performance, frontman Derek DiScanio hinted that the band would be working on new material at the end of the summer, so it looks like a new State Champs album will arrive sooner rather than later. We look forward to more of what is to come as the band’s next chapter unfolds.

Sydney’s Yours Truly opened up the proceedings early in the evening. Much like tonight’s headliners the band performed at Download at the weekend, and make their Newcastle debut this evening. The Aussie based quartet’s infectious brand of pop-punk certainly packs a punch. Expect to be seeing a lot more of this exciting new outfit in the not too distant future.

State Champs
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Event Date: 18-June-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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