Living Proof Tour

State Champs
Our Last Night
The Dangerous Summer

House of Blues; Boston, MA – March 9th, 2019

The New York/Boston relationship has had its moments. There’s the Bruins and the Rangers, Original Six rivals since the 20’s, the Patriots have bad blood with the Jets, Bills, and Giants, and it goes without saying that the Yankees and Red Sox are … less than cordial with one another. But as someone from New York who has spent their fair share of time throughout New England, I will say, it’s not all bad between us. 

Case in point: Albany’s State Champs selling out the House of Blues in Boston to a degree I haven’t seen in years. 

Support from Grayscale, The Dangerous Summer, and Our Last Night elevated the night with each performance. Grayscale brought a high energy and stage presence, opening the evening with a solid performance for anyone who was able to get inside for it. 

After a brief changeover and the addition of another round of attendees, The Dangerous Summer took the stage. I’m sure there are other people who can say the same, but there are a few bands who I can remember the very first time I heard them, and The Dangerous Summer are in that category. A couple of weeks before my junior prom, my date and I were hanging out and she hit me with one of those “have you heard this song?” moments. Then we sat there and listened to “Of Confidence” half a dozen times. So, this is a band that I have memories of. And, flash back to 2019, along with hundreds of strangers, I have another. 

Opening with “The Permanent Rain,” they dove right in to a nearly break-free set, adding in fan-favorite “Where I Want to Be” and new single “Where Were You When the Sky Opened Up.” After a handful of albums and an EP that is still one of the best I can think of in If You Could Only Keep Me Alive, The Dangerous Summer continue to impress. 

At first glance, when I saw Our Last Night on the bill, I expected them to be odd man out on such a pop-punk-heavy lineup. That said, being the outlier isn’t always a bad thing. As the heaviest band in the rotation, that extra kick lands harder. And as locals (well, neighbors – Hollis, New Hampshire natives) they were made to feel at home. They handled it nicely finding the median between being a heavier band playing to a crowd that leaned more towards the “pop” side of “pop-punk.” There was a balance to the performance, which found its median during their cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”

Before Saturday, I had seen State Champs a couple of times, each time on a bigger stage – as an opener, as a local headliner, a set at Warped Tour, etc. We’ve had acts from around the Albany area make their mark before – Thieves and Villains signed to Victory and put out a pair of albums, Enigmatic Heart were a high school four-piece who opened for the likes of Chiodos and Bring Me the Horizon on a few occasions and had a brief write-up in AltPress once, the Troy hardcore scene was in the upper echelon at its peak, and Equal Vision Records is based downtown. With all of those, and more I’m sure I’m forgetting, we’ve never had anything like State Champs. And I’ll admit there’s some hometown bias, but their Albany shows have always been special, but I had never seen them play a full set not in their hometown, so I wasn’t sure how far their reach, well, reached. Silly me.

Sometimes the break between acts can pull the crowd out of the evening. From the time Our Last Night finished up and the stage was broken down and reset until State Champs came out, it was 25-30 minutes, give or take. Which, I’ve had shorter, I’ve had longer, no big deal; the break could have been an hour and I don’t think the crowd would have lost an ounce of excitement. When they took the stage to a roar of applause, they dove right in with their newest single and Living Proof opening track “Criminal.”

Other highlights throughout the night included “Frozen,” “Crystal Ball,” and “Mine is Gold,” the latter of which brought the crowdsurfers out and fog cannons blasting.
“Dead and Gone,” my personal favorite, closed out the initial set turned up to an 11, and the encore of “Elevated” and “Secrets” brought the night to an end with a pair of their most-streamed tracks.

It might sound a bit strange, but not all sold-out shows are the same. Shows can sell out ahead of time, shows can sell out at the door, shows can sell out the GA spots, so on and so forth. Like I mentioned, I’ve been to a few dozen shows at the House of Blues, give or take, and many, if not most, were sold out. Thinking back through that list, I can say that I haven’t seen a show this kind of sold out since Fall Out Boy’s reunion back in 2014. Now, I’m not saying there’s a connection there, or even a correlation for that matter, but it’s been about five years since I’ve seen a line stretch down a city block and around the corner, so I’ll leave that up to everyone else. Comparisons or lack thereof aside, State Champs are rightfully one of the biggest names in pop-punk right now and I think their best is still yet to come. Until then, it’s full speed ahead for the Upstate five-piece. 

Go take over the world; we’ll hold it down at home for when you get back. 

Losing Myself
Shape Up
Mine is Gold
Hard to Please
Crystal Ball
Perfect Score
If I’m Lucky
Our Time to Go
All You Are Is History
Safe Haven
Easy Enough
Something About You
Simple Existence
Dead and Gone

Remaining Living Proof Tour Dates:
3/18 Denver, CO – Summit
3/19 Salt Lake City, UT – the Depot
3/21 Seattle, WA – the Showbox
3/22 SOLD OUT Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
3/23 SOLD OUT Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
3/24 Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
3/26 Phoenix, AZ – the Van Buren
3/28 Austin, TX – Scoot Inn
3/29 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater