Review: State Champs at The Academy 2, w/ Knuckle Puck, and ROAM

What happens when you put three of pop punks greatest under one roof? Well, a whole lot of flannel, that’s for sure.


Off to an early start was ROAM (we interviewed the lovely Alex back in May at Slam Dunk) storming the stage at 18.30 they brought the energy right up, waking up all the sleepy eyes who came trudging down straight after work. They got everyone moving and jumping so high I feared for the many backward cap topped heads hitting off the top of that low low Academy 2 ceiling. They did exactly what you want from an opening act; they brought energy, excitement, and got everyone pumped for the rest of the night. They’re by far one of the funnest bands to see live.

The energy didn’t dip with the arrival of Knuckle Puck, they played the perfect blend of new and old and the crowd were loving it. Joe Taylor was engaging, making sure the crowd had all eyes on them. They played a few songs from their new album Copacetic, and delighted the crowd with some old classics from ‘And While I Stay Secluded’.

But all this was just a run up to the masters; State Champs were upbeat, catchy, and passionate. There wasn’t exactly enough space for the crowd to go mental, but they did what they could with what they had, and sang back the lyrics with the utmost conviction. They provoked laughs with their on-stage banter, and even played a little longer than they were probably supposed to. They played all the crowd-pleasers and seemed to love every minute of it. One of the highlights was their new song ‘Secrets‘ from their upcoming album ‘Around the World and Back’. While it was only released a few months ago it was sung by both Derek and the crowd like they had known it for years.

What makes them such a good trio for playing together is that they each showcase a different side of the same genre. ROAM lie on the poppy upbeat side, Knuckle Puck lie more on the heavier side, and State Champs are somewhere in the middle. They’re all doing the genre their own way, and the result is a night of top notch pop-punk extravaganza.

Words by Lissa


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