State Champs – Live at O2 Birmingham Institute 2018

State Champs deliver a treat on Halloween!

Following the release of the excellent Living Proof this summer, it was no surprise that tickets for tonight’s show were in high demand.  With their latest album, State Champs delivered one of finest records of the year, and arguably up there with the best of this current era of pop punk.

Tonights show fell on Halloween, something which neither the band nor a fair chunk of the crowd had forgotten, as fancy dress was everywhere.  The band themselves went all out with their costumes, special mention has to go to drummer Evan, who performed the whole set in a full Pickle Rick outfit.  I don’t even want to imagine how sweaty that was!

State Champs were last in the UK in May, playing beneath Good Charlotte on this year’s Slam Dunk Festival, before heading out on a lengthy Warped Tour run.  Fronted by Derek DiScanio, this is a slick outfit.  Their performance was as tight as any I’ve seen and through the course of their set, it was apparent that this band have taken the time to really perfect their craft.  Clearly, such a relentless year of touring hasn’t taken its toll on them!

Through their 75 minute set, State Champs pumped out banger after banger.  It’s easy to forget that this band only have 3 full albums to their name; such is the extensive quality of their catalogue to date.  Opening with Criminal, the room instantly ‘popped’ and that level of excitement and intensity remained throughout.  A pop punk album, nor gig, is truly complete without an acoustic jam – cue a mass sing along to “If I’m Lucky”.  Personal highlights were All You Are Is History, Remedy and Something About You.

Watching State Champs at my somewhat tender age of 31, took me back to being 16 years old and watching New Found Glory in their prime.  Those catchy hooks, the fun & carefree stage presence and just straight up quality pop punk.

I’ll freely admit, by the encore of Elevated and Secrets I was singing along just as loud as anyone else in the room with a big smile on my face.

It was encouraging to see a younger audience filling the floor, reminding us that pop punk certainly isn’t dead and that thankfully, there’s a whole new generation of music fans coming through with impeccable taste.