Live: State Champs in Phoenix

The Pressroom in Downtown Phoenix has hosted its fair share of high-energy shows, and State Champs on April 26 was no exception. The performances alternated between that which was more pop and that which was more punk, creating a variety that kept the audience on their toes without feeling disjointed. Packed with four cohesive and rapidly-climbing acts, the Around the World and Back tour left no one unshaken in Phoenix.

Don Broco started the night off with a danceable alt rock set, and certainly won’t be mixed in and lost under the “alt” conglomerate any time soon. Interestingly enough, front man Rob Damiani almost has the vocals of a metal band, adding an edge to an otherwise bouncey sound.

All the way from Australia, With Confidence is on their second U.S. run, with Warped Tour being their first. They clearly made an impression, because a large portion of the crowd responded when they asked who had seen them on Warped. Solidly rooted in classic pop punk, these guys finally started the crowd surfing chain reaction and kept the energy up through the whole set.

With three of five members of Against the Current stuck behind their instruments, only Dan Gow and Chrissy Costanza were left to create performance energy, and Chrissy was a firecracker. By far the most engaging performer of the night, she constantly provided a visual as energetic as their music. Combining a mix of older and newer material, Against the Current wrapped Phoenix around their fingers.

State Champs then took the stage, kicking off with little intro and a lot of motion. Crowd surfing doubled as lead vocalist Derek Discanio paraded around the stage. With four front men, State Champs gives even the shortest fans something to see. Making sure to engage with the audience and encourage their participation, the band was able to keep their attention throughout a lengthy set.

Essentially alternating between Around the World and Back and The Finer Things, the set list was tailored to please both older and newer fans. State Champs has received massive success for both albums, so it’s not hard to see why they would attempt to balance the set between the two.

Despite almost not making it to the show due to being abandoned in the Nevada desert, State Champs and company put on one hell of a show. Phoenix was certainly glad they rented out some vans to make it out to The Pressroom, and agreed with the band about the notion of #FuckGator.

-Kelly Fox