It was a good night for pop punk on Thursday as hundreds of fans made their way to the Lamppost Warehouse, a new all-ages venue in San Diego. The venue started hosting shows in November and this was my first time visiting it. There is some room for improvements, one of those being some better ventilation, but one thing’s for sure: the parking sucks. I was running a little late and unfortunately missed most of the first band’s set because I couldn’t find a spot. Just a heads up if you plan on attending a show here, get there early because you will have to park on the street.
As Like Pacific finished their set, I scoped out the front of the venue to find that there is no barricade. Not the best situation from a photographer’s point of view, but all you stage divers are in luck!
Knuckle Puck took the stage after dealing with some technical difficulties. Vocalist Joe Taylor announced that the venue would not tolerate stage diving, later contradicting this by stating that he would not be there today if he had followed the rules and that we could do whatever we want with our lives. So of course, chaos ensued. The best kind of course! They played one of their most popular songs “No Good” early on in case their set was interrupted by more electrical mishaps. Joe spoke of unity in the scene and the issue of romanticizing depression in between songs. There is obviously a lot of passion in this band’s music as was demonstrated by the number of fans screaming lyrics at the top of their lungs. The set was a great warm up for the co-headliners.
Before Neck Deep came out, a guy made a quick speech about suicide prevention ending with a reference to the band’s newest album stating that “Life’s Not Out To Get You”. The guys then went onto the stage with a fun rowdiness that is to be expected from Neck Deep. They opened with “Citizens of Earth,” going on to play seven more songs from their last album including: “Gold Steps,” “Can’t Kick Up The Roots,” and “December.” Life’s Not Out To Get You was personally one of my favorite albums of 2015 and seeing it performed live was such a treat. It has just the right energy to make you want to go wild in the middle of the crowd and sing along with some equally excited strangers. By the end of the set the room was grossly humid and the majority of people flooded outside for a breath of fresh air. Sweaty people are usually the sign of a good, jam-packed show so I can’t say I was surprised.
The crowd came back mostly recuperated for the last set of the night, State Champs. The band brought the audience back to life with their contagious energy and melodies. They played songs from their first album, The Finer Things, as well as from their newest one, Around the World and Back. They slowed things down slightly for a song that vocalist Derek DiScanio informed us he had written when he was only fifteen years old called “If I’m Lucky.” There wasn’t a dull second to their set as they constantly moved about the stage making sure to interact with the audience as much as possible. They ended on a powerful note with a fan favorite, “Elevated,” giving the audience the perfect upbeat song to use up the last of their energy. I left the show with a sense of bliss and satisfaction that only a good show can give me, so I would rate this night a definite success.
The Alternative Press Tour comes to an end on March 18th and with a mostly sold out tour I’d say this new wave of pop punk is here to stay, at least for the time being, and I am 182% okay with that.