One of the coolest things that has happened (and keeps happening) since I’ve started doing concert photography is all the times I’ve met really good, wonderful people a long the way. The corollary to that, one of the interesting thing that has also come about during this times is the times that I’ll realize I’ve shot a band, some person or people in a band that I’ve covered in the past, but never realized it until later on. The most recent of this occurrence was last Tuesday night while seeing Neck Deep headline a packed all ages First Avenue show. Last April I took a trip to Des Moines to cover State Champs, of whom the bassist, Ryan Scott Graham, has their own band Speak Low If You Speak Love who opened first for Neck Deep. Didn’t realize it was the same guy the whole night, though I did think he looked a bit familiar. It’s just cool to come across those kind of connections, however small they may be.
Creeper were the second opener and the secondary reason I was interested in going to the show. They ended up being by far the best part of the night and made me wish they played a twice as long set than they did. I got to cover them first almost exactly a year ago when they opened for Too Close To Touch and while good, they didn’t leave a huge impression. But to go from then, to hearing their newest album Eternity, In Your Arms which I now would put in my top 10 of 2017, and now seeing them live in a big venue like First Ave where the audience seemed to be there for them as much as they were for Neck Deep with how much they were moving around and singing along, it makes me happy for them. They deserve every ounce of success they get and I’m excited for what else comes next from them.
Neck Deep were Neck Deep. In the genre of Pop Punk, I would put them up at the top of bands that are leading right now, and they carried themselves as if they were this night. I was never completely blown away by any single moment of their set, but everything was as solid as anyone could hope for and everyone else in the audience seemed to be loving what they were seeing. I got to see favorites like “In Bloom,” “Parachute,” and “December” so there’s nothing I can complain at all about besides they fact that all us photographers got kicked out of the pit like one song in so I wasn’t able to get as many good shots as I had hoped I would.
If you’re going to keep your eye on a band over the next few years, make it Creeper. If you’re looking for one that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, that’d be Neck Deep for you.