With a sold-out crowd eagerly awaiting an adrenaline filled Friday-night show, excitement filled the air as these passionate fans counted down the minutes until the music began. Touring in support of their wildly popular album The Peace and The Panic, (which received critical praise since its release last August,) Neck Deep brought quite the line-up with them to make a diverse night of pop-punk glory in NYC’s Playstation Theater.
Starting off the night was Speak Low If You Speak Love, or Speak Low for short. The project– fusing acoustic sensibilities and rock roots with the charisma of pop– was developed by the mind of State Champs‘ Bassist Ryan Scott Graham, and it’s absolutely powerful. His latest release of the project, Nearsighted, came out just a few weeks ago on January 19th– which gave fans plenty of time to memorize the latest lyrics before the show. During the dynamic performance full of fiery guitar playing and raw vocals, Speak Low performed hits new and old such as “Enough“, “Contrasting Colors“, and “Knots” all the while fans sang their hearts out from just behind the barricade. If you’re looking for music that’s so earnest to the point of melancholy that also translates to a killer live set– definitely check out Speak Low; and if you can, show up early to Neck Deep‘s tour so you can catch them– it’s beyond worth it.
Next on stage was UK act Creeper— and oh man did they make me want to break out my black lipstick. The horror-punk group had a striking appearance– clad in all black with matching jackets/vests, and it called me back to my days listening to similar groups from yester-year such as Alkaline Trio and even pre-The Art Of Drowning AFI. Further, I couldn’t help but have an appreciation for the group– myself coming from a background loving dark wave and glam acts from the UK such as Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, and Siouxsie and The Banshees to name a few. Their performance was killer as they played songs from their recently released debut album Eternity, In Your Arms— with singer Will Gould running around showing the audience all of the passion and power he possessed. With fast riffs and dangerously catchy choruses, the band not only delivered a compelling performance but proved why they’ve won the hearts of critics and award shows alike.
Though it was my second time now seeing Seaway, it didn’t change the fact that I was truly excited to see them take the stage. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– Seaway gives a performance that is insanely fun, and it pairs perfectly with their sound that just makes you want to jump around with a giant grin. Supporting their album Vacation, Seaway sure didn’t disappoint– Ryan Locke is always a delight to watch and his energy is absolutely infectious as just watching him dance around will make you want to do the same, and that certainly showed with how much fun the crowd was having. By the time they got to performing “Lula On The Beach” the crowd was in a frenzy– shouting every lyric at the top of their lungs as the floor turned into a massive party of dancing and crowd surfing. If you haven’t seen Seaway yet, not only are you missing out, but you must hate fun– add it to your 2018 bucket list and go have a good time at one of their shows.
Finally, the white curtain was up and it was time for Neck Deep to hit the stage. The buzz of the crowd was electric and when the curtain finally dropped to reveal the band and their massive stage it was an explosion of cheers and energy as the crowd-surfing and moshing commenced. Beginning with “Happy Judgement Day“, Neck Deep showed why they’re one of the major players in pop punk– their songs are large and their on stage presence is even bigger. Running around and delivering lyrics with fire and fury, frontman Ben Barlow lead the insanely epic performance that embodied the spirit of pop punk and rock n roll all at once. There’s no better way to describe the feel of the crowd than absolute insanity– every lyric, every note– the fans proudly knew it all, and they weren’t scared to show it. There was also a proudly displayed support for the other acts Neck Deep brought with them– Seaway drummer Ken Taylor joined them during “Don’t Wait” to provide the screaming vocals, and during their last pre-encore song “A Part Of Me“, Hannah Greenwood (Keys and Vocals) of Creeper performed alongside them. Neck Deep‘s performance reinforced everything that made me love them in the first place, and only made me adore them more. I’d gladly see Neck Deep a million more times after this performance– I’m angry at myself for not seeing them sooner, but once again, it just added to why they’re one of my top acts of the genre.
The Peace And The Panic Tour is one of the best tours of the year so far, and I have full faith that by the end of the year it’ll still be on top. The tour is a full showcase of worthwhile and talented acts that all possess energy like no other– and best of all, they all support each other while celebrating the scene. Neck Deep ALONE makes the tour more than worth the price of the ticket with their showmanship and music, so the fact that you’re getting 3 bands with them that keep the energy up without a low-point– yeah, you don’t want to miss this tour.
02/05 – Rochester, NY @ Anthology
02/06 – Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
02/07 – Ottawa, ON @ Bronson Centre
02/08 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
02/09 – Detroit, MI @ The Majestic
02/10 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
02/12 – Chicago, IL @ Concord
02/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
02/14 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
02/16 – Denver, CO @ The Ogden Theatre
02/17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
02/20 – Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Ballroom
02/21 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
02/ 23 – Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theatre
02/24 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
02/25 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom
02/27 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
02/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Henry Fonda Theatre
Last modified: February 4, 2018