Neck Deep: The Peace and The Panic tour Part II
Lineup: WSTR, Stand Atlantic, Trophy Eyes, Neck Deep
Words and Photos by: Chandler Poczciwinski
Up first, with their ripping guitar riffs to their absolute command of the crowd, WSTR, one of the most impressive opening acts that I have seen in a long time. On this tour, WSTR brought a whole new batch of songs from their superb sophomore album Identity Crisis that was recently released on August 31, 2018 . What surprised me the most about WSTR was their stage presence, they went on that stage and played as if they were the headlining band. Being an opening act is a difficult task because the crowd isn’t warmed up yet and some fans haven’t even shown up. However, WSTR took the challenge of being the opening band, stomped it into the ground, then played a very exciting set. This effort would not go unnoticed as fans responded very positively to the the band and I am excited as to where this band is going to find themselves next.
Up second was Stand Atlantic the female fronted Australian band that is still anticipating the release of their debut full length album, really showed Buffalo what they had to offer. Lead singer, Bonnie Fraser, left nothing out, between her stunning clean vocals to her solid screams, I see a lot of promise with this band. Stand Atlantic was a perfect fit on this bill, and I really enjoyed seeing a female fronted band kill because it is not something you see regularly in this normally male dominated scene. The crowd must have felt the same way that I did because they had their eyes glued to the stage from the first song to the last. Stand Atlantic also shared with the crowd their love of yelling random American words into the mic because no matter what, everyone always screams. Finally, Stand Atlantic would treat the crowd by playing their newly released song Lavender Bones that I hope to be able to hear on an upcoming full album.
Next up, Trophy Eyes, coming off a new album that displays a new side of their sound; their latest release,The American Dream, is less aggressive than their past material. However, that by no means suggests that their shows became any less energetic. With full control over the energy of the crowd, front man, John Floreani, moved from side to side, giving every dedicated fan in the audience the attention they deserve. He even acknowledged every crowd surfer that launched over the barricade by running over to great them as they left the photo pit. Their set, consisting of both old and new material was very dynamically pleasing. From songs such as “You Can Count on Me” that showcase the sound of the new album, to some of their classic songs such as “Heaven Sent” which show the aggression that Trophy Eyes is known for. They had the crowd on the tips of their fingers for the entirety of the set, and Floreani looked like he was having a good time. That might not seem like a huge deal, but to be in the crowd and have the band look unhappy is a very terrible feeling; especially when you feel as strongly about your scene as I do. Trophy Eyes definitely did not miss the high standards that I had for them going into the show, and I hope to be able to catch them on their upcoming tour date in Buffalo on December 4th at our newest venue, The Rec Room.
The lights dimmed as the final act of the evening, Neck Deep, got ready to take the stage. As each member began to get into place on stage, the excited screams from the crowd grew exponentially. Then in a split second, the lights exploded and Neck Deep went into their first song of the evening “Motion Sickness” off their newest album The Peace and The Panic. It is always amazing to see how bands you have listened to since they first began, grow from just taking the stage to play a set, to providing a concert experience that their fans will never forget. I still remember when Neck Deep put out their first album Rain In July (2012) and completely changed the face of pop-punk forever. They grew from a band that went city to city in a smelly van, to putting on a face melting musical, lighting, and special effects extravaganza. This change is exactly what Neck Deep wanted to capture during their Peace and The Panic tour. Prior to hitting the road, Neck Deep put out a survey for fans to choose what songs they wanted to hear, during the show ND said how responses on that survey went from choosing a variety of songs from every album, to having the same song played 20 times in a row. Neck Deep chose to please the majority of their fan base by playing a set that stretched from songs on their first release to their recent hits off their latest album. This provided for an exciting set that took fans from moshing in the pit, to shedding a few tears. The Buffalo crowd was even lucky enough to help ND guitarist Matt West celebrate his 27th birthday by singing him Happy Birthday. Neck Deep was even treated to a Buffalo classic as the infamous Town Ballroom disco ball lowered before they headed into their final song “In Bloom”. Right now, Neck Deep is at the top of their game, and they have no intention of looking down.