By Ashley Gallagher
In late 2013, Albany-natives State Champs released their debut studio album, The Finer Things. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and it is safe to say that the fire never stopped for this band. Since then, the band has released two more albums, played the Warped Tour main stage, released a DVD, and went around the world and back again, and again, and again.
However, no matter how many people they play to, they never forget the feeling of smaller more intimate shows and of course, their hometown.
On December 28th and 39th, the band headlined House of Independents in Asbury Park, New Jersey and the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, New York, making it a hometown show, as a part of their two-day Holiday Tour. They brought Young Culture, In Her Own Words, Save Face, and A Will Away along to support them at the show.
Young Culture, a fellow Albany band, started the show with songs off of the various EPs they have out. They had energy throughout the whole set and got the crowd to move along, even if they didn’t know the who they were. The energy for this band differed in New York as it did New Jersey and you could tell how much they enjoyed playing to fans from where they are from.
Next was In Her Own Words and Save Face. In Her Own Words started off good, but as the set went on it sounded rather repetitive, however, their stage presence was very good. Save Face, who are from New Jersey, have grown from the last time I saw them in a small bar venue. They are one of my favorite bands to watch due to their energy on stage.
A Will Away travelled from Connecticut to support State Champs and told a story about how the first time they saw State Champs was at another holiday show where they were supporting Hit The Lights. From that moment on, they knew State Champs were going to be a very successful band.
State Champs set up their stage with a mix of Christmas trees, Christmas lights on the drum set, faux presents, and inflatable dogs with Santa hats. Even the tiger logo on the drum set had a Santa hat on it.
They played The Finer Things from start to finish before continuing with their newer songs, and a fan favorite (that is never played) Shades of Gray. In Albany, they played If I’m Lucky, which was played after album was finished because it is on the acoustic EP that featured a bunch of songs from The Finer Things.
Lead singer, Derek DiScanio stated that they hope to make the Holiday Shows an annual event, so hopefully, we can look forward to that in the future.
Stream The Finer Things here: