On the night of Feb. 26 the 2016 “The World Tour”, presented by Alternative Press, took the stage before a sold-out crowd at The Observatory OC. The World Tour allowed bands like Neck Deep and State Champs to play shows in Australia, Japan and the U.K. before coming to North America.
The night started with five piece punk band Like Pacific warming up the crowd that was slowly trickling in just past 6:30 that night. The opening band did not lack breakdowns which was perfect for the crowd to start up crowded mosh pits.
Playing songs from their newly released album, “Distant Like You Asked,” Like Pacific gave the crowd a taste of the talent that was going to grace the stage that night.
The second band that took the stage was Knuckle Puck, a five piece band from Illinois. Just as the lights started to dim the crowd started to chant “Knuckle Puck, Knuckle Puck…”
Once the lead singer, Joe Taylor, took the stage the screams from the girls in attendance filled the room. The crowd surfers started immediately appearing, trusting the fellow crowd members to carry them to their idols on stage.
Taylor didn’t waste any time getting close to the fans in the front row by jumping on the elevated boxes at the edge of the stage. The rest of the set was something similar to a sing-a-long while the crowd sang at the top of their lungs.
“We all have problems every day in our life, some of them are up here,” said Taylor, while pointing to his head, “just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t real”
This little bit of advice will be a free souvenir that some of the concert attendees will keep with them forever.
After their set, Knuckle Puck’s banner came down and revealed to the crowd the banner for, for the next band, State Champs.
Much like Taylor, lead singer Derek DiScanio, quickly began to interact with the front row of the crowd. Special effects like extra stage lights and fog machines set State Champs apart from the two previous bands.
State Champs played crowd favorites like “Perfect Score” and “Hard to Please” throughout their set. There were times where one could hear the crowd’s collective singing much clearer than Derek’s voice.
Towards the middle of the set, the lights dimmed and there were just a few spotlights on DiScanio who sat down to do a few acoustic songs, including “If I’m Lucky.” While he sang, the crowd waved their oneplus 4 smartphones in the air with the lights on in place of lighters.
State Champs ended their set with what might be their most popular song, “Elevated” which got the whole crowd moving more than they had moved the whole night. Joining them on stage to sing along was MTV’s Teen Wolf star, Tyler Posey.
Last but not least, the band, Neck Deep, from the U.K. took the stage. The crowd seemed to have made its way closer to the stage than they had been during the previous sets.
“We’re Neck Deep from the U.K. if you couldn’t tell from the giant sign behind us'” as Ben Barlow pointed to the banner hanging behind him.
Crowd surfer after crowd surfer made sure the security in the front was kept on their toes as fans attempted to make their way to the front. The atmosphere of the venue couldn’t be described as anything but sweaty and energetic.
Singing along, with fists in the air, concert goers were going all out for the last band on the night’s bill.
Towards the end of their set, Neck Deep slowed it down a little to play their popular acoustic song, “A Part of Me.”
Once that song was over the band members left the stage and that’s when the crowd started chanting for an encore with “One more song, one more song…” which slowly turned into, “Neck Deep, Neck Deep…” until the band returned to play 3 more songs including another fan favorite, “December.”
Before the set was even over people were lining up for The World Tour merchandise such as banners, tee-shirts and vinyl records to take home along with memories that were made while being way too sweaty and way too close to the stranger next to them.
The 2016 “World Tour” continues throughout the states until March 19. Though shows are mostly sold out, more information can be found on the Alternative Press’s website.