I’m a Realist and an Optimist – rocking out to State Champs

After a little bit of a drive from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL I found myself at Concord Music Hall. Concord itself seems to have been around forever, but it has only come to be in the last 5 years. However, in the last 3 years they have had many well-known bands – Tonight’s? STATE CHAMPS. State Champs is on tour with Against the Current, Australia’s With Confidence and the UK’s Don Broco.

A happy surprise waited for me in Don Broco’s set.  Staying true to their Rock sound they brought the fire with Everybody followed by You Know.  Don Broco did a great job bringing the Rock to a mostly Pop-Punk line up. My favorite song didn’t come until the later part of their set, Nerve. Nerve gave us all a break from our dancing to take a breath and enjoy the guitar riffs and follow the music.  If you haven’t had the chance to listen to their latest album Automatic, let me make it easy for you and you can find it right here.

Your new favorite band from Australia, With Confidence was up next and they started with their two hits back to back – Voldemort and Archers. If the crowd wasn’t pumped up after Don Broco’s set, there was no way they weren’t after these two songs. Catchy and relatable even if hadn’t heard the songs before by the second chorus you were singing the words! Full of energy and dancing with guitars you felt like you had just finished a Cross-Fit workout at the end. A band to watch as I’m sure we have not seen the last of them in the U.S!

Against the Current had a nontraditional start in the Music Industry as they are known mostly through their YouTube channel where they would post covers that led them to getting signed with Fueled by Ramen.  Starting out with Blood Like Gasoline I started to get a very Haley Williams vibe from the vocalist Chrissy Costanza. She used the stage like a playground and gave everything into their performance.  My favorite songs of the set were Blood Like Gasoline and Forget Me Now. Along a similar genre as Don Broco, Blood Like Gasoline is set to a harder pop-rock than Forget Me Now. I would personally love to see a song with Chrissy Costanza and Haley Williams both on it and see where that would go!

STATE CHAMPS. Honestly, the way the crowd reacted you would think that they were from Chicago – they are natives of Albany, NY. To say that Chicago has adopted them as family would be an understatement with 3 shows in the last 14 months! They even reserved performing their newest hit, Slow Burn specifically for the Chicago stop on the tour. Which just so happens to be my favorite song they performed. Secrets is a great second and has currently captured over 8 million streams on Spotify! An honorable mention needs to be given to All You Are Is History for the lyric that has been stuck in my head –I’m a realist and an optimist; but I swear to you, I’m not getting over this.
Blinding lights and what feels like a thousand jumping jacks later the show was done.  If you haven’t gotten the chance to see them yet, there are plenty of tour dates left!

Words and Photos by Allison Hade

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