Last Thursday, we attended the Toronto date of the AP World Tour featuring Neck Deep, State Champs, Knuckle Puck, and Like Pacific.
I found out about a week before the show that Like Pacific is from Toronto, so that’s pretty cool that they’re opening for some of the biggest names in pop-punk right now. They’re good – more Knuckle Puck than Neck Deep – and I’m happy that Toronto is being represented on this tour!
Next was Knuckle Puck – I’ve seen them a couple of times, and their live shows are really tight. They bring a lot of energy on stage and get the crowd moving whether they’re playing older songs (“Gold Rush”) or singles from their full-length debut last year, Copacetic.
I’ve heard a lot of buzz about State Champs and I even know a couple of their songs, but for some reason, I just can’t get into them! I don’t know why – they have all the elements of other pop-punk bands I love – but I sort of zone out when I’m listening to them. They’re not terrible, and I think I like them live better than recorded (similar to how I feel about As It Is), but they weren’t my favourite part of the night.
Finally, the moment I was waiting for: Neck Deep thundered out to the sounds of “Citizens of Earth” from last year’s stellar Life’s Not Out to Get You. I’ve only seen them play a short set at Warped two years ago, and I LOVE the new album, so I was really excited to see them headline. They made the most of their set and while there was some on stage banter (mostly between lead singer Ben Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans), they didn’t talk forever or pause for too long in between songs.
Their set was a great mix of “old” and “new”, including my favourite song, “Kali Ma”, which was as high energy as I’d imagined. I was also thrilled to hear “A Part of Me” which is my 4 year old niece’s current favourite song (I’ll give you one guess who introduced her to it. Spoiler alert: it was me), and I’m thankful that she’s made me sing it to her so many times so that I knew all the words.
Another highlight of the set was the “jazzed up” version of the normally acoustic song, “December”. As pretty as it is when it’s acoustic, it sounded amazing with the full band. I just found out that it was released on the Target deluxe edition of the album, and now I’m even more annoyed that Target failed to take root in Canada.
Overall, it was a great show! Despite the freezing temperature outside, the venue warmed up once everyone started moving. I’m looking forward to the next time Neck Deep heads to North America.