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State Champs Brought The Pop Punk Singalongs To Union Chapel | Live Review

We got to see pop punk crew State Champs open up for Sleeping With Sirens in a church! Check out what we thought of their set here!


“Omg, wow. It’s an actual church!” is a phrase that can be heard echoing up and down the queue outside of Union Chapel on this very warm Thursday evening. After all, it’s not every day you go to such an elegant venue to hear a couple of rock bands.

First up is State Champs, and by the amount of fans we’ve seen wearing their merch, we can safely say that people are excited to see them.

After the initial shock of the grand setup wears off, everyone is eager and waiting for pop punk crew State Champs to kick off this Sleeping With Sirens show. A short time later (after everyone has got their water, crisps, ice cream and maybe had one or two drinks at the bar) the quintet takes the stage, and the crowd is more than ready to see them. Taking their seats on the raised stage, the band get right into it with their banger ‘Elevated’. And it doesn’t take long for the crowd to help singer Derek DiScanio with backup vocals.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, State Champs make the stage feel like home. They are the kind of band that you can see in any sort of setting (a small club, a massive arena, a basement, a parking lot) and still feel like they are at the centre of the universe. They are skilled in captivating an audience and tonight is unlike anything they’ve ever done before, which makes it all the more special and mesmerising. God damn, we’re lucky.

The band play hits like ‘Simple Existence’ and ‘Easy Enough’ and newest track ‘Secrets’—they even throw in the old school SC anthem ‘Stick Around’ into the setlist—and each song is met with huge applause and loud choir-like singalongs. But no voice is louder or more penetrating than Derek DiScanio’s. His distinctive, powerful vocals vibrate off the church walls, especially when he slows the set down even further and belts out a beautiful solo rendition of ‘If I’m Lucky’.

Though State Champs have been rapidly gaining status in the pop punk scene since the release of their debut 2013 album The Finer Things, tonight, in this very unrestricted setting, their modesty shines through. And that kind of vulnerability resonates with their fans because they have loved every second of it.

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