COVERAGE BY: BRIAN SNELL
Line-up: State Champs, Homesafe, Sleep On It and Bearings
Venue: Louis' Pub - Saskatoon, SK
Date: September 22, 2017
Friday evenings for many spell the end of a long workweek and provide an opportunity for some well-deserved R&R. Or maybe that’s just me in my crusty old age, but such was not the case on this particular Friday night as State Champs and company finally rolled through Saskatoon for the first time. In truth, none of the bands had ever been to Saskatoon before, which became a common point of topic for each group as they introduced themselves on stage at Louis’ Pub. State Champs are still touring in support of their 2015 full-length effort “Around the World and Back” and we have not had much word on any new plans for the next one, until this show.
Bearings, the sole Canadian band on the tour, a quintet hailing from the Nation’s Capital, took to the stage early in the evening and made efficient use of their limited time. In support of their recently released EP “Nothing Here is Permanent”, smooth dynamics and a calming energy were at the heart of each song lead by passionate lyrics driving through a brief but impactful twenty-five minute performance. Chicago’s Sleep On It jumped up second and carried the momentum through their own short and sweet set playing songs off their 2016 EP “Lost Along the Way”, and included a new one called “Distant” from their upcoming full-length set for release in early November. The 4-piece, Homesafe, also from Chicago, with their signature tandem vocals and dueling guitars, further readied the eagerly awaiting crowd for the headliners up next.
As the show was an early start at 6:00PM, it took some time for the venue to start filling up. The openers were provided with decent crowds and new faces but it wasn’t until the heart of the evening around 9:30 when Louis’ was at its fullest, just in time for the main event. As the stage faded to darkness, five silhouetted band members could be seen filing out from backstage one at a time when a familiar voice called out to greet the crowd. Derek DiScanio, front man and lead singer for State Champs, set the building afire as the stage illuminated with a blast of red lights and the band ripped into their newest single "Slow Burn" to a host of screaming fans. When they introduced "Elevated" as the second song the building erupted with even more excitement as people continued to pile into the pit right in front of the stage.
Alongside DiScanio, bassist, Ryan Graham, another master of crowd engagement, had everyone singing and dancing from start to finish as the band blazed through a string of fan-favorites including "Simple Existence," "All or Nothing," "All You Are is History" and "Remedy" in a fast, fifty minute no-nonsense, action packed set. Before concluding the evening, Derek exclaimed this was it, “no encores, no bullshit, this is the last one, can you guys give us all you got?” "Secrets" started and the place went nuts.
Although it felt like a short set without an encore, State Champs sliced through an energetic performance full of their top songs and didn’t slow down once. The crowd ate up every minute including the knowledge drop from Derek when he opened up about future plans for the band. “After this tour we’re heading straight into the studio, it’s time to make a new record. A new State Champs record is coming next year. That’s what we’re up to the rest of the year.”
So if you missed them on this go-around, you can be sure they’ll be heading to a city near you again soon in support of a brand new album. You won’t want to miss it!
- Slow Burn
- Eyes Closed
- Simple Existence
- Losing Myself
- Shape Up
- All or Nothing
- All You Are is History
- Perfect Score
- Hard to Please
- Hurry Up and Wait
- Easy Enough
- Breaking Ground