State Champs October 9, 2021 The Depot

Pure Noise Tour – State Champs, Four Year Strong, Real Friends, Just Friends, & Bearings

Reviewed by Vanessa Holt

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt

It’s been another tour that has been a long time coming. Another tour that was affected by the pandemic. I knew it was going to be another tour that was well worth the wait for many reasons. There were five bands on the lineup and all of them were crazy in their own way. It was an insane night. The show was just two hundred tickets away from being a sold-out show. It felt like one the entire night thanks to all the bands, their crew, and all the fans. I was familiar with every band on this lineup. I’ve seen them all perform live more than once. I was certain the energy was going to stay crazy and consistent the entire night.

Bearings

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt

We welcomed onto the stage Bearings. A pop-punk band from Canada. I first caught them live two years ago. When they finished their set, I knew right then that this band was going places. So when I saw that they were added to this tour I knew they were going to keep building on their journey. 

It was also special to see many more fans in the crowd who were singing along to their songs. Especially to songs from their newest album, Hello, It’s You.   I think it was such an impactful album for putting them on the map. The venue was a big upgrade and well-fit for the band from when they first had played at Kilby Court. That venue only has a capacity of two hundred to The Depot with an audience of around seven hundred and came so close to a thousand. The band was aware and how amazing this type of opportunity and growth was. Between every few songs, Bearings expressed how thankful they were that this many people had taken the time and effort to show up early for the show and gave them their time and attention. 

When talking with a few crowd members after and expressing how they were a favorite, many people had chimed in about how they were ashamed they didn’t know of them sooner. That some were so happy to see them come back to Salt Lake City as well!

Just Friends

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt

I’ve seen Just Friends a few times. Whenever I see this band on a tour lineup, I know for sure that it will be a dance party. Just Friends, also commonly known as JF Crew, is an American Funk band with six members who have the biggest heart. Before kicking off their set, one of the vocalists, Sam had gone on to say that they are well aware that there may be a few people in the crowd who might not know who they were. They didn’t care because they’re here to party. That is exactly what they did. The entire set they had the entire crowd dancing and shaking their butts. We deemed that Kevin the bassist was the best at it. Just Friends are always on point with their synchronized dancing. 

There was also a sweet and intimate moment where the other vocalist, Brond had Facetimed her boyfriend on stage. She had kept the call going so he could see her in action doing what she does best. As they got closer to finishing off their set, they slowed it down, put down all their instruments besides one acoustic guitar, and huddled around microphones to serenade us.

As they finished their last song, the band got on their knees while Brond went on a little solo and they just sat there admiring her. Brong always puts on an amazing performance and I’d like to say that she’s the Funk version of Ariana Grande. They say she can perfectly strut and dance around on the stage in heels and being a complete sass queen. Just Friends was good in their lineup to get the crowd loose and ready for the rest of the night.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt

Real Friends

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt

Real Friends has had a crazy journey these past two years. The craziest thing being the departure of their vocalist Dan. When the announcement that Cody Muraro was filling the position, it had piqued everyone’s interest in what direction the band was going to take and how were they going to sound live. That night Salt Lake City finally got the answer. The band had gone on to reassure us over social media that the band wasn’t going to change completely, they were still the same pop punk band that we all know and love, They were still determined to give us songs to love. 

While it was a little bit of an adjustment to see Cody in place of Dan, that was quickly forgotten once the chorus hit in their first song, “Nervous Wreck”. Cody definitely fits well in the band and those who had concerns about how the band would be now have nothing to worry about. The thing that I admire most about the band when seeing them perform live was how much they own every inch of the stage.

They never linger in one spot for more than one second and they go as far over to the edge as they can get to be upfront and personal with fans as much as possible. That night had probably the most crowd surfers I had ever seen!  There’s nothing better than crowd surfing and screaming at the top of your lungs, “I’ve given up on you, but it still hurts to know that you’re not alone.” 

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt

Four Year Strong

Real Friends got everyone’s vocals warmed up for the night and now was Four Year Strong turn to get everyone rowdy. They had everyone banging their head and had mosh pits and circle pits rolling around through their set. It had been years since we had gotten the chance to see Four Years Strong and they were making it up to us. We got to hear their top three songs with a few older ones.  I got to hear one of my favorites, “Get Out of My Head” when I was thinking that I would never get the chance.

It was hard to stay still and focused on getting the photos when the song was a real headbanger.  Before even halfway through their set the band had felt like it was one of the best shows on tour and probably the show they’ve ever done here in Utah. Something about hearing a compliment like that is so heartwarming. Just when you think you’ve gotten all that you could from the crowd, hearing words like that just fuels the crowd even more. 

State Champs

With all the openers putting on amazing performances the crowd was loose, rowdy, and the vocals were warmed up. We were plenty ready for State Champs. With a cool intro starting with a countdown and streamers letting loose. It was a complete night to remember for everyone. For one, it was vocalist, Derek DiScanio’s birthday! After the third song on the setlist, the crowd sang Happy Birthday. He was gushing over it. Touring can be hard enough already but spending your birthday on the road can be a little rough. DiScanio stated how he’s spent many birthdays on the road, but that night was probably the best night he’s ever spent while on the road. That was all thanks to us for making it a special one. 

With a complete stacked setlist of seventeen songs, we got a variety of songs from every album which for fans like me who’ve been listening to State Champs for a while it was the best setlist that we could’ve gotten from the band. We even got the pleasure to hear their two most well-known covers; “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes and “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago” by Fall Out Boy. After playing one of their hit singles, “Criminal”, they were absolutely blown away by how loud we sounded. They told us that when every single band had gotten off stage and came downstairs, they were raving about how crazy loud the crowd was and that got the State Champs boys even more excited to perform. 

It was another insanely successful night and the seventeen songs flew by. It was sad to see it all end. Thankfully, to fill the post-concert depression we got the news that State Champs had recorded a new album so we can expect coming to us pretty soon here and that will obviously mean another tour from the band soon! 

Photo Credit: Vanessa Holt