I’ll be honest and admit that I was not exactly sure what I would be walking into when I got to the Amsterdam Bar & Hall for a midweek pop-punk show. At the time of any arrival, I did not know that the show would sell out, that people would be stage diving over my head as I shielding my camera, nor that I am slowly starting to recognize more and more people that go to the same shows that I do. I was, however, very excited at the thought of seeing Homesafe, Movements, With Confidence, and Knuckle Puck in a venue this size, because there is just something special about going to a sold out show in a small venue.
The first time I saw Homesafe was in Cambridge, MA when they were out on a small headlining run last winter, had zero idea of what to expect and walked away hoping I would be able to catch them again in the future. The Chicago based rock band proved once again that they will surely be climbing their way in front of bigger and bigger crowds, as they stormed the stage to receive a very warm welcome from the crowd. Over the course of their set, more and more people in the crowd fed off of their energy, eventually beginning the start of the crowdsurfing and stage diving that became the norm of the evening.
Next up was California post-hardcore band Movements, another band I previously saw outside of Minnesota and highly enjoyed. Out supporting both Knuckle Puck and the release of their debut album “Feel Something” due out October 20th via Fearless Records, the energy in the room changed immediately when the band walked onto the stage as more people gathered closer to the stage. As quickly as Movements has moved into the public eye, their live show attests to their creative flair, emotive music, and intricate lyricism evoked an interesting crowd response; the stage diving and crowd surfing far from deterred the members of the front few rows from singing the lyrics back to the band.
Australia’s own rising pop-punk band With Confidence was the third band of the evening to take the stage, and the moment that the members of the band marched on stage they took the crowd to the next level of enthusiastic energy. Within the first few songs of their set, the number of stage divers that went over my own head exceeded what I could count on one hand, but both the challenge of capturing the moment and the fun of sporadically being a member of the crowd made their set a highlight of my night. This was my second time catching With Confidence (the first being when they were on tour with State Champs last spring), and I was pleased to see the band becoming more and more comfortable on stage while elevating their outpouring of energy to get the exact crowd response that made their set memorable.
While waiting for Knuckle Puck to take the stage, it took me more than I’d like to admit to realize that their stage set up was essentially the album cover of their sophomore record “Shapeshifter”; from the backdrop behind the drum set to the handful of monitors on the amp cabinets, the band did well with setting the vibe of their set. Looking around at the start of their set, I noticed that all I could see in the room were people packed closely together, adding to the anticipation. As I had missed their set at Riot Fest last month, I, along with every member of the sold out crowd, was excited for what was to come and Knuckle Puck was the exact opposite of disappointment. Their performance was spot on without feeling too rehearsed, the right amount of energy put into each song, and they made their performance intertwine perfectly with the crowd, making it feel like each person was right up front. The only downside to this show was that it was the first of the tour, making me jealous that the rest of North America is still in for a treat.