Local band Aspectrum opened the gig with their melodic pop punk tunes. It’s no surprise they managed to get the crowd ready to go. If one were to listen to this band online on the radio, one might be compelled to think that Aspectrum is your typical punk band from the states. The lead singer’s vocal chops nailed the feel and intensity that is synonymous with genre. Now, a good band could not rely on the vocals alone, the other members of this local punk quartet rocked just as hard and the speed and intensity of the band was; for a lack of a better word, awesome! Unfortunately, this was to be one of the bands last gigs. It’s sad to see such an awesome band go.
The next band to take the stage was Cambridge, a 5 piece pop punk band from down under. Whose inspiration is very much from bands like Blink 182, Sum 41 and headliner New Found Glory. The band was effectively pop punk with a harder edge. During the set, Lead vocalist Brad Smith introduced guitarist Josh Smith and belted the chorus of his favorite song… Wrecking ball by Miley Cyrus albeit with their signature punk edge. In addition to their amazing music, Cambridge’s showmanship was something to behold, Brad jumped and ran around the stage like a bat out of hell, his energy kicked the crowd into 11 – heck, there was even a circle pit. Near the end of the set, the band was drenched in sweat. Do check them out! If you’re a fan of punk in general, you’ll love Cambridge!
It was finally time for the show’s headliner New Found Glory to take the stage. The Pop punk legends immediately kicked things into 11 by opening with Selfless, from their new album Resurrection. NFG whipped the entire front portion of the crowd into a frenzy mosh pit with their all-time classic Understatement. The energy throughout the entire concert was frantically electric, as lead vocalist Jordan Pundick ran, bounced and jumped around the stage as though he was 18 years old; he turns 35 this year. Jordan was joined by his band mates Chad Gilbert and Ian Grushka however drummer Cyrus Bolooki was unable to perform because – in the words of Jordan “Cyrus ignored his sex education and forgot the use of protection, and he caught himself…..a Baby” , Jordan then conveyed Cyrus’s apologies and introduced his touring replacement Mike Ambrose, formerly of Set Your Goals fame. The band even did a pop punk cover of Kiss me – originally sung by Sixpence None the Richer. NFG’s final song was their all-time classic, My Friends Over You which nearly brought the house down. The crowd couldn’t get enough and the band came out for a final 3 song encore.
For such an old band, the crowd spanned the whole spectrum of ages; there are those in their early twenties who rocked with NFG in their teen angst years and there are those who are in their late twenties to early thirties who first heard pop punk on the radio and fell in love with it immediately. Extra props to the guy who managed to get up on stage and dove right back into the crowd.
Pop Punk was the anthem of my angst filled youth, as the years fly by and my elbows rounded, I found it hard to be able to feel alive and young again – until this very concert. New Found Glory was one of the most played artist on my very first MP3 player, their tunes helped me through my first love, my first notion of never being good enough and the importance of being surrounded by good friends. In the words of my 18 year old self, the concert was *insert exclamations of excitement* AWESOME!!!!
Photos by Nicholas Kwan
by Chen KangYi
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