Since there is no better way to start the week than by attending a pop-punk show, I find myself at Amsterdam Bar & Hall for Stand Atlantic and The Faim‘s co-headlining tour. With a fairly eclectic lineup, it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.
It is an earlier show, so the house lights dim at 6 PM. The venue barely a quarter of the way full, but for an opening band on a weeknight, the turnout isn’t all that bad.
LA-based band Point North, who recently signed to Hopeless Records, start the night off with a punch. Their set primarily consists of punk jumps and two-stepping, so they catch my attention immediately.
I notice they don’t have anyone playing bass and, instead, their drummer is feeding a baseline through a computer next to his drumkit. I wonder if their bassist is M.I.A for this show in particular, or if this is how they’ve chosen to add a slight twist to their sound.
Either way, it works for them, and it works for me.
Is it cool if we play a song that isn’t out yet? Lowkey it comes out in two days, but you didn’t hear it from me!”– Point North on HEARTBEAT
After a few opening jams, frontman Jon Ludin asks, “Is it cool if we play a song that isn’t out yet? Lowkey, it comes out in two days, but you didn’t hear it from me, it’s called “HEARTBEAT”!”
The song is catchy, fun, and bound to be a hit once it is released. For the sake of saving face, you can just tell your friends you heard about it from Music In Minnesota instead.
No Moment WSTD
WSTR, a pop-punk band from Liverpool has heard it all.
From fans not knowing how to say their name for several months or even years into supporting them (it’s pronounced “waster”), to people referring to them as “diet Neck Deep” (which is pretty accurate, but I digress) they definitely come off as a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Looking at their merch table before the set, I see their tip jar is labeled “WSTR skydiving fund,” only further confirming my claims in the sentence prior.
As someone who’s been listening to their music for about a year now, it’s safe to say I’m looking forward to what they’ll bring to a live performance. From that point alone, I knew it would exceed my expectations.
The rowdy pop-punk band takes the stage with zest and wastes no time – they’re set on fitting as many songs as they can during their timeslot. I’m overjoyed when they play “Eastbound & Down” early on, as it is easily my favorites.
However, no moment shines brighter than when they play their newest song, titled “Filthy.” I was unaware they had released anything new recently and it’s a shame I didn’t know about this absolute bop earlier, though I suppose a live setting isn’t the worst way to find that out.
On the Minnesota run of this co-headlining tour, The Faim plays second to last. Before they come on stage, plenty of time is left for the room to fill up with a ridiculous amount of smoke from the machine.
As it turns out, though the fog isn’t ideal for photography, it was the perfect aid to the band’s opening song, “Saints of the Sinners,” with it’s spooky (fitting, for October) vibe.
As their performance continues, I’m having a difficult time figuring out “their sound.” They’ve got the creepy punk aura, some slower ballads, and some indie beats added into the mix as well.
The best way I can think to describe them is the Australian version of Set It Off. Or maybe even if Set It Off and Creeper adopted an Australian baby. The Faim is exactly what that scenario would be like.
Despite my confusion (and an odd obsession with cramming them into a singular genre), I do really enjoy the work they do with their harmonious backup vocals.
These are exceptionally prominent in their song “When It Comes.” It feels like a song that would be featured in the early credits of a feel-good indie adventure movie and, of all their “sounds,” I like this one the best.
“Just a bunch of kangaroos co-headlining the U.S., who’da thought?”-The Faim
Of course, a band that goes the extra mile when interacting with the crowd always look good in my book. When I see frontman Josh Raven diving into the middle of the crowd and starting a circle pit himself during their song “Amelie,” I’m sold.
Love Them (Always)
Stand Atlantic is set to close the show out, and I’m waiting in anticipation of seeing one of my favorite bands again. They’re one of the groups I spent three days stalking as they toured across the U.S. for the first-ever Sad Summer Fest only a few months ago. So clearly, they’re a band that is worth your time.
Aside from the fact that their music is just plain catchy and they do modern pop-punk better than most, the group itself is another one that is all about having fun.
Take one look at their social media and you’ll see what I mean. It’s one joke after another which keeps things relatable for their fans.
Since they only have one full-length album, fans could look forward to hearing most of their favorites live. However, it’s no secret their newest song, “Hate Me (Sometimes),” a gritty punk-rock anthem about the positives and negatives of being your own worst enemy, is a delightful change of pace.
Throughout the night, concert-goers are treated to bassist Miki Rich running full speed at walls and doing crazy parkour moves off them, guitarist David Potter diving into the crowd and surfing on top of them, and, of course, frontwoman Bonnie Fraser cracking jokes.
The energy is consistently exactly what you’d expect and hope for at a Stand Atlantic show — clean and carefree fun with a pop-punk bite.
Though the high energy can be pretty closely predicted, the band’s shenanigans during that time can’t be. This held true for a girl named Katie who Bonnie pointed out and had the entire room sing “Happy Birthday” for.
It’s not every day that a band you like stops the show for you like that!
All too soon, they close their set out with “Lavender Bones,” which I can safely bet made it into my Spotify top ten songs of 2019 before January even ended. Seriously, if you don’t get anything else out of this article, at least take away that statement and treat yourself to an incredible song.
As far as live shows go, Stand Atlantic blew me away yet again as I saw them for the fourth time, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!
Stand Atlantic Setlist:
- Speak Slow
- Skinny Dipping
- Hate Me (Sometimes)
- Burn in the Afterthought
- Lost My Cool
- Coffee at Midnight
- Lavender Bones