Neck Deep All Distortions Are Intentional Tour (A Parent's Perspective) Show Review
If the Covid-19 pandemic taught us all one thing, it's that out of tragedy, isolation, and any other depressing adjective, great works of art can emerge like a phoenix from ashes which is what I can only describe as Neck Deep's 2020 album All Distortions Are Intentional. Following the release of the album the band, like many other artists, had planned for a tour in support of the release of the record which got pushed until late 2021.
The tour kicked off in early November with the support of Oxymorons, Boston Manor and Heart Attack Man already hitting major cities like Chicago IL, Cleveland OH, Orlando FL, and Toronto ON with the band recently announcing UK tour dates in early 2022.
Thursday, December 2nd, 2021. The All Distortions Are Intentional Tour rolled into the city of Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE's concert venue. Stage AE is an amazing indoor/outdoor concert venue but giving that it's December and in Pennsylvania, the show was definitely inside for this one.
At around 6:00 PM the doors opened and the show kicked off with the opening act OXYMORONS who played an energetic set of music I can only describe as a fusion of pop-punk meets metal meets RnB meets hip-hop which I dub "hip-pop-punk". The band's set included an array of tracks from their latest 2021 EP "Mohawks & Drugs" including their latest single "Green Vision" from the record as well as "Definition" which featured Jason Aalon of Fever 333 during the studio recording.
After a brief intermission, Cleveland Ohio emo/ pop-punk band Heart Attack Man took the stage for an uninhibited set of songs kicking things off with the track "Sugar Coated", then diving into songs "Low Hanging Fruit" and "Out For Blood" all tracks from their 2019 breakthrough album "Fake Blood." After some quick crowd banter Heart Attack Man played a new single "Old Enough 2 Die" before asking fans if they've heard their latest EP "Thoughtz & Prayers" yet, a record that singer/frontman Eric Egan said that he's extremely proud of. He told fans that he's starting a new "dance" called "The Leap Year" to which he demonstrated how that went and asked fans to dance accordingly to their next song which is appropriately named "Leap Year" a song which has quickly gone viral on TikTok in the recent weeks. Heart Attack Man followed up with another track "Pitch Black" from their latest EP and closed out the set with tracks "Cut My Losses" and "Fake Blood" from their 2019 LP.
After another brief intermission, fans eagerly awaited what some would argue would be their equally favorite band of the night, the Blackpool Lancashire lads from across the pond Boston Manor took the stage ripping into track Flowers in Your Dustbin, to an eruptive crowd who responded with crowd surfing and moshing from the first chord of the song. The band kept up the momentum by diving into "England's Dreaming" and "Brand New Kid" from 2018's "Welcome to the Neighborhood" and 2020's "GLUE" respectively.
In between songs, lead singer/frontman Henry Cox made quick quips on the mic talking about how much he loved Pittsburgh's Primanti's Brothers sandwiches and how he's getting a workout now. He also made the ever-so-familiar reminder to all punk and metal fans alike that those who are moshing that if "someone falls down pick them back up", almost stopping once and making acknowledgment to a fan in the front to which Stage AE staff was already attending. Boston Manor blasted through a set of fan favorites old and new including tracks "Desperate Pleasures" and "Carbon Mono" from their latest 2021 EP "Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures." , while also playing a slew of tracks from "GLUE", "You, Me & the Class War" "Brand New Kid" and "Liquid" in which they invited the guys from OXYMORONS back on stage to sing to which they all hugged it out on stage after the tune with Boston Manor giving a huge shoutout to the band. The band finished up their set with tracks "Laika" and "Halo" before saying "Neck Deep is up next" with lights dimming to black.
Neck Deep took the stage to what can only be described as a scene from the movie Home Alone to which one fan from the crowd said "Damn, they really brought a whole ass living room onstage." Couches, beds, tv's and dressers were the backdrop to the stage with what lead singer/frontman Ben Barlow would later say in the set that "We started in a bedroom writing and recording songs and not much has changed."
Neck Deep took off like a bat outta hell, opening up with the opening track from their 2020 experimental pop-punk album All Distortions Are Intentional entitled Sonderland and diving straight into the first single from that album Lowlife.
The band played an onslaught of hits and fan favorites including tracks Motion Sickness, Kali Ma, and Lime St. including more tracks from their latest album "Sick Joke", and "When You Know." In between tracks Ben played with the crowd about Pittsburgh Primanti's Bros. sandwiches something he said that "Us Brits crave when coming to your town" as well as talked about how he and the band loved the crowd's response to what he calls "arguably one of Neck Deep's most ambitious albums", referring to the All Distortions Are Intentional. Ben talked about touring with blink-182 which was a longtime dream come true for the entire band before chatting about the response from the only song that came out during that tour "She's A God" to which they played next.
"Speaking of blink-182" after the song, Ben talked about the opportunity of having Mark Hoppus on a track with them which he said has quickly become an insanely popular fan-favorite which he also joked "...and since it's now December..." dove into the track "December (Again.)". Neck Deep slowed it down and an acoustic guitar emerged on stage to which long-time Neck Deep fans already knew what was to come. Ben hopped on the mic while guitarist Matt West was fitted with the acoustic ax and joked how a particular Neck Deep song has become synonymous with "the annoying guitar player guy at every party" and how "that guy" knows like 3 songs, one of them being Wonderwall by Oasis, another being Green Day's Good Riddance and finally being "A Part of Me" by themselves which they started playing to eruptive fan applause.
Neck Deep joked about how "encores work" and they wouldn't fake out fans because "Neck Deep fans are smarter than that" and kicked into the last leg of hits including "Smooth Seas Don't Make Good Sailors", "Can't Kick Up The Roots" and closing with "Pushing Daisies" before exiting the stage and coming back only to fake-out fans by playing tracks "Gold Steps" and "In Bloom". After a nearly two-hour-long set, Neck Deep finally exited the holiday home-themed stage with promises to return very soon to their favorite Primanti Bros. sandwich town with new songs in a new year.
Neck Deep are still on the All Distortions Are Intentional Tour with OXYMORONS Heart Attack Man and Boston Manor with new UK tour dates set for 2022.
Check out tour dates, photo gallery and highlights below!
UK Tour Dates: 01/11 – BIRMINGHAM 01/12 – BRISTOL (SOLD OUT) 01/13 – LONDON 01/14 – MANCHESTER (SOLD OUT) 10/16 – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
01/17 – EDINBURGH
01/18 – GLASGOW
01/19 – LEEDS
01/21 – DUBLIN
You can check out more info in the links below:
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