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Neck Deep Pittsburgh PA (A Parent's Perspective) Show Review


Recently, UK pop-punk sensations NECK DEEP dropped their forthcoming self-titled record and in celebration of that decided to hop across the pond to North America and embark on a nearly two-month-long tour featuring the likes of Higher Power, Bearings and Drain for tour support. The tour kicked off in late January just a week after their aforementioned self-titled album dropped and recently wrapped up at the tail end of February in Chicago IL.


Wednesday, February 21st, 2024. NECK DEEP's "Live in America Tour" rolled into the city of Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE's concert venue which is by far one of my top five, active music venues in Pittsburgh right now. During the summer months, the shows are outside in a pavilion setting whereas this show was set indoors with our fridged, February, cold months, however, that night it was surprisingly warm in "the Burgh".

At around 6:00 PM the doors opened and the show kicked off with the opening act HIGHER POWER who played an energetic set of pop-punk and emo bangers. I can only describe the band as a fusion between modern pop-punk meets a more early 2000's emo reminiscent of The Get Up Kids. I dug every moment. Of their nearly half-hour-long set, grabbing photos as I could while watching the crowd continue to pile in for BEARINGS yet another pop-punk band, not from across the pond but just north of the US, our good ole' buds in Canada, who've I've gotten a "whiff" of in the past, and boy did they smell good. (That came out really weird. Whatever, I'm leaving it in.)

Bearings did an amazing job of not only playing with the fans and pumping them up for Neck Deep but keeping the set list old and new featuring such tracks as their latest single GONE SO GONE from their recently released record The Best Part About Being Human which part of the album cover of that record was also featured as the band's giant backdrop on stage and taking it back before the 2020's with WHERE ARE YOU from the Blue in the Dark album before playing a few tracks off of 2020's Hello, It's You and closing out with track SWAY from the same record.

As Bearings left the stage, most fans and I must say most fans were absolutely NOT READY for what was about to come on stage next. Hailing from the West Coast, California's DRAIN knocked everyone's socks off, figuratively and literally. Every once in a while there's a band that comes out when their presence alone is enough to start controlled riots, this is Drain.

Before the band ever started the lead singer made sure all of the house lights were on so everyone was "safe" and he could see everyone. The next bit of business was telling everyone in the audience to kill the person next to them while also pointing out that the giant banners that read "NO MOSHING. NO STAGE DIVING. NO BODYSLAMS. NO CROWDSURFING. ETC." would be off the table for their set, and encouraged everyone in the audience to participate in said activities, which IMMEDIATELY prompted nearly a half dozen MORE of security to jump in front of the barricades in preparation for the insanity that was about to insure.

Before they even started mosh pits and crowd surfing were going on with fans trying to bum rush the stage. It was one of the most chaotic things I've ever seen. The only real song I remember from the entire set was their incredible cover of DESCENDENTS' "Good Good Things." I say that I don't remember any of their songs in no disrespect, I was just in-fact, in complete awe of their entire performance. Just when you thought "it can't get any crazier", it did. Walls of death, walls of death while crowd surfing, the lead singer crowd surfing, the lead singer throwing the mic into the crowd and letting them sing, Drain bringing fans up on stage to sing, 20+ people crowd surfing at the same time, a couple dressed as sharks being crowd surfed around, oh that ties into their logo, a shark and their latest record LIVING PROOF, plus so much more that my brain either forgot or probably blocked out. All that I know is, they're my new favorite band live, were so out of place, yet fit in so damn well on this tour, and were the perfect "hype" for the final band NECK DEEP.

NECK DEEP is by far one of my favorite pop-punk bands of all time. They were a gateway band for me in a way. I'm very much an early 2000's pop-punk kid, sorta set in my ways, and they helped me bridge the gap between old or new after first hearing Kali Ma years back, and of course, getting us all through those "long lonely Decembers."

The band opened up with a new fan favorite DUMBSTRUCK DUMBFUCK off of their latest self-titled record. When I first heard that track a few months back I instantly knew it was going to be a classic, diving straight into another new track SORT YOURSELF OUT. Finally talking to the crowd, lead singer Ben Barlow says they're going to take it back a bit and jumps into my favorite Neck Deep track Kali Ma which featured the live movie clip of from Indiana Jones.

Not stopping with the old stuff, the band played Motion Sickness and before diving into Lowlife asked if fans could help him sing since he was under the weather, to which a huge crowd pop of fans abridged. Neck Deep took it way back to 2015's LIFE'S NOT OUT TO GET YOU album with Lime St., then played the absolute opposite with a new track.

There were a lot of new songs played on this tour and it was amazing to see a lot of fans, new and old singing along to damn-near every-single-word, myself included. A rogue track that I didn't expect was track She's A God which Ben dedicated to all of the girls in the audience and asked if they could do a "lady mosh pit" which was awesome. After some crowd banter and bringing up how they toured with blink-182, even though Tom Delonge wasn't in the band at the time, they still mentioned it and also said that "Tom Was Right" referring to Tom Delonge's involvement with aliens and UFOs which was the perfect Segway to a new track about being abducted by aliens entitled Take Me With You and is one of my favorite tracks off of their newest record.

In the back of the crowd, a drunk guy kept yelling "Play A PART OF ME" all night, even while Bearings and Drain were on, to which I believe Ben heard because he said "This one goes to that guy" and played the song HEARTBREAK OF THE CENTURY. Which I think was kind of a nod to the fact that he would be heartbroken since they never ended up playing A Part of Me, but instead "closing out" the show with December, the fast version. So December (Again), yeah, that one.

An extremely weird choice of songs to come back out to, Josh Turner's Your Man blasted over the PA system, with almost 2,000 screaming hardcore, pop-punk and emo kids singing along with every word. Yes, we know country music, it's just emo with a twang. Neck Deep finished hard with a three-track encore of STFU which is a stand-alone single, Can't Kick Up The Roots from Life's Not Out To Get You, and closing out the night with In Bloom from The Peace and The Panic, one of the only tracks from that entire album from the evening.

I can not ever say enough about NECK DEEP. They are pioneers in their own way by keeping the roads paved for future pop-punk and emo bands while also paying homage to bands before them and always keeping true to themselves.

Neck Deep just wrapped up tour with Bearings, Drain and Higher Power with their latest self-titled album out now via Pure Noise Records!

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