With a line of fans wrapped around the block hours before doors were even open, it was pretty obvious as I approached Irving Plaza this past Friday that the Heart Attack tour was going to have this venue packed from wall to wall with screaming fans – albeit a younger generation of kids, but die-hard pop punk fans all the same. Although Man Overboard had been in the area just two months earlier with household names in the genre All Time Low and Handguns, this time they were back with stacked support from Transit, Forever Came Calling, and Knuckle Puck.
Starting the show promptly at 7:30, Knuckle Puck immediately had kids crowdsurfing and screaming along to their lyrics about leaving home and navigating heartbreak. Some bands in this genre have difficulty transitioning their stage presence from small clubs and VFWs to rooms with a larger capacity, but KP seamlessly overcomes that boundary by managing to engage their crowds regardless. Performing songs off their two EP’s and recent split release with Hopeless Records’ Neck Deep, the highlight of the set was definitely their standout track “No Good”. This band is one to watch right now and will definitely continue gaining popularity in this genre and beyond when they embark on the Senses Fail “Let It Enfold You” 10-year tour this fall.
Forever Came Calling followed soon after, starting the set with “Ides” and “For The Wolves”, two songs that prove why this band had a noticeable increase in popularity over a very short period of time – and rightfully so. After gaining the attention and love of the Warped Tour demographic when they were showcased in the No Room For Rockstars documentary, the band was announced to play the tour after they spent the summer of 2011 following it and hoping to be noticed by the tour’s founder. This band has made a great deal of progress while touring constantly the past few years- and it definitely showed during their NYC set, especially when they played their new single “Indebted”, more of a pop-infused track perfect for blasting with the windows down during the summer.
The five-piece indie/alternative outfit (and proud Boston natives) Transit performed next, the band having absolutely no problems delivering their signature charismatic set. Vocalist Joe Boynton wasted no time in stepping into the crowd with the mic as every kid in the front of the room rushed forward to sing along to songs off their most recent LP release, “Young New England”, along with material from previous LP “Listen & Forgive” and “Something Left Behind”. This band always captivates their audiences with ease, and although Young New England was not as well-received amongst the fanbase as previous releases, the crowd seemed to love it all the same.
And although Man Overboard has been selling out venues internationally for well over a year now, those same dudes that started out playing New Jersey driveways and basements still seemed as humble as ever as they ran onto the stage and launched into the opening chords of “White Lies” to a sea of screaming fans, making sure to thank those in attendance profusely in between songs. Though I would have liked to see some more old material mixed into their setlist, the band played a fun set with high-energy tracks that surely kept all eyes on them for the duration of the show.