State Champs never fails to disappoint. There’s never been a time when I’ve walked away from seeing State Champs live that I’ve felt dissatisfied or otherwise upset. Something about Derek DiScanio’s energy or the whole band’s ability to bring the audience together constantly reminds me what’s so fun about being at a pop punk show.

So, the moment they announced they were going to be doing a mini-acoustic tour, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, the closest stop on the tour for me was an hour and a half away, so I had to spend the next few days debating whether or not it was worth it.

Needless to say, I made the right call and found myself in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania packed into a tiny record store in front of a very excited band-of-boys. The barrier between bands and fans was broken down during this sort-of gig, which made the whole experience one to remember.

Part of the appeal of any acoustic set is the intimacy with the crowd. State Champs amped up this aspect by adding in a Q&A between songs. These are the type of artists that you can tell genuinely value their fans and will treat them like fans. They interacted with us in such a carefree manner.

Their music, though, is obviously the most important part. With that being said, it for sure blew me away. The new album, as most of you have heard by now, is not only strong, but full of an unearthed passion and honesty. At the acoustic set, we got our hands on a copy of the album over a week before the rest of the world. So, hearing these new songs live for the first time set shivers down my spine.

After the set, fans had the opportunity to meet the band. For me, this meant getting to thank people who had helped me through so much when I was going through high school. Growing up with a band is one thing, but getting to thank them for it not only brings closure, but is just overall fulfilling. From seeing them live for the first time my freshman year of high school to supporting them as they opened a new chapter of their sound years later, I can honestly say that this experience was well worth it.