Starland Ballroom always has a special place in my heart. It’s my New Jersey hometown venue and pretty much the only Jersey venue I go to (sorry, Wellmont). After Hurricane Sandy, I was worried that it wouldn’t be the same, but it came back better than ever. The Glamour Kills Tour was rolling through on this particular night which boasted a robust line up of younger vs. older pop punk bands. The crowd was a mix between older and younger fans. There were even some younger fans slightly tugging me to take a picture of them. I always find that hilarious.
The first band of the night was Candy Hearts who were the hometown band and were also ending the tour that night as well. They played a short set that included songs mostly from their sophomore album, All The Ways You Let Me Down. I saw the crowd nodding their heads ever so slightly, but mostly stationary. There were a few die hard local fans in the front of the stage.
Following was Fireworks from Michigan, who at first brought a different vibe starting out with slower songs in the beginning of their set. As their set went on, the energy from the band members progressed and you saw that slowly build up from the fans as well. One thing I noticed with the opening bands is that they had their own small following of fans that pushed to the front. Trust me, it got progressively harder to get to the photo pit as the night went on as people tried to fit in every crevice they could.
The next band was We Are The In Crowd and this is where it became more packed and the fans became more rambunctious. I’m talking stage diving, crowd surfing, the whole nine yards. The singalongs started to happen especially with the opener “The Best Thing (That Never Happened)”. I had seen WATIC at a couple smaller shows before this and it was awesome to see this band progress in a natural way. Great shows added with great word of mouth can amount you a loyal fan base in addition to good music.
Last but not least, the headliners of the tour, New Found Glory took to the stage. Immediately, the teen in me awoke as did a lot of older fans who suddenly rushed to the front. I was impressed because while fans sang along to old classics like “Better Off Dead” and “My Friends Over You”, they sang all the words to new songs like “Resurrection”. There was a point in the show where lead singer Jordan Pundik tried to attempt a freestyle with jokes from guitarist Chad Gilbert. Not totally sure if that is going to be in line for a side project – hilarious nonetheless.
Not only was it great that there was a cross section of fans that were tolerant of each other, there was a cohesiveness of all the bands on the bill. You have New Found Glory who are the elder statesmen of pop-punk music uplifting the younger generation of bands which is why the pop-punk genre will always endure.