Who: “The Peace And The Panic Tou”r – Neck Deep, Seaway, Speak Low If You Speak Love, Creeper
Where: The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts
When: February 3, 2018
I have been to several shows at the Worcester Palladium and very few of them have sold out. Those ones that have have been extremely special and memorable. So when I found out that Neck Deep’s show at the Worcester Palladium was sold out, I knew I was in for an experience.
In order to best explain this show, there are some important things to keep in mind. This show took place the day before the Super Bowl. New England Patriots fans are extremely rabid and there’s a certain frenzy in the air that happens every time the Pats play a Super Bowl. Combine that with Neck Deep being known to be a great band to crowd surf to and the fact that the show was sold out and there was no way it was going to be a quiet night.
The first band to hit the stage was Creeper. The British punk band is actually the reason I went to the show, as I absolutely love them. I first saw them last year when they were on tour opening for Too Close To Touch and Waterparks and I was blown away. Their fan following has steadily grown in the US since then, with most of the audience singing along to every single song. They opened with “Black Rain,” my favorite track off Eternity, In Your Arms; other songs in the set included “Hiding With Boys,” “Suzanne,” and of course “Misery” to finish the set-off. The audience got moving really quickly, with a mosh pit and circle pit forming and a couple of crowd surfers early on in the set. Their set had amazing energy from start to finish and guitarist Ian Miles was especially amazing. I loved Creeper before this set, but it just reminded how amazing Creeper really is. This is definitely a band you need to keep an eye on.
American band Speak Low If You Speak Love was up next. This was a new band to me and it seemed a little bit weird that they were on this tour at first; their sound is a little bit mellower than the rest of the bands. That being said, I loved Speak Low. Just because their music is mellow does not mean that their set was not energetic; they really brought it. The audience did not care that the music was mellow because they had a circle pit and plenty of crowd surfers during their set. The band themselves seemed taken aback by the energy of the audience but really fed off of it during the set. Most of the audience sang along with “Contrasting Colors” so they did have their own fans in the audience, but I saw plenty of people buying their CDs, so they obviously have a bunch of new fans.
Canadian band Seaway was third that night. I did not think that I knew any of their music, but as soon as they started singing “London,” I was singing along with everybody else. Just like the bands before them, their energy was high and their hold over the audience impressive. There was even more crowd surfing and moshing during their set. The audience was really into Seaway and it was contagious. I could not help but have fun during their set. They also brought out Neck Deep’s tour manager to play bass for a song, which was really cool. I hope Seaway comes back soon because I would love to see them again.
Energies were high, alcohol was flowing, and people were ready to go crazy by the time Neck Deep got on stage. The crowd surfing began almost immediately. Vocalist Ben Barlow very smartly wore a Patriots jersey and spoke with the audience about football briefly, earning the love of the crowd who were all rooting for the Pats to win the Super Bowl. Neck Deep’s set seemed effortless. The band, who are out promoting their new album The Peace And The Panic, knew exactly what the audience wanted and gave it to them. Their setlist included a lot of songs off their new album, including “In Bloom” and “Where Do We Go When We Go,” but their set also included one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Kali Ma.” The crowd was the rowdiest one that I have ever seen in my life, and the band even remarked that it was the rowdiest one of the tour. Their set was pure fun from start to finish and I loved every minute of it. I cannot wait to see Neck Deep again.
Overall, this was one of the strongest tour lineups that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. The bands all gave excellent performances that the boisterous audience fed off which the bands fed off in turn.
Post and photos by Karen Shalev
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