state champs: kings of the new age

State Champs

the national (richmond, va)

Spreading joy to pop-punk music lovers all over the city, State Champs warmed up the December cold in Richmond, Virginia. A stacked bill of Save Face, HUNNY, Between You & Me, and State Champs left the audience in a rockstar bliss and craving more. Opening the night was New Jersey-based band no stranger to Richmond, Save Face, playing favorites from their beautiful new record, Another Kill for the Highlight Reel. Their incredible vocals, extensive creativity, and matching jumpsuits made their high energy set unforgettable. Save Face ensured the crowd was having a good time from the minute they started throughout their entire set and were so much fun to photograph!

Second band to take the stage was Between You & Me, the coolest Australia-based alternative band with a punk-indie flair. Playing songs off of their 2021 sophomore album, Armageddon, the crowd continued their excitement for the show to go on. The way lead singer Jake Wilson and bandmates Jai, James, Chris, and Jamey interacted with the crowd was so wonderful. Their positive and infectious energy couldn’t help but make you smile ear to ear watching them perform.

Just before State Champs was the heavily anticipated band HUNNY, with so many classic releases from over the years like “Televised,” “Vowels,” and “July” being staples in our summer feel-good playlists. Everyone in the room couldn’t wait to see what was on their setlist. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed! In addition to the classics was their well loved new deluxe E.P., Homesick. Songs like, “Loser,” “Good Will Hunting Song,” and “JFK” rang through The National so stunningly. An energetic set with gorgeous vocals, visuals, and talent? These bands have it all.

Finishing off the show with a bang was the headliner: State Champs! Their set was unreal with everything and more from raw talent, stage production, smoke cannons, radiant lights, and the crowdsurfing extravaganza of your dreams. They were everything the fans had hoped for. The performance of their 2022 record, Kings of The New Age, was absolutely beautiful and easily captivated everyone in the venue. The audience was so committed to State Champs’ music, and seeing fans dance their heart out, mosh, and crowdsurf the entire time was so invigorating to watch. They killed their set full of songs like, “Just Sound,” “Outta My Head,” and a melody of five or so of their most popular songs. They slowed things down with a few acoustic favorites, including “If I’m Lucky,” and had an even more beautiful encore leaving the show on such a good note - no pun intended! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next time these incredible bands stop in your city for the night.

photos & review by lucienne nghiem