There is no way this show wasn’t going to absolutely rock. It’s simple; seeing Neck Deep, my favorite band, with three amazing openers in sunny California. What could be better?
I showed up to the Fremont theater in San Luis Obispo, excited to see Gardenside, WSTR, Stand Atlantic, and Neck Deep. I was expecting only to photograph the first three songs of each band, but after seeing and meeting Neck Deep so many times, and establishing a relationship with them, they upgraded my photo pass to all access, meaning I could shoot the entire set for each band. I knew I was in for an amazing night. First of the night with Gardenside. Although they were the smallest bands on the bill, they surely brought some energy out. Next was a band I have been waiting to see for a few years now; WSTR was debuting live for the first time in the US, with two albums under their belt. There lead singer, Sammy Clifford, is an amazing front man and someone who was so fun to photograph. Next was Australian three-piece and female fronted Stand Atlantic. With their debut album on the way, Stand Atlantic definitely made an impression on the crowd. It’s super refreshing to see a female fronted pop punk band at the top of the bill no less.
Finally, it was time for Neck Deep. My sixth time seeing the band was most definitely the best. Playing songs from all three of their albums, and three EP’s, they delivered an electrifying set that the entire room went absolutely crazy for. Hearing my favorite song, crushing grief (no remedy), live for the first time was something I will never forget. It was hard to resist melting back lyrics well in the photo pit. Neck Deep closed with their lead singer from their newest album, where do we go when we go. Front man Ben Barlow jumped onto the barricade and was almost consumed by the crowd. It was hands-down the coolest thing I have ever seen a front man do. How this band interacts with their fans is so pure hearted and quite frankly just awesome.
I flew home Sunday morning around 6 AM, reminiscing about the amazing show I had witnessed the Friday night before. Seeing my favorite brand in a completely different state and venue I had never been to was something I will never forget. Back in 2016, Neck Deep won best live band at the APMA awards and I wholeheartedly believe that they were extremely deserving of that award, and still rock whatever stage they hit to this day. Do not miss out on seeing Neck Deep if they come to venue near you!!!