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Pop Punk's Not Dead Tour - Minneapolis

Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour – Minneapolis

Pop Punk's Not Dead Tour

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Minneapolis stop of the Pop Punks Not Dead tour. Months ago when the tour and lineup was announced, I thought to myself: Can a tour really get any better than this? Headlined by veteran pop punkers New Found Glory with support from 4 of the biggest names in the genre today Рit was a no brainer, I had to make the trip.

This was my first time at Station 4, so I had no idea what to expect. We arrived to the venue and got in line, which was already halfway down the block. It felt like we were waiting outside forever in the cold and wind, but we finally made our way into the venue after about an hour. I made a stop in the bar right away for a quick drink before the first band, THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, went on. I saw these guys live once before, back in February 2010 when they opened for Four Year Strong. They had a very short set, probably only 20-25 minutes, but had a much better performance this time around mainly because singer Pete Dowdalls has seemingly improved on his live vocals. Their setlist was:

New Sensation
Rise and Fall, Curtain Call
Drop Out Of Life
My Side Of Town
No Bed Of Broken Glass
Alex In Wonderland

Next up was MAN OVERBOARD. How a pop punk like this has three guitarists, I’ll never know. This is also my second time seeing these guys. The crowd was really into them compared to This Time Next Year. I was pretty surprised to see them open with “Montrose, as well as add “Somethings Weird” and “Septemberism” to their set. The highlight of their set was of course ending it with an electric version of “Love Your Friends, Die Laughing”. Their full setlist was:

Real Talk
World Favorite
Somethings Weird
Fantasy Girl
Dead End Dreams
Love Your Friends Die Laughing

The third band was THE WONDER YEARS and this was the second time I’ve seen them. The crowd absolutely went OFF for these guys. They opened with the appropriately titled “Came Out Swinging” which prompted dozens of crowd surfers and the pits to open up. These guys, especially singer Soupy, have such amazing stage presence, I can only see them getting bigger and bigger. My favorite part of their set was “Hoodie Weather”, which is my favorite song on their new album. Wasn’t quite expecting to hear it, but was super stoked they threw it in there. I was slightly disappointed we didn’t hear anything from their pre-Upsides stuff, but I guess we shouldn’t be expecting them to play those songs these days. But I shouldn’t complain at all… these guys write songs that are just meant to be played live in front of a thousand sweaty kids. For the time they were given, their set couldn’t have been better:

Came Out Swinging
Melrose Diner
Local Man Ruins Everything
Logan Circle
My Last Semester
Don’t Let Me Cave In
Hoodie Weather
Washington Square Park

The fourth band and main support was Set Your Goals. This was the first time I’ve seen them on tour (the other times I’ve seen them have been Warped Tour in 2008 and 2010) and they didn’t disappoint. This year, they released Burning At Both Ends, an album that was universally considered to be pretty bad overall. So, of course I was hoping for a minimal amount of songs from that album at the show… and my wish was granted. “The Last American Virgin” and “Certain” (which was surprisingly SUPER fun live) were the only new songs they played… the remainder of their set was full of old classics that their hardcore fans really appreciated. Opening with “This Very Moment” and throwing in “Goonies Never Say Die” was awesome. But the highlight came when they played “The Few That Remain”. “This is the first time we’ve ever played this song on a full US tour” said singer Jordan Brown before they went into the opening riff. This song features guest vocals from Hayley Williams (lead singer of Paramore) on the album and has quickly turned into a massive fan favorite. Unfortunately Hayley didn’t make a surprise appearance, but we did get Soupy from The Wonder Years to do her part, which was the next best thing. Their set was:

This Very Moment
Summer Jam
Goonies Never Say Die
The Fallen
The Last American Virgin
The Few That Remain (Soupy sang Hayley’s part)
Gaia Bleeds

Finally, after a long wait, the vets New Found Glory took the stage. It sounds funny calling them vets because the only other time I’ve seen them was when they were all around 20 years old opening for Blink 182 in the summer of 2001. The energy of the crowd was balls to the walls from start to finish during their 70 minute set. They didn’t play any song off Coming Home, but otherwise they did a great job of selecting songs spread across their entire discography. Ironically, they didn’t even play their new single “Radiosurgery” (I believe this was supposed to be part of their encore, but they were running short on time). Opening with “Understatement” was the perfect way to kick things off. I was also happy to hear three songs off their self titled album, especially “Boy Crazy”, but was hoping for some more oldies instead of three covers (they covered Blitzkrieg Bop, Kiss Me, and Basket Case). A giant dance party broke out during “Anthem For The Unwanted” – that is bound to be a crowd favorite over the next few years. The biggest surprise of the set was “Forget My Name”, a song that really isn’t a staple in their sets and one that hasn’t been played much on this tour to my knowledge. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better show. Here was their set:

Don’t Let Her Pull You Down
Better Off Dead
All Downhill From Here
Anthem For The Unwanted
Truck Stop Blues
At Least I’m Known For Something
Failure’s Not Flattering
Kiss Me
I’m Not The One
Something I Call Personality
Head On Collision
Listen To Your Friends
Summer Fling, Don’t Mean A Thing
Forget My Name
Boy Crazy
Hit Or Miss

Basket Case
Blitzkrieg Bop
My Friends Over You

*Credit to my friend Kevin who figured out all the setlists*

So, is pop punk dead? After this show, I can say definitely not… in fact, I think it’s on the rise.

Check out a video of New Found Glory playing “Intro” and “Understatement” from the show here:


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