Pop-Punk Revival: Simple Plan, State Champs, and Mayday Parade Live at Victoria Warehouse

Friday night at Victoria Warehouse promised a nostalgic plunge into the heart of pop-punk. With a sold-out venue pulsing with energy, fans eagerly assembled, ready to immerse themselves in the angsty, glory days of their youth. With three pop-punk powerhouses on the line up: MAYDAY PARADE, STATE CHAMPS, and headliners SIMPLE PLAN– the stage was set for a trip down memory lane. Full disclosure, I absolutely love every single one of these bands; each one has served as the soundtrack to different chapters of my teenage years. So, needless to say, this lineup was a perfect match for me.

Opening the show was MAYDAY PARADE, who burst into action with fan-favourite Oh Well, Oh Well. The Florida-based five-piece amped up the audience from the moment they set foot on stage, and vocalist Derek Sanders doesn’t seem to have aged a day since the last time I saw them. He was a whirlwind of movement, and the rest of the band matched his energy perfectly. They rolled through their setlist, playing songs such as Black Cat and Jersey, with a huge portion of the crowd singing the lyrics right back at them. It’s hard to believe a lot of these songs are more than a decade old and it was so beautiful to watch the band power through each song with the same excitement, passion, and love they had for the same songs back in 2014. Finishing their short but sweet set, the quintet chose to close with their beloved anthem Jamie All Over and the sheer number of people screaming along was reminiscent of a headlining act. It was a testament to their enduring legacy that their music could still evoke such passionate responses, making it clear that their influence would continue to thrive for years to come.

Taking the stage next were STATE CHAMPS, the pop-punk quartet hailing from Albany, New York. Having formed in 2010, the four-piece may not boast as many years as MAYDAY PARADE or SIMPLE PLAN, but they proved to be the perfect choice to bridge the gap between younger and older fans. As expected from a pop-punk act, STATE CHAMPS wasted no time in launching into a high-energy set filled with anthemic choruses, catchy lyrics and an absolutely brilliant stage presence. They dove headfirst into a series of pop-punk anthems, including Just Sound, Frozen and Mine Is Gold.

Vocalist Derek DiScanio was a great example of everything needed in a frontman. Leading the charge, effortlessly commanding the audience’s attention with his infectious energy and boundless enthusiasm. The rest of the band seamlessly followed suit. The set was energetic from start to finish, packed with tracks you couldn’t help but move to. Ending their set with fan favourites Elevated, Secrets and Everybody But You, STATE CHAMPS were a perfect choice to get the crowd hyped up for the main act.

With barely any space to breathe left in the packed-out room, it was finally time for the wait for SIMPLE PLAN to end. Taking the stage to a thunderous applause, accompanied by the Star Wars theme, the Canadian pop-punk veterans wasted no time diving into their extensive catalogue of hits, treating the audience to a nostalgic journey through their illustrious career. Starting out with I’d Do Anything the band immediately sent me back to my high school days. Jumping straight into classics Shut Up! And Jump, the crowd was swept up in a whirlwind of nostalgia, transported back to the golden era of early 2000s pop-punk..

As if their own hits weren’t enough to get the crowd moving, the quartet threw in a medley of beloved anthems for good measure, including All Star by Smash Mouth, Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavinge and Mr. Brightside by The Killers. The addition of the iconic theme song from What’s New Scooby-Doo? was the cherry on top of an already unforgettable night. A nostalgic blast from the past that had fans old and new alike grinning from ear to ear.

As the night progressed, SIMPLE PLAN proved why they remain one of the genre’s most enduring acts, delivering a performance that was equal parts exhilarating and heartfelt. It was a night filled with anthems, memories, and a reaffirmation of the band’s indelible mark on the pop-punk community. With over three decades under their belt, SIMPLE PLAN have had a hot minute to refine their craft and tonight’s show has more than proven that they’ve made the most of the opportunity. Here’s to seeing what the next decade has to offer.

Photos and Words by Ellie Dawson


Philip Goddard

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