First up on the evening of May 11th, 2019 at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale, PA was the band Oso Oso. When the band hit the stage, there was a gradual sense of development throughout the set; meaning, the band started with low energy, and as the band drove through their set, their energy grew. With that in mind, it is important to note that the band had a few awkward transitions, but this helped the audience to see the band’s personality, so this could be good or bad for the artist. The music that they played was rather strong, instrumentally speaking, and the lyrics to their songs were catchy and easy to pick up on. The timbre of their music fit perfectly for the bands that followed them, so it was no surprise that this band was the catalyst for the evening. When looking back at the set as a whole, it is easy to say that the band had little crowd involvement until the very end, but as the band grows more comfortable with their characteristic sound, this will lend them to some top notch performances. Even though this performance wasn’t remarkable, Oso Oso was still a strong opener for the night.
Next up was a huge upcoming band coming to the east coast from Los Angeles, California: Hunny. Hunny hit the stage and completely tore it down all the way until the end of their set. With this, they were able to give audience members high energy from second number one, and through that they were able to push their tunes that were overly catchy. When talking about the music on the list, the band played both new and old selections that enforced those catchy vocals with over the top instrumentals that the musicians completely dug into throughout each part of the set. The band itself was aesthetically pleasing, especially when connecting them to their sound and the clear band aesthetic that they bring to the evening. As the band played throughout the set, it was noticeable that each member of the band was overly enjoying themselves, giving it their 100%- so much so that the drummer broke the snare drum (props! That’s hard to do). Having all this excitement got the audience involved, especially at the end when the lead vocalist jumped into the crowd to sing the final vocals of the set. Even though Hunny brings a new genre to the evening, they were a brilliant opener for the tour, for they got the crowd involved, and their music is sensational. Everyone should watch out for this band because they are going to be major in no time.
The first headliner to hit the stage this evening was the one, the only, Citizen. Before diving into the specifics of this set, I must stress that Citizen pulls out all of the good tunes for this tour. They are giving the audience members selections off all their major works as well as a new track that completely slaps, so that alone just makes for an incredible concert, and that’s just the beginning. As Citizen played throughout their set, it was apparent that the band’s characteristic aesthetic was present and in full effect. This gave the audience the perfect blend of music to dance to, music to scream their lungs out to, and music to just vibe with. This mixture gives the audience a strong amount of contrast, which keeps them on their toes and places them in a variety of emotions. One thing that is always present when Citizen is in town is how genuinely happy each member of the band looks as they perform their music, and within that, how each member of the band is truly living the emotion/mood of the track they are performing. This makes for a full-body experience for everyone, for we are all just living in the moment of that song in that second in time- nothing else really matters. Overall, Citizen never disappoints, so please support them in everything that they do, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
The band to wrap up the evening was the second headliner, the boys that everyone was waiting for: Knuckle Puck. Just as I mentioned with Citizen above, Knuckle Puck brought a golden setlist for this evening’s concert. The band gave audience members selections off all their major albums as well as their EP’s, and the split that they did back in 2014. Through this, Knuckle Puck was able to keep the energy at 1000% throughout the evening as they packed 14 songs plus an encore in a little over an hour’s time. During most Knuckle Puck shows, the band will play a few slower songs for contrast; however, for this concert they decided “nope, high energy the entire time”, and the crowd was absolutely living for it. Similar to Citizen, the pure enjoyment that each member of the band shows throughout each selection is phenomenal to witness, for it feels like we were all one big family just screaming lyric after lyric together, which is always such a genuine moment to experience. Overall, Knuckle Puck is one of those bands that never gets old, even if one may know what to expect at their shows- it is always a good time, and this concert was no different.
This probably won’t be a shocker to anyone, but if you have the chance absolutely make a stop at one of the shows on this tour! Citizen and Knuckle Puck always give it their all when they hit the stage- no matter how long they get to play for. Moreover, I am giving this concert a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this evening such a score because of the obvious: both headliners never disappoint, especially when they have setlists as good as the ones they crafted for this tour, and the openers for this tour give the audience the perfect setup for a great night. Furthermore, do yourself a major favor and get to one of the best pop punk tours of the summer!