Pop punk bands Broadside and With Confidence played at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Friday, November 30.
According to Broadside frontman Ollie Baxxter, whom I spoke with before the show, With Confidence and Broadside bond over their love of humorous stage antics.
“They’re vulgar and we have really crude senses of humor,” Baxxter said.
Baxxter also expressed that the bands connect over their ability to live normal lives outside their music careers and personas.
“I think it’s really important to be able to turn off the musician when you walk off stage,” he said.
The sold-out show started promptly at 7 p.m. with the Myrtle Beach-based indie rockers Small Talks. Red-haired front woman Cayley Spivey sang about self-love and freedom of expression, and made several heartfelt speeches to match. The songs were somewhat mellow, but had catchy hooks that gave them an upbeat vibe.
Next was Sleep On It, a Chicago-based alt-rock quintet that recently played the final Warped Tour alongside With Confidence and Broadside. They played songs from their 2017 album “Overexposed,“ and ended with the new single “Disconnected,” which was released in October. The audience, many in Warped Tour tees and black Vans, knew the words to every Sleep On It song.
Australian rockers With Confidence went on at 8:30, and bounced around the stage, full of energy. Lead singer Jayden Seeley sported a black t-shirt and his signature unruly shoulder-length hair.
The band started with a few songs from their 2016 EP, “Better Weather,” followed by crowd favorites from their album, “Love and Loathing,” released in August.
Halfway through the set, With Confidence decided to slow things down and played an acoustic version of their hit, “Long Night.” Seeley asked the sound guy to turn off the PA, and played the song with completely raw vocals and his guitar. With Seeley’s smooth voice and long notes, this was one of the most organic performances I’ve heard in a while.
The crowd went wild for With Confidence, and was just as excited for Broadside. Broadside is a pop punk band from Richmond, VA. Members include vocalist Ollie Baxxter, Dorian Cooke on guitar and vocals, bassist Patrick Diaz, guitarist Dominic Reid and drummer Jeff Nichols.
On stage, Baxxter swayed back and forth as the band played older songs from their 2015 album, “Old Bones,” along with newer ones from their 2017 release, “Paradise.” The crowd danced along and enjoyed upbeat tunes like “Paradise” and “Come & Go”, and became emotional during songs like “Coffee Talk” and “Laps Around a Picture Frame.”
Off stage, Baxxter told me about the band’s future plans. Though Broadside is widely known throughout the scene, the band plans to steer away from the pop punk genre.
They’re working on new music, which they started writing at Warped Tour over the summer. Baxxter, who just turned 30, feels he’s outgrowing the pop side of pop punk, and plans to create more rock-focused music.
“We’re still gonna be a pop rock band, but just change the lyricism a bit,” he said. “I think people are becoming obsessed with the idea of what pop punk is rather than the band itself.”
This being said, the concert lineup and attendees definitely still evoked an inherent pop punk vibe.
Band members spoke of humbleness, self-love and expressing yourself, all pillars of the pop punk mentality. Each band sang passionately and incorporated somber talks and acoustic songs that aligned with the mental health theme. Above all—the audience and the bands looked genuinely happy to be there.
The tour, which started in LA in November and will cover all regions in the U.S., will end on December 14 in Anaheim, CA.