Neck Deep Plays Generic Pop Punk Show at Skyway Theatre

Neck Deep at Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis on Saturday, February 10, 2024. [Photo credit: Jess Beck]

JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine

What a night.

Last time we got to cover a show at Skyway, it was in Studio B.

This time it was in another section that had 800 million more stairs and a floor that was a 45-degree angle.

So while I’m exhausted, and my old knees are screaming at me, I’m just out here moving mountains that I once had to climb. But it was such a kick-ass show that dropped on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis, MN that I’m sure many will say was better than the sports ball game that happened the day afterward.

Insert something about Taylor Swift here, I suppose.

Kicking off the night was an outfit called Higher Power, a hardcore punk band from across the pond. They were absolutely the right choice for this bill, as they did an amazing job of getting the audience riled up from the get go. I guess the science behind the angled floor is that it makes it easier to crowd-surf, and apart from the Parkway Drive we covered last year, this show was easily filled with the most humans crawling over themselves that we’ve seen in quite a while. But it’s no wonder they were voted by Revolver Magazine to be the band most likely to make a contemporary break out in the mainstream (2020). They crushed it live, and if you have the chance, I’d recommend seeing them if you can get out for a show!

Next up was Bearings, a group that has successfully written songs that they could play in a basement show with 40 people or in a club with 4000 people. Following suit with Higher Power, there were multiple calls for circle pits, which the audience was happy to oblige. Dressed like everything that was great about the 90s, they really hit it off with the audience! Starting with “Shaking Your Mind,” and ending with “Sway” was the perfect balance.

Then Drain happened. The only other act I’ve ever seen with that much intensity was Don Broco. It was as though every genie summoned from a Red Bull was in a band at the same time, and the hardcore outfit from California was sensational! Bodies were everywhere, and security did their best to help keep vocalist Sammy Ciaramitaro on the right side of the barricade (despite his glorious, perfect calf muscles). You could tell that these guys were here for a good time, not a long time, and I respect the hell out of that. Top tier performance in my opinion!

Last but not least was Neck Deep! The last time I had the privilege to cover these fellas was in Phoenix, and the venue got so hot that there was a visible cloud in the rafters thanks to the AC going out.

Thankfully, this time I left with dry shoes.

Ben Barlow, one of the most generic pop punk singers of all time, hit it off right by starting out with a new one from their latest album which is self-titled “Neck Deep.” But they played some bangers from earlier albums such as “Lime Street,” and “Kali Ma” from their 2015 album “Life’s Not Out To Get You,” which is arguably one of their better records for being so generic. They also used this as a platform to encourage the audience to love one another and to help in the fight against homelessness. “It’s pretty easy to see who the people are that keep us down,” Ben started during an interlude. “But there’s a fuck lot more of us than there are of them!

And when you think about it, I think that’s the essence of pop-punk. We have community here. Our people are good people, and we all want to see a little good in the world. Or in other words, we all want to move mountains that we once had to climb, and we want to help others do the same thing.

Big shout out to the staff at Skyway Theatre – I know the security was working double time keeping everyone safe as they were launched across the barricade, but as always y’all did a great job, kept it professional, and the show wouldn’t have been the success it was if it weren’t for everyone coming together to play their part. So from the drink slingers to the ticket checkers, thank you. It may seem like thankless work, but I know how much coordination it takes to put something together like this, and y’all crushed it.

As always, keep being excellent to one another, please for the love of all that is holy and good in the world keep wearing deodorant at your shows, and we’ll catch ya at the next one!

Neck Deep



Higher Power

All images © Jess Beck

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