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State Champs // Live @ The Crystal Ballroom // 11.30.16

Article and Photos by: Kristina Dawn


Portland, OR — I didn’t really know what to expect going into this show. I had seen opener Waterparks over the Summer on the Vans Warped tour, as well as headliners State Champs, and both were fantastic. But co-openers Tonight Alive were a mystery to me, and to my surprise, had my favorite performance of the night.


I can only describe vocalist Jenna McDougall, (rocking the “eleven from Stranger Things” buzz cut), as a mixture between Hayley Williams from Paramore, and Lyndsey Gunnulfsen from PVRIS. Basically she’s a badass pop-punk princess who isn’t afraid to show you who’s boss.


Next up were State Champs, and man, do these guys know how to put on a show. I was afraid that the energy I had seen these guys perform with over the summer at the Vans Warped Tour was a result of the “festival mentality” many Warped bands have, but I was quickly reminded why State Champs are one of the best bands in the punk game right now.

State Champs put on one of the most fun and energetic shows I’ve seen at The Crystal, getting the crowd involved as much as physically possible. At one point during their set, there seemed to be a constant train of crowd surfing fans, one after the other floating on a sea of hands hoping to make it to the front of the pit near lead vocalist Derek Discanio.


Performing a mixture of bangers from their previous EP The Finer Things, to their most recent LP Around the World and Back, State Champs transformed the elegant Crystal Ballroom into a sweaty moshing pop-punk paradise.

Kristina Dawn
Kristina Dawn is a freelance music photographer and videographer from Portland, OR. She hopes to one day tour the world, capturing the extraordinary lives of some of the nations best musicians.