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  • Taylor Dietrich

Concert Photography & Event Review: State Champs // Upstate Concert Hall 12.22.19

There is nothing like being home for the holidays. And thanks to State Champs, Upstate New York served as home or many people who were far from it. 2019’s Frozen Fest was held in a venue called Upstate Concert Hall in the beloved band’s hometown of Albany, New York. Along with a small stage and concert floor, which created an intimate experience for their fans, the boys also adorned the rest of the venue with many interactive pieces. A game station included ring toss and cornhole and the gif-creating photo booth not only had props to hold up but also contained lead singer Derek DiScanio for a portion of the night. Specialty drinks were based on popular State Champs songs and as far as food went, everyone could be happy with a burrito bar and a vegan cheesesteak stand. Hope For The Day even had their own booth set up where fans could go and talk about their recent troubles or learn how they could help others suffering from mental illness. Nestled in this humble upstate venue, the environment couldn’t feel any more welcoming than it did.

Three opening bands- Young Culture, Bearings, and Grayscale- warmed the Frozen Fest stage up for the kings of upstate that night. Crowd-surfing was abundant from the first band’s very first note and did not die down the slightest bit by the time Champs graced the stage. And when they did, their set was anything but predictable. Three fans were called onstage to perform three different songs alongside Derek. They were the winners of this year’s karaoke competition. The next competition was held live on stage that night and it focused on dancing. Whichever fan was in possession of the bass guitar had to show their best moves to bassist and backing vocalist, Ryan Scott Graham, and hope that he couldn’t outdo them (not an easy task!). The band performed all of their popular songs along with a cover of Shawn Mendes’ stitches and some pop-punk Christmas renditions. By the time the show was over, the crowd that had filled the Upstate Concert Hall for 2019’s Frozen Fest surely felt like they were leaving their holiday home, regardless of how many hours they had traveled to be there.

There's quite a bit of time before next year's Frozen Fest, but you'll more than likely be able to find State Champs in a city closer to you before that. You can keep up with them on Twitter, Instagram, or their website. Happy holidays!

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