Before I even walked into The Marquis on Tuesday night to see Seaway and Stickup Kid, I knew that I was in for a night of sing-alongs, crowd surfing, stage dives and all around, a good time. And boy, was I right.
The first band to take the stage was local pop-punk group, The Coast Is Ours. While the band is still gaining momentum in the local scene, I was familiar with them after seeing them open up for Neck Deep back in March and I was excited to see what they brought to the table for this particular show. Unlike most local openers, who usually find themselves playing to a half-empty room of people who aren’t even watching them (they’re usually just there waiting for their favorite band to take the stage instead) The Coast Is Ours actually earned plenty of attention from the crowd at The Marquis with their high energy set and their catchy tunes. While not many of the people at the show were familiar with them, that didn’t stop them from bobbing their heads along with The Coast Is Ours, staying put until the end of their set. And just like the last time I saw them, I was more than impressed with the local pop-punk band.
After The Coast Is Ours, Driver Friendly took the stage. While I’d only just decided to give Driver Friendly a listen about an hour before the show, I was excited to see them because the Denver date of the tour also served as their album release show. And needless to say, they didn’t hold back. Seconds into Driver Friendly’s set, streamers and silly string were flying from the crowd, getting stuck on the mic stands, guitar necks, lights – everything. Soon, foam noodles were being handed out in the crowd and fans quickly took the hint, jumping on each other’s shoulders, sword fighting, and leaping onto the stage to sing along.
Having never really listened to Driver Friendly before, their set was the best first impression they could have ever given. Their sound was solid and upbeat and it was hard not to smile and bob my head along during their set. The crowd participation was amazing, which made Driver Friendly even more fun to watch, and by the end of their set, it felt more like a party and less like a concert.
Candy Hearts took the stage after Driver Friendly, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see them. And thankfully, I definitely was not disappointed. Within moments, I was hooked by Mariel Loveland’s impressive vocals, which easily carried the band’s set. Her voice was intoxicating and strong, and even had the tougher looking punk kids in the crowd singing along or bobbing their heads with the music.
While Driver Friendly’s high energy set was hard to top, Candy Hearts easily brought a lot to the table, and they didn’t have to try too hard to gain the respect and attention that they deserved from the crowd. Candy Hearts’ sound was absolutely flawless, even from the back of the venue, and by the end of their set, I was humming their track “Ticklish” to myself.
Though I didn’t catch much of Stickup Kid’s set after Candy Hearts, it was apparent that the band brought the high energy right back up in the crowd that Candy Hearts' set might have been lacking in. Before long, fans were crowd-surfing and singing along, and by the end of their set, everyone was amped up and more than ready for the co-headliners, Seaway to take the stage.
And boy, did Seaway kill it. That’s really the only thing that came to mind while watching the Canadian pop-punk band dominate the stage. It didn’t take long before fans were clambering over one another for a chance to sing along with vocalist Ryan Locke or leaping off of the stage into the mass of moving bodies pushing their way up to the front of the room. While the crowd wasn’t huge by any means, it didn’t seem to matter to them or the band, who seemed completely on top of their game, playing their hearts out on stage.
Halfway through the band’s set, they paused to play “Middle Finger,” which wasn’t originally on their setlist, for a fan in the crowd who had requested it. And within seconds, the fan in question was on stage, arm thrown around Locke’s shoulders, sharing the microphone and screaming the words along with him. It was a sight to see, and actually quite a pleasant surprise, considering that most bands don’t really deviate from their setlist, even when fans request songs. But Seaway isn’t most bands, and by the end of their set, it was apparent why so many people in the crowd were rocking Seaway shirts or singing along.