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Concert Review: Knuckle Puck “Shapeshifter” Tour

Rachael McKriger, Editor In Chief

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Home of Mr. Small’s Theater, Millvale, Pennsylvania welcomed the punk rock band Knuckle Puck to their stage on Nov. 14.

Knuckle Puck is a five-member band, consisting of Nick Casasanto, Kevin Maida, Ryan Rumchaks, John Siorek and lead singer Joe Taylor. They hail from Chicago, and were formed in 2010.

The band was joined by Home Safe and Movements for their Shapeshifter Tour, which is named after their album. Shapeshifter was released on Oct. 13.

The album was their second full-length album, with Copacetic being released back in 2015.

Homesafe, a band which includes Ryan Rumchaks, Tyler Albertson and Eman Duran, took the stage first, and featured for about 30 minutes.

I had never heard of Homesafe before, but enjoyed their set. Homesafe joined the tour for its last six shows, due to the band With Confidence withdrawing after sexual harassment were alleged against one of their band-mates.

My friends who attended with me, Abby and Roberto, were a bit disappointed to not see With Confidence take the stage, but Homesafe didn’t disappoint. Their music got the crowd going, and their set was met with applause despite the sudden change of acts.

Homesafe will be embarking on their own tour with Life Lessons and Chase Huglin, starting in January. However, they will not be making a stop in Pittsburgh.

Movements was the next band to grace the stage, and I have to admit that I was also not familiar with this band. Despite that, I enjoyed their set and even downloaded a few songs right on the spot.

It seemed that a lot of the crowd was there for Movements, because as soon as they began they pushed right up to the stage. “Colorblind” was the song that everyone in the audience seemed to know, as well as “Worst Wishes.”

After about 20 minutes, Knuckle Puck hit the stage.

This was my sixth time seeing Knuckle Puck, so seeing them was nothing new to me. However, with Shapeshifter only being released in October, it was nice to see a different selection of songs performed.

“Gone” and “Fences” were the songs that Knuckle Puck opened their set with. After, Joe Taylor introduced himself and his band mates. They began talking about their tour thus far, and noted that Boston was the loudest city that they played in so far.

“So, you guys need to beat Boston tonight,” Taylor said. “We need you guys to get loud!”

After performing “But Why Would You Care?” and “Swing,” Knuckle Puck began playing songs from previous releases like “True Contrite” and “Stationary.”

Members of the audience began to crowd surf during these songs, but I wasn’t one of them! I have a mortal fear of crowd surfing, but Abby and Roberto kept insisting that I get going. No way! I was staying put, and away from those ridiculous mosh pits.

Yes, I am a punk rock fan that doesn’t like mosh pits. We actually do exist!

The band’s first single from Shapeshifter, “Double Helix,” was performed next. After this song, Taylor quieted down the audience and thanked them for their support during the last seven years.

“You all are the reason we make music,” Taylor said.

After a few more songs from the new album, Taylor and company played a fan favorite – and my personal favorite song – “Evergreen.”

Popular songs from the EP While I Stay Secluded, like “Bedford Falls” and “Oak Street” were performed next, with Taylor having the crowd sing most of the songs into the microphone.

The band then had fans request two songs to perform. The crowd decided that Knuckle Puck were to perform “Gold Rush” and “Give Up.”

Lastly, “No Good” and “Untitled” were performed as an encore performance.

I’ve seen Knuckle Puck six times, but this would certainly be my second favorite show. I only put it at number two because the opening acts didn’t really blow me away. However, Knuckle Puck put on a fabulous show as always, and it always amazes me how personable the band is with the audience.

However, when you’re performing in a small venue like Mr. Small’s Theater, it’s hard not to get personable with the audience.

If you’re a punk rock fan and haven’t seen Knuckle Puck, then that needs to change pronto. Knuckle Puck always manages to put on a good show, and the Shapeshifter Tour was no exception.

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About the Writer
Rachael McKriger, Editor In Chief

In her senior year of college, Rachael McKriger is serving her second consecutive term as Editor-In-Chief of the California Times in the 2017-18 school...

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Concert Review: Knuckle Puck “Shapeshifter” Tour