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REVIEW: Knuckle Puck - The Classic Grand, Glasgow 24/03/24

Photo by Stacey Auld. Words by Lukas Neilson.

The lads in KNUCKLE PUCK aren’t strangers to playing Glasgow at this stage, but their reception tonight shows that they’re still very much welcome here. Promoting their 2023 album Losing What We Love, this UK club tour serves as a lead up to their massive opening slot for NECK DEEP later this month at London’s Alexandria Palace, which although is only a supporting slot will be the largest indoor show the band has played at this point. Tonight’s show is a much smaller affair than that, and even though they fight on through some poor sound mixing woes and a tight stage time, their 15-track long career-spanning set of pop-punk bangers helps considerably in covering up the blemishes on an otherwise brilliant night.

In an effort not to start on a negative note, the opening slew of tracks prove their journey up north wasn’t in vain. Opening with the tumultuously powerful The Tower, the undeniably massive No Good, and the self-analysing Tune You Out demonstrates their ability to put forward their feelings with their distinctive pop-punk vitality. The more energetic half of the audience don’t let up for the entire evening, with the staff at the Classic Grand working hard to keep up with the crowd surfers during the lively Disdain and Double Helix.

The main problem tonight comes from the sound mix in the venue. Often at the beginning of a show these issues are identified and ironed out quickly, but tonight there seems to be little tampering with the initial sound, resulting in an overall mix that is muddled beneath the drums. The vocals are audible, but it does mean that more emotive lyrical moments on tracks like Losing What We Love don’t have the same effect as they might have done. Thankfully there’s a percentage of the audience tonight that seem to know every track inside and out, so these issues don’t overly impact the brilliant atmosphere of the night.

The benefit of pop-punk is that a lot can be fit into a relatively short amount of time. KNUCKLE PUCK put aside a lot of the usual audience interaction (outside of high-fiving crowd-surfers as they are collected by security) to make sure they can play as much as possible. You & I, Groundhog Day, and Gone prove to be other highlights on the back half of their set, with the longer-form Untitled really taking things to the next level as they begin to close out their set.

It’s approaching (approximately) 9:20pm when Knuckle Puck initially leave the stage. The crowd refuse to vacate, even though the house lights are up and the venue music has started playing (which is usually a good sign that the band are finished for the evening). Thankfully, their efforts are paid off when the band come back on for one last hurrah with their earlier single Fences.

It’s a quick night in Glasgow for pop-punk fans, but even with some unfortunate sound issues the evening has to go down as a success for the Chicago five-piece. Their energetic spark as a band has the ability to push forward their live performance through any roadblocks that might come up, and with tonight under their belt they can move fearlessly forward towards what will likely be one of their biggest moments to date in London.


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