Like Pacific / Think Tank, Newcastle | 12th of March

Like Pacific / Think Tank, Newcastle | 12th of March

On the 12th of March, I was on the Metro train to Think Tank to see Like Pacific perform. On that train ride, I managed to get through their entire Spotify discography, to be fair it’s less than an hour long, and couldn’t help but feel I was about to see something very special from this Canadian band, with support from local act, Northshore.

Travelling all the way from Middlesbrough, Northshore are a very thrashy, pop influenced punk band. On stage they may look like an advert for the Warped Tours range of funeral wear, decked out in all black clothes with white logos from Vans, Nike, and Bring Me The Horizon, but their presence is anything but dead. They brought with them a set full of surprises, full of quality, perfect to get the crowd going. A five piece, band their backing vocalist, who took lead for some verses, was more than adequate to lead the full setlist, however, they have one of those special frontmen who just knows how to work a crowd, and get the most from his voice. He made it seem not weird at all that they were relying on a crowd at a punk show to help him sing a Maroon 5 cover song, but their version of Animal was a highlight of the evening. They’ve been performing together for just over a year now, but have been friends for years, as they are the remnants of two separate bands who split that used to gig together, with the drummer joining after a chance encounter in a college practice room, they’ve engineered a unique sound together, as they aim to take pop punk in their own direction, as we can see on their upcoming EP which will be out later this year, and hopefully, has the same bladder shaking riffs as I felt on the night.

Northshore by David Ford

Like Pacific are mental, and I love it. They are class. From the moment they came on stage, the energy in the room was through the roof, and that was just from singer Jordan Black, otherwise known as @hotgaydaddy on Instagram. From the moment they started playing Worthless Case to open the set, he was bouncing around the stage, and is definitely the most Boomerang-able singers I’ve had the pleasure of watching. He is so good as a frontman, he just takes the pressure off the rest of the band so they can focus on playing the music, and my word, they did just that, thrashing out scuzzy guitars and banging drums, the whole band was tight as you could hope to see, and the crowd responded brilliantly to it. They played mainly tracks from their 2016 album Distant Like You Asked with great songs like Chine Drive, 22a, and title track Distant, but with a new album out later this year, also played their new single Sedatives which is a track that goes more back to their earlier, more heavy stuff, and got the best reaction of the night, as a few members of the fourty strong crowd attempted to open a mosh pit. The constant engagement from Black, adding to the excellent atmosphere, made it a really special performance.

I spoke to Jordan Black after the show, and he told me that playing to fourty kids half way around the world who cared enough to come out meant more to him than playing to five hundred bodies in his home town. He said it with such a sincerity that I felt touched he felt that way. But with this brings a problem for me. Like Pacific are an excellent band, but, they were only able to play Think Tank as a headline act if they did it during a day off from their slot supporting AS IT IS on their tour. They couldn’t justify financing their own headline tour in Britain, which goes to show as this was only their second ever headline show here. It’s such a shame, because Neck Deep sold out the O2 Academy in Newcastle in October 2017, and played to nearly three thousand punk fans that night, and there is absolutely no reason why Like Pacific aren’t a massive band. They have a slightly more niche market being a bit harsher, but there’s still bands like them who sell thousands of tickets, while they rely on supporting bigger bands to get themselves out there. One can only hope that when their new album drops, it gets in enough Spotify lists to entice the people going to academy shows to get down to smaller venues and support the scene, because if we want to keep the “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” mantra alive, this is the only way it’ll happen.

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