Four Year Strong 12th Annual Holiday Show December 28, 2019
Article: Mariusz Rdultowski
Photos: Nick Smarra
On Saturday, December 28th, Four Year Strong (Worcester, MA) returned to their hometown to once again celebrate the holidays with their 12th Annual Holiday Show at The Palladium. The guys hosted a fantastic show alongside bloom. (Boston, MA), Bearings (Ottawa, Ontario), The MovieLife (Long Island, NY), and Knuckle Puck (Chicago, IL). The concert came at a perfect time to cap off the holiday season and prepare to ring in the new year, and the bands brought everything they had in order to make it truly epic. The lineup brought about strong Pop Punk vibes across the board, with personal twists that made each band unique, such as more mellow and flowing sounds or high impact tones. I was lucky enough to get a side balcony spot right next to the stage, being able to see everything going on and jam out alongside the bands. This concert was one of the best I have been to, as the energy flowing from both the crowd and sets created an environment teeming with enthusiasm.
The Palladium of Worcester, MA is a tremendous venue that features an open floor in front of the stage, flanked by two small side balconies that go right up to the front. Moving back from the floor, there are small levels that the audience can stand on allowing for full view of the performance with plenty of standing room. A bar in the far back provides all the necessary beverage commodities one might seek for the evening. Upstairs, there is also a fairly large balcony area with plenty of seats along with a second bar. With the combination of great acoustics and plenty of spots to view the stage both on and off the floor, The Palladium proves to be an amazing place to go and see your favorite bands play.
To kick off the night, bloom. opened up and got the crowd moving. Unfortunately, because of the limited space on stage due to all of the equipment, there was not as much room to move around as I imagine they would have liked. Nevertheless, their gorgeously smooth rock sounds alongside lead singer Matthew DiPietro’s sublime voice got my feet moving and my head bobbing. This band is one to look out for and watch as they inevitably continue to grow.
Bearings followed after and continued to dial up the excitement. They had a bit more room to work with after some equipment was removed, and so were able to jump around and amp the crowd up even more. It was very thrilling to watch the band have fun jamming out and play their awesome music. Their discography has some variety, including some 80’s sounds as well as more classical Pop Punk guitar melodies, but on Saturday they mostly showcased their harder hitting Pop Punk style. Bearings was incredibly entertaining and I am excited to add them to my listening rotation.
As the evening rolled on, The Movielife came out onto the stage and immediately sent electricity through the crowd with their strong guitar presence, hard hitting drums, and killer vocals. At this point, the whole crowd was hopping as waves of utter passion and energy washed over the venue. Excited fans could be seen belting the songs along with the band, and even a pit or two broke out.
Knuckle Puck came next and provided the punch expected of them, both through their magnificent sounds and their emotional lyrics. I have listened to Knuckle Puck numerous times, but this was the first time I had witnessed them live. The performance they provided was absolutely spectacular and made The Palladium go wild, especially after being primed by the great bands preceding them. Their stage presence was lively and enthusiastic, and their interactions with the crowd made the whole experience extremely memorable and precious.
For the final act of the night, Four Year Strong played their set. If I had to summarize their show in one word, “nuts” seems pretty appropriate. As a Worcester native and someone who has seen Four Year Strong live three times within this past year alone, the performance was wildly insane. They reverberated waves of mania and love for what they do, and the crowd responded by showing just how happy they were to be there and jam to Four Year Strong’s songs. The stage effects, including the great utilization of smoke and lights, were masterfully executed and left multiple epic images burned into my brain. In addition, Four Year Strong had a bit of a present for the audience as they played a brand-new song and recorded a music video for it simultaneously, showing just how much the home crowd means to them. The new song itself was incredible, showcasing powerful guitar riffs and melodies, vigorous drums, and stronger vocals than usual. This track seemed to have much heavier sounds than is typical of Four Year Strong, and I wish I could listen to it more. I am very excited to see the song and music video released, and the direction which the band goes from here. No matter what, it is clear that Four Year Strong will continue to be an influential and sensational presence on the scene moving forward. Overall, it is very fair to say that Four Year Strong’s 12th Annual Holiday Show was a massive success, and it is really worth it to check out any of these bands if they find themselves in your area.