Live Review: Knuckle Puck, Tiny Moving Parts & Movements at SWG3

The first thing you notice about Southern Californian band Movements’ frontman Patrick Miranda is how genuinely appreciative he seems to be that so many people showed up early to see his band play. The 450-capacity room started to fill up at a reasonable rate, despite the early doors of 6pm.

They play a selection of songs from their first full length release, Feel Something, as well as a couple of older tracks from their first EP. The songs played from the album are met with a warm reception, even so that members of the audience tended to mirror the movements (see what I did there?) of Miranda. On introducing the song Colorblind, he gets visibly emotional given the lyrical content as it appears to be influenced by the singer’s struggles with depression and anxiety. The performance is strong, and the set from them on only goes from strength to strength.

Movements by Nathan Matheson

The next song performed, Full Circle, is also a highlight. The band are on top form here, and when the chorus kicks in, that’s when the magic happens. The spoken word delivery of the outro is positively spine tingling, whilst undeniably timely given the current chatter in the press about mental health awareness in the UK. The sincerity of the personalism of his lyricism’ comes full circle as he sings to a room full of people who are able to connect their own experience and ability to aspire to be hopeful of the future, too: “I know eventually / I’m gonna come around / and maybe it won’t be easy / but it will be worth it.”

Next on stage is potentially the smiliest man to come out of Minnesota: Dylan Mattheisen. The guitarist and singer of Tiny Moving Parts, is an enthralling ball of energy. The combination of fancy fingerwork on his fretboard, a plethora of zany facial expressions, alongside an almighty vocal range – he’s a true star. It does not feel overpowering, or that his bandmates are outshined by him by any means. They all work together in tandem, doing their jobs to make something that is pretty spectacular to watch. When the trio play a range of songs from their previous releases, the post-hardcore elements of the band come out in full force. The energy feeds from the stage to the audience, and many circle pits are formed throughout, which only seem to get bigger and bigger as time goes on – inspired by songs like Birdhouse, and Warm Hand Splash.

Tiny Moving Parts by Nathan Matheson

By the time five-piece Knuckle Puck get on stage, the vibe in the room is electric and everyone there is adequately hyped up after Tiny Moving Parts exit and the stage begins to get set up for the Chicago band. Like you would expect, it doesn’t take long for the whole crowd to get moving to the pop punk tunes that they have seemed to have gotten down to a fine art.  As a response to the audience’s noise, frontman Joe Taylor, retorts: “Yo, you guys are loud as fuck!” while toasting a red plastic cup to the audience.

It feels a lot, in some ways, like an American house party. Not a frat party, because the guys here aren’t being creeps. More of a get together of young, awkward kids who just want to drink, have a good time and listen to some angsty pop-punk as a form of catharsis for whatever is going on in their life. So maybe like a house show? I don’t know — I was born in Maryhill.

There are notable cracks in sound quality, and it’s not entirely clear what the issue is, but the band carry on and continue to smash out banger after banger – much to the crowd’s delight. During one song, one of the band members jokes about how everyone should get down for a part so that they can jump up when it kicks in. A few enthused individuals did so right away, and then a mexican wave effect occurred and the majority of the venue was crouched down, ready to jump up – posi pop-punk style.

One particular highlights of the evening comes when two older songs from their pre-album released EPs are played – And Why Would You Care? and No Good, back to back. The teenage angst feelings are still palpable in both the band and the room itself, making it slightly voyeuristic watching if you weren’t in on it yourself. It felt like you were the creepy nerd at the house party, awkwardly standing by a keg stand, hoping that the cool pop-punk kids would talk to you; while they sit around eating pizza.

That’s the thing about pop-punk I’ve always found though, it doesn’t seem to be cliquey. It accepts all of the outcasts who unashamedly enjoy music that they like, mostly by frustrated 20 something white males from midwestern American states. There’s something unifying about that feeling though – of not being understood, of not feeling like you belong in your environment. I believe that to be something universal and extents outwith the midwestern states, then when it reaches the shores of Britain, there will be kids who grow up here who feel disillusioned by their surroundings and they’d want for nothing more to be hanging out, at the mall, with their friends. Given we have more parks and it’s easier to binge drink in them, that’s sometimes the route we might have chosen instead.

Someone, at one point in the set, requests Untitled, the fan favourite from the Copaetic album. The response to this in the form of singing the lyrics right back with vigour is a little overwhelming, because you can sense in the room how much this song must mean to so many people. The lyrics chronicle a facade strength in the face of heartbreak: “You tore me down” // “I’ll tell you everything is copacetic.”

Copacetic, if like me, you don’t know what it means, according to Google means that “everything is in excellent order.” It feels fitting that tonight, after leaving the gig – it felt exactly like that.

Everything was copacetic.


Words by Alisa Wylie (@alisawwrites)

Photos by Nathan Matheson (@Nathan_Matheson)