Mom Jeans, Origami Angel and friends put on a night of pop punk splendor

The stage at the Mom Jeans show is pictued. Courtesy Geoff Tobia

On Nov. 19, four bands got together to perform a wonderful display of pop punk and emo rock at The Palladium in Worcester, Mass. Mom Jeans served as the headlining band for the tour, with the support of Origami Angel, Save Face and Pool Kids. The venue was jam-packed from the start, with the bottom-level General Admission filling up completely before the opening acts began, and with merch lines nearly out the door.

The show began with Pool Kids, and it shouldn’t have begun any other way. The four-piece band brought an incredible energy to the crowd with entertaining songs and a great stage presence. Out of all the bands to perform, Pool Kids engaged with the audience the most, explaining their personal stories and getting everyone hyped for the rest of the show. The band members emphasized a message to any fan that wants to perform and tour just like them: just get it started. Guitarist and lead vocalist Christine Goodwyne told the audience that the band started learning how to play instruments through YouTube tutorials, and that’s all it takes to start a band. The band’s set was incredible. Goodwyne described her band’s music with her personal favorite motto: “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to Pool Kids shows,” which was met with an eruption of cheers from all tiers of the venue.

Following Pool Kids was Save Face, a four-piece band with two supporting members, that immediately caught the eyes of concert-goers with their matching red jumpsuits. The song “Sharpen Your Teeth” was the first song that opened up mosh pits in the bottom-level GA area. The energy in that part of the venue was mirrored on stage, with lead singer Tyler Povanda wielding his 6-foot-tall mic-stand as a sword, swinging it around the stage. During his set, Povanda described that the band’s new album, “Another Kill For The Highlight Reel,” is all about “reclaiming power you lost” and “being unapologetic to yourself.” Save Face’s sound is nothing unfamiliar to the typical emo sound that’s been around for decades, but the band’s on-stage performance had lots of character unique to its six performers.

Origami Angel has grown some sort of a cult following over the past few years due to the underground success of its 2019 record, “Somewhere City.” The DC-based duo consists of guitarist and vocalist Ryland Heagy and drummer Pat Doherty. Their fan base continues to grow because of their unique sound, which takes the palette of emo rock and adds elements of pop, metal and even hip-hop into their soundscape. Their newest album release “Gami Gang” capitalizes even more on this notion, which throws in elements of folk, trap and some bossa nova for good measure.

The band kicked off its set by playing the first four songs of “Gami Gang,” which immediately started the mosh pits and head banging once again. This is also when an influx of crowd surfing began and throughout the entire set, there was at least one person being hoisted up by other members in the bottom-level audience. One amusing part of the set was watching hard-working venue members collect crowd-surfers before they made their way to the stage, and watching them run off along the side of the venue with a giant grin on their face as they made their way back into the mosh pits. Origami Angel then performed “Escape Rope” and “The Title Track,” both songs from “Somewhere City” (2019). After that was “Neutrogena Spektor,” and during the song’s metal outro, the largest mosh pit of the night formed as Ryland screamed the lyrics “It doesn’t matter to me/ No, it doesn’t matter to me.” Another special moment came during “Caught in the Moment,” where a sea of phone flashlights began waving back and forth, still somehow supporting those who wanted to crowd surf.

Before Mom Jeans began, the crowd had another moment of collective excitement as the entire crowd sang three songs together that came through the venue’s speakers: “Chop Suey” (2001) by System of a Down, “Mr. Brightside” (2003) by The Killers and “In the End” (2001) by Linkin Park. Then Mom Jeans came on, with the lead Eric Butler and rhythm guitarist Bart Thompson clad in dark short shorts and colored tees. The crowd began to sing along during “*Sobs Quietly*” (2016) as Eric Butler sang, “Baby I’m sorry/ Things didn’t work out the way that I planned.” The band also tried out a new song “Crybaby (On the Phone),” which was released eight days before the concert, and the song’s tempo change raised everyone’s energy tenfold. With yet another sea of mosh pits and crowd surfers, the band played classics like “Edward 40hands” (2016) and “Pickle Bart”(2016). Before the band’s most famous song, “Death Cup” (2016), Eric suggested to the crowd, “Get your phones out now, I promise you’ll thank me later.” A roar of approval and thanks came as soon as the guys played the opening riff.

To represent the sentiment of concert-goers that night, an eager fan toward the end of the show said it well: “Do it again, do it all again, the whole thing!”