Pop punk is at an interesting junction. With many prominent bands in the scene pushing past the genre’s boundaries in favor of a different sound, the Vans Warped Tour heading out for its last run this summer, and incrimiating allegations towards certain figureheads in the scene, Man Overboard’s “Defend Pop-Punk” shirts are needed now more than ever. This isn’t to say that it’s completely gone dark; Colorado’s own Rain In July are keeping pop punk alive and pulling no punches in the process.
The band played a headlining show at the Marquis Theater in Denver last weekend, still fresh off the release of their 2017 debut EP Trying To Breathe. With support from the hard-hitting 1000 Miles of Fire and the pop-sensible, harmony-laden hooks of Silver & Gold, the night brought me back to pop-punk shows I used to go to as a teenager, maintaining all the heartfelt and fun energy that made growing up in the scene feel so special.
Silver & Gold kicked off the night, with their slick vocal harmonies adding a hooky brightness to their diverse sound that falls somewhere between pop-punk and indie-rock. 1000 Miles of Fire took things up a notch with their unmistakable energy and hardcore-influenced sound, which struck a balance between aggressive and melodic.
Rain In July played most of their debut EP, along with “Beachside,” a new song, and some covers of classic pop-punk staples. Standout songs from their EP like the bombastic “Knockout” and effortlessly nostalgic “Last September” were immediately met with cheers and a room full of people that knew all the words. In addition to their originals, the band’s version of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ infectious classic “Facedown” also lit up the room. Despite being a 12- year-old song, the whole crowd sang in unison to it’s memorable hooks.
The band’s energy onstage was contagious, as frontman Griffin Tobey darted around onstage and passionately beckoned to the crowd with a seemingly endless amount of energy. Their two guitar players Yuta Young and Reilly Ng both maintained a commanding yet melodic sound, while Ethan Knight’s tasteful yet thundering drumming held it all together.
Through their balance of strongly written and performed originals and well-placed covers, Rain In July showcased what they do best: they make you appreciate the inherent nostalgia of pop-punk, while also making it feel fresh and new.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.