Grayscale’s “The Umbra Tour” 2021 ft Young Culture, girlfriends and Cemetery Sun

Pop punk. One of the most up-for-interpretation genres. You have a million pop punk bands, and not one of them will ever sound the same. It’s a genre that fits a wide definition, which makes so called ‘ pop punk ‘ shows a wonderful mixed basket of bands. Grayscale’s Umbra tour gave a show that had something for everyone. I made my way to Easton, PA, for one of the most amazing nights I’ve had in a long time.

I was immediately given an amazing welcome by the band Young Culture. Not only were they outstanding people, who were appreciative of every fan and photographer alike, but their music was some of the best I have heard in years. Their set was, in the best way, a throwback for me. I remember the Golden Era of pop punk bands from 2015-2017. Young Culture’s amazing sound fits right in with the likes of Neck Deep, The Story So Far, and State Champs. The entire band appeared to be having the time of their life, which helped the crowd get rowdy. The entire building danced, laughed, and sang along together. Good vibes are an understatement when it comes to Young Culture. 

Cemetery Sun was this beautiful experience that reminds me of bands like Badflower and Nothing, Nowhere. While it wasn’t exactly music to crowdsurf to, the entire crowd was mesmerized by this unique take on the genre. Along with the music getting the crowd ready for the night, every member of the band was a fantastic performer. This usually isn’t my type of band, but I was blown away by the dedication to their set, and fans. A friend I attended the show with was a first time listener, and he had nothing but good things to say. “ These are my favorite types of bands, and to be able to see one reach out to a broader audience was very exciting to me.”

My best way of describing the band Girlfriends is as if the most famous people you knew made music. Their sound is big, exciting, and sounds familiar even if you haven’t heard it. They blended a chart topping pop sound with a punk edge that makes the most mainstream and obscure listeners alike happy. Once again, a band full of unbelievably kind people. That’s the one thing I can stress about this tour. Every single artist on it is grateful, kind, and willing to connect with other people. It’s refreshing to see these connections after being away from each other for so long. 

The last time I had seen Grayscale before 2021 was way back when in 2017. Adornment was one of my favorite albums of all time, and they solidified themselves as one of my favorite bands with the release of Nella Vita. Umbra was a release I had looked forward to since they announced it, and it was everything I wanted. With emotional, beautiful composition, and vibe you can’t help but dance to, Umbra is easily my album of the year. I was excited to see how that translated to a live show, and I was not let down. For a band who’s music isn’t exactly rowdy, Grayscale can move a crowd like no one I’ve ever see. Crowdsurfers we’re flying through the air during songs I wouldn’t think would be appropriate, but it all made sense in the end. The entire band sounds almost as perfect as they do on record while playing live. I cannot stress Colin Walsh’s vocal talent enough, but it was beyond perfect during a live show. They played their entire new album in full, playing their most popular older hits as the encore. They were an absolute delight to talk to after the show, and absolutely one of my favorite bands I’ve ever taken photos of. 

Every band on this bill is incredible, and they show their passion every night when they play.

Photos + review by Emily Sulkowski

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