Neck Deep at The Marquee Theatre in Tempe, AZ

Cans were thrown, crowds were surfed, and the energy – both on stage and off – was electric at The Marquee Theatre in Arizona for Neck Deep.

Hailing from Wales, Neck Deep formed in 2012 and is nowhere near finished rocking yet. This headlining tour is in support of their latest album, Neck Deep, which was released on January 19th. Current members of the band include Ben Barlow on lead vocals, Matt West on rhythm guitar, Sam Bowden on lead guitar, Seb Barlow on bass, and newest member, Matt Powles on drums.

From the start, it was clear the crowd was here to rock and that they did. As Neck Deep took to the stage, the lull of waiting dissipated quickly, and the crowd geared up for their next bout of excitement. They all huddled together, respectfully pushing as close as they could to the stage, despite the barricade.

The boys came out swinging, starting with a hit from their newest album, “Dumbstruck Dumbf**k.” The crowd screamed the lyrics, many participating in a mosh pit and even crowd surfing. Despite the album being out for less than two weeks, many of the diehard fans at the barricade knew all the words. 

Spanning over ten years, Neck Deep knew they’d have to play some older songs for their day-one fans. The setlist included songs from all five of the studio albums as well as a few non-album singles, like “She’s a God,” during which Barlow demanded the mosh pit be all females. The energy in the pit could only be described as joyful chaos and that energy carried onto the stage. Barlow, West, and Bowden were constantly moving on stage. They were spinning, jumping, and running from one end of the stage to the other. There was never a dull moment watching them. Even with all the fun the band was having, every song sounded amazing. The vocals were perfect and combined with the instruments beautifully. A band doesn’t stay around as long as Neck Deep has without talent and devoted fans and that was beautifully on display at this show.

Many times throughout the show, Barlow interacted with fans. He’d crack a joke about his accent, respond to cheers, and even crawled into the audience and let a crowd-surfing fan help him sing the words of “Heartbreak of the Century.” He also took a heartfelt moment with the crowd, telling them that “Neck Deep saved [his] life,” and he was glad the music they make is so important to so many people. There was a deep connection with the audience and the fun moments felt even more meaningful being shared amongst everyone. 

It was a beautiful show. Neck Deep’s stage presence was engaging and a spectacle to watch. The crowd was full of joy, jumping and dancing to every song. There was never a dull moment.

Memories from this show are going to last fans a lifetime.

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About Madison Haynie 1 Article
Born with no musical ability, Madison found a love in live music photography. Capturing the energy of a good show is one of her favorite things. When she isn't holding a camera, you can probably find her holding an iced latte.