NEPA Scene Staff

Pop Pumpkin Festival kicks off inaugural event on Halloween at Stage West in Scranton

Pop Pumpkin Festival kicks off inaugural event on Halloween at Stage West in Scranton
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From a press release:

Pop punk fans can look forward to a scary good show this Halloween when touring bands Assuming We Survive and We Were Sharks bring their North American tour with Never Loved to Stage West in Scranton on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Local organizers Meat and Potato Entertainment have turned this concert into a festive mini-festival featuring Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pop punk/alternative rock acts The Maguas, Stay Loud, BrighterDays, and New York singer/songwriter Chucky Hugh for only $12. Plans are already in the works to turn this “Pop Pumpkin Festival” into an annual event.

Doors at Stage West (301 N. Main Ave., Scranton) open at 6:30 p.m., and the 21+ show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite and going fast.

Rock ‘n’ roll subculture is uniquely exciting in terms of the level of crowd participation, interactivity, and accessibility present at most shows. From the early days of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, clear through to the Descendents and NOFX, the most passionate of players work hard to destroy the perceived boundary between the audiences and the band. “Hey, we’re just fans, too. You could be us.”

Southern California rockers Assuming We Survive take this ethos and amplify it times infinity, barreling headfirst into each and every aspect of their existence with collective energy and unbridled optimism. Singer Adrian Estrella, armed with unmistakable charisma and good cheer, will take a literal surfboard into the crowd, riding the physical and metaphorical wave of enthusiasm and electricity present at every single AWS show.

The band’s frontman is united in his goodwill and welcoming vibe with his musical cohorts and fellow Inland Empire, California mainstays: guitarist Phil Adams, guitarist Johnny Silva, and drummer Kris Pasos. Assuming We Survive has generated steady steam and garnered accolades for nearly a decade, but in recent years, AWS has truly come into their own as their dedicated approach spreads their sound across the globe, amassing an army of smiling supporters eager to give the band their all.

It’s a wave of momentum and positivity that has catapulted Assuming We Survive into the Top 50 on the New Artist charts and, more importantly, into the hearts and minds of a burgeoning crew of like-minded supporters and believers, from the kids who share their love for the band on social media to the band’s contemporaries.

“All Roads Lead Home,” the band’s debut full-length, was a collection of inspiring jams running the gamut from pop punk to easycore, with aggressive energy befitting of the more extreme sides of the underground scene and soaring melodies with unapologetic hooks, catchier than most Top 40 rock radio.

Assuming We Survive songs are a collective testament to the band’s creative diversity, dense musical influences, and willingness to pour themselves into their music. Their songs are earnestly heartfelt. AWS is both motivated and motivating.

AWS has toured with such bands as Falling in Reverse, Attila, Atreyu, and Sum 41, to name a few, while making the rounds on festival lineups like Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, So What?! Music Festival, Self-Help Festival, and Monster’s Aftershock, where they’ve played alongside bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Pierce the Veil, Sleeping with Sirens, Good Charlotte, and Real Friends. Assuming We Survive isn’t satisfied until every person in the house is energized, happy, and empowered.

With their last release, “Chapters,” the band went into the studio with producer Tyler Smyth (Danger Kids, Bless the Fall, Falling in Reverse) with the mentality of making a record that would “break the mold,” so to speak.

Now, with their recent signing to InVogue Records and new single, “Too Close,” Assuming We Survive aims to continue to energize the whole world, one show at a time, channeling energy back and forth with every single fan.

The We Were Sharks story is one of tenacity and passion, being told with catchy vocal hooks and crunchy guitar riffs. Since 2011, these Canadians have been dedicating their lives to pumping out tunes and tearing apart highways. With a recently solidified six-man lineup, We Were Sharks are poised to pop.

After their debut LP release, “Highways,” in 2012, the band started gaining national notoriety and laid the foundations of a loyal fan base, reinforced by their most accomplished work to date, 2015’s “Not a Chance” EP, which was released through Panic State Records. The record’s single “Bridge Burner” quickly amassed over 1,000,000 plays on Spotify.

Based in Ottawa and collecting members from the far reaches of Eastern Canada, We Were Sharks continue to wield the full force of Canadian alternative music. Through a penchant for blending melodic harmony with powerful dissonance, they continue to produce infectious music. Even though these boys already have a lot of mileage under their belts, their book is far from written.

They have shared the stage with State Champs, The Wonder Years, Beartooth, Andrew W.K., and many others. Victory Records signed the band in 2017 and released their latest album, “Lost Touch,” on Feb. 23, 2018.