Photographs by Neil Van

The annual two day festival present by Embrace, Stay Warm Fest hit Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall for its second year. Est. 2015 by original pop punkers, Silverstein, who headlined last year’s show as well, becomes headliners at this year’s show. On the bill this year was Rarity, Coldfront, Code Orange, Citizen, American Nightmare and, Silverstein.

The night started off with the crowd being informed about Code Orange’s cancellation, which changed the set times of the night. Many fans expressed their disappointment via Twitter and Facebook on the event page accounts. Nevertheless, fans were excited for the night as Rarity took stage first. Sharing the same label as headliners, Silverstein, the Hamilton pop punk band opened up the show with catchy riffs. A really cool song of the night during their set was “Stranger” a song off their latest record; I Couldn’t Be Weaker (2016). The band has done so well in the pop punk scene, as they’ve only been together for 4 years, with a comparable sound to, Cali natives, The Story So Far.

During a short intermission, Coldfront took stage. Hailing from London, Ontario, The ‘905’ band kept the flow of pop punk. My love for pop punk definitely enlightened when I heard their song “Scratch the Surface” off their digital album, Some Things Never Change (2014) as well as a recent single “Molly Blooms” off their ep, This Where They Found You (2016).

While on their own separate tour, Ohio natives, Citizen hailed to stage. Gritty guitar chords paced through the venue. Youth (2013), their most successful album and an album that completely cached into tasted back when it released, seemed extra special to hear that night. Their latest album, Everybody is going to Heaven (2015) kept fans swaying and excited for the band. Concluding their set as they told the audience that the next time they would be back in Toronto, they would have a newer album. Which I’m extremely excited for. “The Night I Drove Home” closed their set, as the band hurried off of the stage to hit the road.

American Nightmare, formally known as “Give up the Ghost”, a hardcore punk band from Boston, took stage. Probably the oldest band, as the band first formed in ’98 with different lineups during their active years and eventually leading up to their breakup in 2004. In 2011, the band announced their reunion, as part, they took part of this year’s Danforth festival. Strictly and authentically punk, the band broke from the pop punk themes the night had held. Watching younger fans, confused as older punk fans began to mosh and scream the lyrics back to lead singer, Welsey Eisold. A great change to the night’s lineup.

As anticipating fans pushed themselves closer to the stage as headliners, Silverstein, the long waited band of the night rocked the stage. Beginning their set off with oldies, fans began to jump and scream in elation. Their set lingered with bromance, I mean legit bromance, as bass player, Billy Hamilton and lead guitarist Paul Rosseau exchanged some smooshes. A variety of their songs were played which gather older and new fans alike, including their cult favorite, “My Heroin” off their 2005 sophomore album, Discovering The Waterfront.

The end of day one finished with emo hearts alike leaving the show drenched and probably craving pizza.