Live Review: The Story So Far - O2 Kentish Town Forum, London 06/10/2018
The Story So Far started off as a pop punk band around 2007 and released their first studio album ‘Under Soil and Dirt’ in 2011 which brought them much of their current popularity, and really set them off as pioneers within the pop punk scene. Since the release of this album, the band have had many ups and downs just like everyone experiences with rising fame, although Parker Cannon, lead vocalist, found the bad times hard to deal with. Facing backlash over some of his past actions pushed the singer to take a step back and the band took a long break from really creating anything. However, this year they’ve made a huge comeback in just a short few months. After the release of ‘Proper Dose’ last month, fans have discovered a new found love for the boys, and we managed to catch their comeback to the UK at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London.
The first band to support The Story So Far on this evening was All Get Out; an American indie-rock band who also released their first album around the same time as Under Soil and Dirt. This album, titled ‘The Season’, may be one of their most popular releases to date and is full of energy and aggression. The last full length release from the band came in 2016, but the past two months has seen three single releases, including most recent: ‘God Damn’, before the full release of ‘No Bouquet’ next month. Playing songs such as ‘However Long’, the band gave the crowd a sneak peak of what’s to come from the album before it’s official release, but it felt as though they could’ve maybe delivered more. 90% of the set was filled with older classics such as ‘Lucky Bastard’ and ‘Room To Talk’, before ending with ‘The Season’. Whilst the band delivered energy throughout most of their set, the same sadly couldn’t be said for the crowd who didn’t seem to react much at all to them on stage. Whilst there was a big crowd gathered and paying attention, and there were a few people closer to the front singing a long; for the most part it felt as though for most people, this was their first experience of the bands music.
Next on stage before the pop-punk headliners was emo-rock band Citizen, who deliver a perfect balance of grung and mellow vibes to lead up to The Story So Far, who have recently found a much more laid back tone to their music. Starting with ‘Roam The Room’ from their debut album ‘Youth’, fans instantly crowded together at the front of the room shouting every lyric at the stage, hands in the air, feet in the air, and rolling over the barrier and into the security guards arms. Citizen are one of those bands that you know will never disappoint. Their music is a unique mix of grunge, emo and punk all rolled into one, and their aggressive vocals and punchy instrumentals are always sure to get crowds going hard. This being said, they were still able to pull themselves back slightly with songs such as ‘Sleep’, which is a lot more stripped back for the most part, whilst of course still building up to something a little more edgy and raw as the song progresses.
The band also included newer songs such as ‘Jet’, ‘In The Middle Of It All’ and ‘Ugly Luck’ from their album ‘As You Please’ that was released almost exactly a year ago on the day of the show. However, the set felt almost too short despite being 35 minutes long, and left the crowd wanting more.
As The Story So Far hit the stage, it was a pleasure to see huge smiles on every band members’ faces. Looking at the band as they walked on, they looked like they were genuinely happy to be back. It looked as though they’d all regained their passion for their music and were excited to just be back in a place where they love what they have created for themselves. The crowd made sure the band kept their passion as they all went crazy from the get go to ‘Nerve’, which instantly gives us the sound and energy we’ve grown to love from the band.
Playing a mix of old and new songs, the whole set was very well balanced with ups and downs the whole way through. Moving from ‘Take Me As You Please’; a much softer song from their recently released album, to ‘Empty Space’ from 2013’s ‘What You Don’t See’, we saw a huge change in moods. This change worked so well in providing a well deserved break at the end of the set, before picking the energy back up for the first finale of the night. Of course the crowd wanted more after they finished on such an impactful song though, and they came back on stage for a two song encore with ‘Quicksand’; maintaining the upbeat vibe, and ending beautifully with ‘Clairvoyant’ which completely softened the mood again. The whole night left the crowd insanely sweaty, extremely grateful, and overwhelmingly happy about the bands comeback. Circle pits were had, people were crowd surfing practically every minute, and you wouldn’t believe the band ever even took a back seat for a while. It’s just as though The Story So Far had never even gone, and every single fan, new and old, were right there waiting for them, bringing back all their teen angst with them.
Words and Photography by Hayley Fearnley