Live review... The Story So Far

There were many firsts for myself tonight, but I’m sure for all of those that had bought a ticket it was certainly not the first time seeing The Story So Far who are currently touring the UK in support of their self-titled album which came out earlier this year. With some great support for the show tonight coming from Drug Church & Turnstile, I’m sure everyone was excited including me as I was especially pumped to see Turnstile for the first time after their new album Nonstop Feeling was so critically acclaimed.

The turnout for Drug Church when they started playing was very good considering they were first on and perhaps not known by a lot of the crowd. Especially because of how different their style is to Turnstile & The Story So Far; being more cerebral with their lyrics and melody. Patrick Kindlon is continuously animated and wide eyed on stage, with the band seamlessly erupting into a furious tempo and then settling back down into a grungier groove. My personal highlight of their set was certainly ‘But Does It Work’.

My most anticipated band of the night, Turnstile, begins their set and my main reaction is how the atmosphere wasn’t as I expected. This was through no fault of the band. I expected the energy from the band to be reciprocated by the crowd but it wasn’t. I think if anything, the venue did a disservice to Turnstile. I don’t want to make this article about venues with barriers but some bands just don’t work with a gulf between their fans and the stage. I expected the security to be flooded with crowd surfers and people trying to grab the mic from Brendan Yates during their set but only a few tried. Credit is still due to Turnstile as I enjoyed their set but it didn’t reach the imaginary bar I had set them after so much hype.

I was lucky enough to see The Story So Far headline at the Camden Underworld perhaps two years ago and it was the perfect pop punk show. Stage diving galore. Tonight was a mellower affair which I still very much enjoyed, particularly after they played ‘Clairvoyant’ which as sad as it may sound, did give me goose bumps. When I see a band play at a big venue like KOKO, I expect it to be overflowing with noise. What I mean by that is I want to hear and see the people in the crowd screaming their hearts out along with the band, words and lyrics that mean so much to the band and their fans being sung in unison. I wasn’t disappointed. I was happier to see more crowd participation during this set, a barrage of limbs flailing over the barrier towards the stage as Parker Cannon continued to encourage people to crowd surf. I even ended up chanting along to songs like ‘Roam’ and ‘Things I Can’t Change’ which must of meant I had a thoroughly enjoyable night in the end.

It’s good to see bands like those that played tonight getting a bigger shot and long may it continue. But no barriers please.

Words and photo by Ryan Dalton Rodrigues for Bad Luck.