Concert Review

Review for The Story So Far at Cat’s Cradle 11/12/15

For many people in the pop-punk/emo scene, this line-up could arguably be considered the line-up of the year. Turnover released an album that everybody has been flocking to since its release. They are gaining momentum more and more with every tour they are on. Basement is a scene favorite that just came off of hiatus and are touring for their first time in 3 years. Then there’s the Story So Far, quite possibly the biggest band in the new wave of pop-punk.

Coming into this show, I was most excited to see Turnover, as they released my favorite album of the year, Peripheral Vision. Starting the show off, they did not disappoint. Playing many of the strongest cuts from Peripheral Vision with ease and near perfection. Austin Getz, lead singer and guitarist sounded on par with his on-record performance. The crowd pleasantly swayed along to the breezy guitars and hazy vocals singing along every word. This was the most calm the crowd was all night. Turnover even included what I believe to be was a new song. The crowd pepped up when they closed with lead single “Cutting My Fingers Off”, a perfect closer ripe for sing-alongs. Out of the 3 times I have seen Turnover this year, this was by far the best set. I am eagerly awaiting a headlining tour from this band after opening for so many great bands.

Second band of the night could have easily headlined the show and that is the British band, Basement. From the moment they hit the stage, the crowd went wild singing along to “Whole” and the energy hardly stopped as they played a variety of hits from their 2 full length albums, 7 inch, and a new song from their upcoming album, Promise Everything, to which kids were even singing along. Throughout the set, lead singer Andrew Fisher danced throughout the night in quite the delightful way. It wasn’t “Hotline Bling” level dancing but it was damn close. The band closed the set out with the cathartic song “Covet” to great crowd participation. A lot of bands have been going on hiatus lately and Basement acts as the perfect model for why a band might go on hiatus. Ever since the hiatus started, Basement has just grown exponentially in style and are at a peak. It appears that they are going to continue this ascent to scene favorite with their new album due in early 2016 on Run For Cover Records.

After an intermission filled with the hot hip-hop songs of today, The Story So Far took the stage to an ever eager audience. The crowd immediately pushed forward with fingers pointing straight at lead singer Parker Cannon. The band ripped through “Nerve” off the new album and called for a circle pit during “The Glass”. The crowd was highly responsive with tons of crowd surfing and mosh antics. Cannon ate it up expressing his pleasure with how fun the crowd was. Before the show, I had always heard The Story So Far lacked any stage presence or charisma, but this show proved otherwise, at least Parker Cannon definitely was energetic. As a person who got into this band when they first came out, the setlist definitely left a lot to desire skipping out on many older hits. However, I can’t really complain as they are psyched on their new material and would naturally play those songs. Overall, it was a strong show from each band proving that these bands are the cream of the crop for this scene.

As I grow older, I start to see the pop-punk scene in a new light, a more critical light. Much of pop-punk is devoted to the idea of stage dives and crowd surfing and I understand the appeal. When I was a younger, more spry lad, I was up there jumping on peoples backs and stage diving. It was fun, there’s no denying that, but it creates a place that isn’t safe for everybody. I’m not calling for the stoppage of having fun, but more for a consideration when it comes to crowd surfing. It is a problematic thing that happens at these shows filled with young attendees that could very well get hurt by the 180 pound guy flipping all over the people beneath him, just so he can have fun or sing along on top of everybody. I would like to see more bands take a stand against it like Joyce Manor. It might be an unpopular move to speak out against it, but to ensure a safer scene for all should be of the utmost importance, not just the enjoyment of a few.