In terms of social media hype before tonight’s event, it’s noted that significant buzz has been circulating around the return of The Story So Far and Turnstile to these parts however Drug Church have been absent from such excitement.
Originally a side project of Patrick Kindlon of Self Defense Family, the No Sleep Records signees hail from Albany, New York and live create visceral hardcore punk. In terms of a live performance, Patrick himself delivers a performance not too far removed from Deafheaven frontman George Clarke in terms of using his arms in a conductor of the masses sense and a removed nature during songs. Musically, the band fail to truly engage the growing audience this evening however I would argue that this is due to a lack of recognition than a lack of talent.
It’s not until Turnstile take to the stage a few minutes later that things really step up a gear. Opening with ‘7’ and ‘Keep It Moving’ from 2013’s Step 2 Rhythm, the band mixes American hardcore with groove laden riffs that have the ability to send crowds absolutely insane. And that’s sure as hell what they do tonight. With energy being brought by both vocalist Brendan Yates and bassist Franz Lyons, it’s genuinely a shame that a barrier is in place tonight as Turnstile’s performance would benefit from the removal of a barrier between fan and artist. That being said, those gracing the pit certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. With the majority of material being from this year’s ‘Nonstop Feeling’ it certainly felt like tonight was for Turnstile as much as it was for The Story So Far.
The Story So Far are arguably one of the biggest pop punk bands in the current scene, releasing their debut record ‘Under Soil & Dirt’ in 2011 followed by ‘What You Don’t See’ in 2013. This tour is in promotion of their third full length self titled record. And surprisingly tonight, these tracks get a greater reaction than some of the older tracks with tracks such as ‘Solo’ and ‘Heavy Gloom’ being very warmly received.
In terms of set list, the band manoeuvre their way through all three releases opening with ‘Empty Space’, ‘Nerve’ and ‘Things I Can’t Change’ before taking the audience through a perfectly chosen set of songs. In terms of performance, there’s little communication or interaction in between songs, but why should there be when the songs are this good. Lead vocalist Parker Cannon does take a moment to dedicate a song to the nurse clad bar-maids but apart from that it’s a pretty muted affair.
The inclusion of acoustic track ‘Clairvoyant’ takes the tempo down for a moment, but not the passion. The band finish the set with ‘Quicksand’, ‘Framework’ and ‘Roam’ before returning for a final encore of ‘High Regard’. It’s a testament to the band to have fans as passionate about these songs as the audience demonstrates tonight, and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Review: Dan Earl
Photographs: Chris Bowley