Story of the Year @ Capitol, Perth (17/06/10)

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After missing the West Coast in 2008, Story of the Year hit Capitol on the last leg of their 2010 Australian tour with Saosin and Blessthefall. Eager Perth punters lined up an hour before doors opened to gain that barrier position they would brace throughout the night. Bring on bruised arms and ribs the next morning, they’ll know every moment was worth it.

Blessthefall was the heaviest of the three bands, and delivered an impeccable performance that would shape the power and enthusiasm of the whole night. Rumour was that they changed their intro especially for this gig and although they were laughing and mucking around the energy was there and Beau Bokan engaged the crowd from the moment he stepped on stage. As they started playing he was already on the barrier screaming the lyrics to the crowd which had no shortage of fans screaming back intensely. Bokan urged people to make it to the stage and hi-five him in return for free Story of the Year t-shirts which led to a sea of flying bodies prompting vehemence from security, and frenzy in the crowd.

The crowd lay in wait for Saosin, confirming that they weren’t just there for the headliners. Unfortunately Cove Reber’s vocals were hardly heard throughout the first song, Lost Symphonies but were turned up and as powerful as ever for the heart-reaching, crowd pleasing, Voices.

The band weren’t as unified as they have been in the past, bassist Chris Sorenson and Reber only occasionally interacted and drummer Alex Rodriguez was left in his own world. Most entertaining were Beau Burchell and Justin Shekoski reflecting Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, putting on their own show by constantly playing with their legs crossed over each other, sitting on the drumming stand and flinging their guitars around, showing their pure enjoyment of being on stage.

Sorenson announced to the audience: “You will hear two of the greatest songs in the world tonight. One is Until the Day I Die (Story of the Year) and the other is You’re Not Alone.” The audience started cheering as Saosin began what was their best performance of the night. Reber’s vocals soared throughout the venue reaching every nook and cranny straight to punters as they sang back every expressive lyric. Refusing to leave the stage with a comical repeated performance wrapped up an impressive set that left fans well and truly ready for what was to come next.

You could feel anticipation growing in the air as Capitol filled up, but the lights changed and screams really began when Story Of the Year appeared on stage to a crowd bursting with excitement. They began with The Children Sing, an eerie new song which saw crowd surfers already bumping over heads to the stage.

The tour was meant to promote their latest record, The Constant, but they wisely chose to please their fans by blessing their ears with a set that consisted of the last four quick-paced, punk-driven, anathematic albums. The cohesiveness of the band was something all others should aspire to. They switched places and jumped around with ease for And the Hero Will Drown, bringing a vivid yet far from choreographed performance.

There’s a certain knack to interacting with an audience but not bore them with babble and to inspiring and energising a moshpit. Frontman Dan Marsala has the skill. Not only did he ask the audience what they wanted to hear but he was genuinely impressed by the circle pit effort. As Our Time is Now began, the mosh spread all the way back to the doors that held it in. The Ghost of You brought the smell of sweat to the air and Anthem of Our Dying Day was dedicated to the fans who have been with them for the past seven years.

Story of the Year are known for their stage presence and acrobatic manoeuvres that turn the night from being any old punk show to a jaw-dropping, stimulating experience. As In the Shadows began, they truly lived up to their reputation, and even on the small Capitol stage each member managed to flip sideways whilst Saosin’s Shekoski took over on guitar so Ryan Phillips could backflip for the crowd who were caught up in the high-intensity performance. Breaking up the best part of the night was a prank pulled by one of the bands, where different music suddenly burst through the speakers. Classy as always, Marsala continued singing and laughed it off afterwards closing what was a hectic yet fun-filled tour.

Until the Day I Die was, as Sorenson predicted, one of the highlights of the night. Power chords and catchy lyrics had the fifteen-year-old emo in everyone screaming out with passion. Sorenson came bursting back on to the stage and practically stole Adam Russell’s bass to play what’s assumed to be one of his favourite songs.

Known for leaving with no encore, Perth patrons were in for a treat as they returned to the screaming fans to play an old favourite, Stereo and, like Saosin, refused to leave the stage repeating themselves over and over, which the crowd thought was hilarious. Another memorable performance over, with the band promising to return sooner rather than later.

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