It’s been a turbulent few years for The Story So Far, who at one point didn’t think they would be continuing as a band. There were substance abuse issues, which are heavily referenced to in their new record ‘Proper Dose’, criticism from peers, and something that’s become rather toxic these days: social media.
A couple of years away from touring and making music was just what the band needed it seems. ‘Proper Dose’ was released this year to rave reviews from critics and fans alike. A change in direction gave the band a new lease of life it seems, and less than a month after its release the band are back on the road and over in the UK and Europe.
Opening proceedings in Bristol tonight are South Carolina quartet All Get Out , whose brand of new era emo goes down an absolute treat. Stage presence is almost non-existent, which is usually a hindrance, but in this case it adds a bit of charm to the band’s persona. Rallying through their set there are a few technical hiccups, but overall it’s a solid set that has definitely won over a plethora of new fans.
The next band Citizen  don’t really need an introduction, mainly for the fact that their backdrop is a big black screen with “CITIZEN FROM TOLEDO OHIO, THAT’S WHO” written on it. Opening with ‘Roam The Room’, the rooms explodes with the first (of many) frenzy of crowd surfers of the evening. Smashing through a set consisting of mainly old fan favourites and new singles, Citizen sure know how to pick a set list that get a crowd involved. ‘The Night I Drove Alone’ provides a cathartic sing-along while set closer ‘Jet’ gets the blood pumping and the crowd jumping.
Following on from Citizen is a tough ask for anyone, and it proves too difficult a task for headliners The Story So Far  who struggle to get out of second gear. Opening with their new record’s title track, it’s surprising to see so much of the crowd hanging on every word that frontman Parker Canon is singing – ‘singing’ being an appropriate word, as any form of aggressive bite that used to linger in his vocals are long gone.
As the band rally through a set that spans all four of their records, the onstage antics that was once there are gone. The band look lackadaisical, stationary, and, quite frankly, pretty bored. Cannon has, in the last two years, become the Liam Gallagher of pop-punk, through mimicking his on stage traits such as singing with his hands gripped behind his back, and almost over audaciously clapping his hands and gesturing thumbs up towards the crowd at every given occasion. The only thing missing is a tambourine, and thank god that one doesn’t make an appearance.
With that being said, the lack of energy onstage is at a complete contrast with tonight’s raucous crowd, and in essence the lack of energy from The Story So Far actually pays dividends in terms of the output quality. They sound better than ever before, and the new songs come across extremely well to an audience that are absolutely loving every minute. ‘Upside Down’ provides us with the biggest sing-along of the evening, while ‘Roam’ incites chaos and causes absolute mayhem. ‘Clairvoyant’ is the decided track to end on, and provides an anti-climax and a dull end to the evening.