One of the most anticipated tours of the alternative scene calendar arrived with the massive co-headline tour between pop punk darlings The Story So Far and UK punkers Basement. This tour felt like the Tumblr era all over again, but everyone was here for it. After a venue upgrade from The Valley Drive-In to The Tivoli, it’s obvious that these two powerhouses are stronger than ever.
Kicking off the show was Endless Heights, a band who’s recent record, ‘Vicious Pleasure’, was one of my favourites of last year. These lads have had a massive last year and a half including a few Australian runs as well as European runs with The Amity Affliction and Casey. I had only seen Endless Heights in smaller venues and they rip it every time, but tonight just didn’t seem the same. While the band continued their always energetic performances, the crowd was flat. Multiple attempts at crowd engagement didn’t yield responses. It’s a massive shame because Endless Heights deserve a whole lot better. It’s always hard being the opening band, but I’m sure they would have gained a few fans from this tour.
Up next were Basement. I’ll admit, they’ve been one of those bands who I’ve been meaning to check out for many, many years but just haven’t. I had seen them before with AFI but something about this performance was different. Maybe it’s because this tour is a better fit for them, but this performance finally convinced me to give them a proper listen. Not only did the whole band sound tight, but vocalist Andrew Fisher gave an impressive performance while feeding off the crowds energy. The crowd surfing, the jumping, the singing – it never stopped and provided for some of the best 30 minutes of live performance I’ve seen for a while.
Online, you’ll read things about The Story So Far’s live show and how they’re not as good – mostly because singer Parker Cannon exclusively uses a mic stand now, which seems weird for a punk band with a lot of energy. But if this show was anything to go off – fans and reviews are completely wrong. Fresh of the back of their recent album ‘Proper Dose’, The Story So Far came to prove why 12 years later, they’re still reaching the top of their game. After a brief break between the latest album and their previous self-titled, they graced the stage all bearing wide smiles – they looked happy to be back. The band sounded crisp and oozed energy, which was reflected in the crowd. In a set spanning the bands whole discography, like Basement’s set, everyone kept crowd surfing, jumping, singing and circle pitting until that final note rang through.