The Story So Far Turns the Page

Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel, Nov. 18

Photo by Jesse J Sutherland

Photo by Jesse J Sutherland

One of the most charming things about punk rock is that shows can happen literally anywhere. Bands agree to perform at places that willingly open their doors to the chaos, whether it be tire shops, VFW halls and at one point, on the world’s stage via Saturday Night Live. During a sold out engagement at a venue on the Strip pop punk/emo outfits The Story So Far, Basement and Turnover all paid homage to their DIY Las Vegas shows from yesteryear. “I remember the last time we played here, it was in a dirty shack in North Las Vegas,” Basement frontman Andrew Fisher said, referring to punk venue East Side Joe’s. “It was quite fun. If you were there, thank you.”

Of the three, it was Walnut Creek, California’s The Story So Far who have experienced greener (and more sanitary) pastures, performing with greats of the genre including New Found Glory and Senses Fail. TSSF delivered 16 cuts of its tough, yet sensitive brand of melodic pop punk. The quintet is famous for its high-energy performances where crazed fans swarm frontman Parker Cannon to sing a few words into his precious microphone like better-dressed, millennial zombies from The Walking Dead, and that remained true during upbeat selections “Clairvoyant” and “Quicksand.” Cannon shadowboxed and spun around while scream-singing deeper cuts including “Face Value,” and the band remained exceptionally tight during the palm-muted sixteenth-note bounce of “Distaste. Unfortunately, the clean performance came at a cost, and the while Cannon’s chemistry with the crowd was like that of a pastor preaching to the choir, band members remained seemingly distant. To look onstage was to watch five members from five different bands in their own worlds. Punk can be rowdy; punk can be performed clean, but it’s tough to find the sweet spot in the middle where the two connect, and despite years of relentless touring and a solid-sounding set, TSSF’s edge seemed to fade away. ★★★✩✩

Photos by Jesse J Sutherland

Set List

Things I can’t Change
Heavy Gloom
The Glass
All Wrong
Bad Luck
High Regard
Face Value
Empty Space