December 28, 2015 The Story So Far The Light Up 40 Watt Club Athens, GA 11-13-15 w/ Turnover & Basement
Northern California’s Pop Punk five-piece The Story So Far, in retrospective, had quite a busy 2015. Returning with their first album since 2013 back in May, playing shows around the world, and then closing things out on a high note with a Fall North American tour, it is safe to say the year has been a success. Supporting their third overall studio album, simply entitled The Story So Far, the final run of 2015 found the band on a twenty-one date tour from October 28th to November 22nd along side UK band Basement and Virginia’s Turnover. On top of the excitement of the music itself, The Story So Far would also team up with a wide variety of charitable organizations to donate a proceed of the tour’s earnings to. With that all in mind, many looked forward to the day the tour came to their city, and on Friday, November 13th, the hosting venue was The 40 Watt Club down in Athens, Georgia. Considered a historic stop that helped launch America’s Punk Rock scene, it was a fitting setting as fans piled into the door, ready for an evening of fun music.
Coming from Florida, a band by the name of Wilder Sons opened the show and appeared stoked to be doing so. Releasing their self-titled debut EP back in October of 2014, the band consist of Bassist Chris Anderson, Guitarist/Vocalist Jacob Rubinton, Guitarist/Vocalist Brian Blount, Wilder Sons has been working hard to get their name out there. Playing shows around and across the lower portion of the country, the band brought their Alternative Rock sound to the stage of The 40 Watt Club to a positive reaction.
Directly following came Virginia Beach’s Turnover. A member of Run for Cover Records, the band has been together since 2009 and released two full-length albums, including 2015’s Peripheral Vision. Consisting of founding members Austin Getz (vocals/guitar), Casey Getz (drums), Danny Dempsey (bass), and newest member, Eric Sourcy (guitar/vocals), Turnover came with a well-rounded Indie Rock sound.
Opening their set with their newer song “New Scream,” atmospheric guitars filled the air as Austin’s voice gently flowed over the top of it all. Continuing to play Peripheral Vision cuts, “Hello Euphoria,” “Diazepam,” and “Dizzy on the Comedown” followed. Capturing the audience with their dreamy like tones, Turnover played a tight mix of music that sounded identical to their records as they closed out with two more newbies, “Humming” and “Cutting My Fingers Off.” Having spent the earlier part of 2015 sharing the stage with New Found Glory and then this list of shows with The Story So Far, Turnover turn their attention to Europe in January of 2016.
Next up was English Rock band, Basement. Consisting of five friends from Ipswich, England, Basement also are a member of the Run for Cover Records family like tourmates Turnover. Forming initially in 2009, and going on a hiatus as of 2012, they reunited in 2014 to release a three track EP, Further Sky. With Guitarist Ronan Crix, Vocalist Andrew Fisher, Drummer James Fisher, Guitarist Alex Henery, and Bassist Duncan Stewart, Basement has seen their sound evolve from more Punk Rock leaning to smoother Alternative Rock through the years. With the fact that they are back together, touring, and writing music, the Georgia crowd was completely thrilled to see them visit The 40 Watt Club.
Opening up on a high note, the 2012 song “Whole,” distorted guitar melody and all, forced into the air as the band showed excitement in their stage presence. Following with another older piece, “Fading,” Fisher’s voice powered over the music with Henery providing strong backing singing to fill out the sound. Moving along into other fan-favorites like “Earl Grey,” “Canada Square,” and of course “Bad Apple,” Basement had everyone on the floor moving, plus singing the choruses out loud.
Offering a delightful setlist that bounced from album to album, including “Spoiled,” “Summer’s Colour,” and “Breathe,” they even offered a brand new song called “Promise Everything.” Perhaps a good glimpse of what will come with the album by the same, set for release in 2016, the new track showed a lush ’90s influence even brighter than the band’s previous material. Thankfully for their North American fan’s support, Basement was in good spirits as they wound down their almost hour long set with “Breathe,” “Yoke,” “Pine,” “Crickets Throw Their Voice,” and finally,”Covet.” Promise Everything is out January 29th and, in its support, Basement will be headlining shows in Europe February through March, so be sure to pre-order the new album now.
Without further ado, the time came for headliner The Story So Far to take the stage. Formed nearly a decade ago, The Story So Far has worked very hard to reach the level they have. Beginning independently, like all bands, they gained the attention of California based Pure Noise, signed on in March of 2010, and quickly released the While You Were Sleeping EP and a split EP with Maker that same year. Mixing in touring, touring and more touring, they perhaps gained their biggest push when they played Vans Warped Tour both in 2013 and 2014, combined with positive sales to their 2013 sophomore album, What You Don’t See. Now established more among the mainstream, their 2015 headlining tour was met with tremendous positivity each stop, and The 40 Watt Club was no different.
Greeted with a wave of cheers, Vocalist Parker Cannon, Bassist Kelen Capener, Drummer Ryan Torf, and Guitarists Kevin Geyer along with William Levy quickly erupted into “Nerve.” Following with 2013’s “The Glass,” before new favorite, “Heavy Gloom,” echoes of singing along filled the room as some fans even attempted to stage dive. Having the audience in a frenzy, the adrenaline was pumping as they went into “All Wrong,” “Bad Luck,” and “Distaste.” Allowing the audience to soak in all the energy, The Story So Far projected their emotion through their performance, and while some may consider their stage presence more subdued than years past, they simply let the music do all the talking as they rattled out songs like “Things I Can’t Change,” “High Regard,” and “Face Value.”
Segueing seamlessly from “Phantom” into “Clairvoyant,” Cannon’s voice, supported by the music, oozed sincere emotion that had fans’ ears tingling. Certainly a standout moment in the performance, The Story So Far kicked it back up a notch for 2011’s “Quicksand” before “Framework” and the adored “Roam.” Enough to please everyone in attendance, they had one last present as they played a lively rendition of “Empty Space.”
Returning home for the holidays, The Story So Far will be back to the grind starting January 28th when they visit Brazil for five shows. For those who missed them in 2015 amidst their North American touring, not to worry, they recently announced they will be apart of Self Help Fest 2016 set for March 16th in San Bernardino, CA, so act now before tickets sell out.