California pop punk outfit The Story So Far descended upon The Palladium in Worcester, MA on Friday night, where they played to a raucous, sold out crowd. Fans lined up outside the venue hours in advance in anticipation of a stacked bill of bands, all of which had the ability to cause quite a stir. Local band Jack Romanov got the honor of opening the show due to a tour long effort by The Story So Far to connect with local bands and charities in each city they visit. As part of the ongoing effort The Story So Far raffled off a signed guitar at their merch table with all proceeds going to The Claddagh Fund, a charity run by members of Boston’s Dropkick Murphys.
The touring package began with Virginia’s Turnover, a pop punk/shoegaze band with a sound rooted in the alternative rock boom of the 1990’s. The group played tracks from their most recent album, “Peripheral Vision” which was released earlier this year via Run for Cover Records. Turnover’s set got the crowd going early as moshing and crowd surfing began only a couple songs into their set. Turnover’s fuzz laden guitars, loose drum techniques, and atmospheric vocals blended together almost seamlessly for a perfect tone-setting opening set.
The next group, London, England based group Basement took the stage next for what would prove to be one of the more intense support sets the Massachusetts punk scene has witnessed this year. While Basement’s lyric writing puts them into the pop punk genre popularized in the early 00’s, their sound is much closer to something from the grunge scene of the early 90’s. The loud, distorted guitars and low, dark hued lighting made for an atmosphere that gave the crowd the feel of being in a grunge club in Seattle in the 1990’s. The moshing and crowd surfing during Basement’s set was constant with fans coming over the barrier at a pace that had security scrambling the entire time.
With the energy level in the room already high, The Story So Far would try to raise it even higher. The group wasted no time in getting the crowd worked up; playing one of their most popular tracks “Heavy Gloom” only three songs into their set. As vocalist Parker Cannon emphatically delivered the lyrics to all of the songs, the crowd met his energy, often times nearly taking over the room with their shouts. It wasn’t all high energy pop punk though, as the group slowed things down a bit to play slower songs such as “Phantom” and the ultra popular, seldom played live, “Clairvoyant.”
The Story So Far would launch back into the high energy material right after, as the final four songs of their set were all tracks any The Story So Far fan knew by heart. “Roam” ended the main set, and the band began their “encore” right away, stopping for a moment but not entirely leaving the stage. “Empty Space” would cap the night as fans got one last chance to release every bit of energy they had left, which they did and then some. As the show emptied out, the scene was entirely full of smiling, sweaty, exhausted music fans that were glad they made the trip to Worcester for this Friday Night pop punk extravaganza.