The Story So Far

support Seahaven
author TL date 27/09/13 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a Friday evening and a relatively cold one at that I notice, as I'm swigging some pre-show beer outside a bar down the street from KB18. The Story So Far are playing soon, in the refurbished venue with Seahaven as a support, and I have a good feeling anticipating the show, although as my ratings of the bands' respective albums "Under Soil And Dirt" and "Winter Forever" clearly reveal, my reasons for being excited probably differ slightly from the majority of tonight's audience. Straight up, I'm more of a Seahaven fan than a TSSF guy, but I'm not here to split hairs or start arguments, so as finish my drink and head down to the venue, I'm mostly positive, with the one exception I'm a bit bummed by our photographer Jill getting sick and having to cancel her attendance tonight (and by that I mean: We're sorry for the lack of good photos!).

Seahaven

Maybe it's because it's Friday, but when Seahaven emerge I'm still encouraged to see that a solid little crowd has gathered and are paying attention graciously, as the band launches into their moody punk-rock which situates itself uneasily somewhere between Brand New, Balance And Composure while drawing upon little bits and pieces from countless other more or less well-known bands from the American punk rock scene. From the beginning singer/guitarist Kyle Soto's vocals are too low in the mix though, making it hard to make out what he sings and leaving the burden of connecting with the audience squarely on the shoulders of the band's crunchy and dynamic instrumentation, remaining there even though the mix does improve as songs like "Goodnight" and "Black And White" give way to a couple of older numbers from the "Ghost EP".

While it seems there's barely more than a handful here who are familiar with Seahaven however, and while the crowd isn't exactly in an uproar of movement, each song is followed by widespread nods of recognition and generous applause. Meanwhile Seahaven play through their songs with a relatively business-like, no-nonsense attitude, with the exception being the charismatic Soto, who gazes out from beneath his brows looking like a man that's keeping some sort of secret from us, gesturing firmly at any moments when he isn't strumming his own guitar. His toasty vocal style really comes into its own when he's deeper range comes in focus during periods of more restrained instrumentation, and while things remain a little blurry when the songs fire on all guns, it still feels like the audience could easily have enjoyed a little more, when the set ends after a modest eight or nine songs. Personally then, I'm bummed that favourites of mine like "Honey Bee" and "End Of The World" didn't make the cut, but otherwise I think Seahaven manage solidly under the limitations of their support slot.

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The Story So Far

When The Story So Far play their first notes after the usual changeover, the slightly grown audience changes from the 'spread formation' it had organised itself in for Seahaven, to pack itself tightly in the central space between the four striped pillars that support the ceiling in front of KB18's low stage. This enthusiasm is already encouraging, but it's still a positive surprise that the crowd almost instantly transforms itself into a miniature version of the Etnies tent at Groezrock Festival, as the band quickly makes its way around to an early highlight in "Roam" and people are bopping heads and throwing hands up in recognition while the first crowdsurfers already start to climb on top of people.

The band itself handles the show with the expected energy, with Parker Cannon soon ditching his shirt to flash some tattoos while powering through the mix with his persistantly strained croons. The unit gives an active performance, but really the story of the show is in the crowd's enthusiasm for this rare exhibition of modern American pop-punk on our shores. I notice a friend of mine who's a school teacher crowdsurfing and fist-pumping on top of Swedish teenagers with colourful hair, as the floor is a happy mess of both young scenesters and people in their late twenties that have waited for ages for these kinds of shows to make their way to Denmark.

So while I personally think that The Story So Far's set - strictly musically speaking - feels a little samey across the middle, just like their albums do; and while I wonder where all these enthusiastic people were when Living With Lions guested Copenhagen and Malmö two years ago; I can't help but to feel mildly ecstatic with the sheer fact that this kind of show is finally happening here. For as long as I've been into music, I've lamented how Scandinavia and Denmark in particular has turned an ignorant eye towards bands like this, so for this show to be so well-received almost feels like an early spray of fresh water in the face, from a tide that could be beginning to turn. Admittedly, that may be over-analysis, but things being as they are, The Story So Far makes KB18 seem like the fantasy of a basement venue in the midwest, keeping people bouncing up and down and singing along happily all the way through the predictable end of "Quicksand" and "Mt. Diablo". And as the the band eventually steps down, it's hard not to feel that their set was exactly what everybody had hoped for. My only hope then, is that the fans here will embrace more bands like TSSF, so we can get more shows like these over here in the future.

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