Monday, January 16, 2006

Concert Review - Story of the Year by Christine

Swank Home

Story of the Year Concert Review
Jan 8/06 Croatian Cultural Centre
Medium Capacity

Arena Thrash comes to the Croatian Cultural Centre

After numerous superficial fashion observations see here, we got down to reviewing the performances.

Story of the Year is presently on tour to promote their latest album, In the Wake of Determination, released in October of 2005; co-produced by Steve Evetts (Hatebreed, Cure, Saves the Day), and the band delivers an edgier, more thrash metal set - quite a separation from the emo-power rock of their last cd, produced by John Feldman.

Story of the year was supposed to be supported by two opening acts Every Time I Die and From First to Last. Singer Dan Marsala had to inform the crowd that Every Time I Die’s van flipped over and the band was unable to play for a few dates, but they would rejoin the tour shortly. In fact, Dan often stop and made announcements, observations etc - he was very audience aware. ‘If you see someone fall down, be sure to help them back up’. You heard his lament about crossing the border, and you heard him reprimanding himself for saying ‘ we have this little ditty’...

From First to Last had ... well ... they had great artwork on the merchandise they were selling. The lead singer, Sonny (whom for some reason had red paint down one side of his face), didn’t have a huge vocabulary when it came to addressing the crowd, unless of course, it had an ”F” sound resounding throughout the words. Nonetheless, the audience seemed to enjoy themselves - bodysurfing and dancing. The tunes were fine, just not great. However, hats off to Matthew and the other guitarist, Travis, as both were clearly talented and essentially carried the show.

When Story of the Year took to the stage, the theme to Star Wars started to play. This was hilarious, yet somehow appropriate - go figure.

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Right from the first strands of We Don't Care Anymore the band members came off as seasoned pros, and given that this is the 10th year together for some members, it all makes sense. When they launched into Jarhead you could definitely feel the shift in direction. Story of the Year was prepared to go down a much darker, edgier, thrash rock avenue.

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They played their requisite Until The Day I Die, Anthem Of Our Dying Day, and Falling Down with fans singing along. The singer kept an ongoing rapport with the audience - both spoken and physical. In fact the whole band enjoyed getting down the the fans’ levels.

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Story of the Year Had their own personal statements made in the form of tshirts. Adam Russell, the bassist, had a Pantera shirt on which Lezah noted was probably something to do with Dimebag Darrell’s death over a year ago. Ryan Phillips was wearing a Davidson t-shirt, Dan Marsala was wearing a shirt and the drummer had on a Celtics jersey. Another observance - each of the fellows in the band were definitely worth looking at/ watching.

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Story of the Year proved to be highly entertaining, and engaging. They all are quite the performers, both athletically and musically. Exchanging guitars in midair, body flips off of speakers while playing instruments, are part of the show for this band.

As well, during the set the band launched a medley of ‘80s/’90s tunes: Guns N Roses Sweet Child of Mine, Twisted Sister, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, More than a Feeling, and Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. We were beginning to wonder if they had ever heard of the cover mastersThe Dan Band?

Half way through the set, Dan noted that, “Basically anything I say you will repeat?” He went on to throw out random sentences and sure enough, the audience chanted back some of the most ridiculous sentences. The bandmates also joked with each other frequently, teasing their soundman, comments to Ryan about being the unibomber. But throughout the jokes, and talking, the music remained unscathed. Definitely arena rock fellows in a small venue.

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