[Show Review] Scream It Like You Mean It Tour – Webster Theatre
Finding out that Story Of The Year were going to be playing everything off their album Page Avenue as part of the Scream It Like You Mean It Tour – which also included Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, Like Moths To Flames, Set It Off, I Am King, Capture The Crown and Sienna Skies – was an like opening a Christmas present two months early! Sadly, the Hartford date did not include Silverstein, Like Moths To Flames, or Capture The Crown, but the lineup was stellar. SOTY also added a little something extra to this tour – offering assorted VIP packages for fans with a bit more disposable income at hand. Now, I have no problem admitting that I’m broke most of the time, but even I couldn’t pass up the chance to see an acoustic performance from the band, and happily forked over the $60 for the VIP Platinum package.
When the day had finally come, I was super stoked for all the fun that I knew was about to happen. I was a little surprised though to see that there were only a dozen or so people that purchased the Platinum package – I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to see SOTY play acoustic?
The small, intimate performance met all my expectations – and then some. The band performed a few pre-selected songs as well as encouraging suggestions from the fans in attendance. Afterwards everyone had the chance to meet the band for a signing and photo-op. The entire expeience was well worth the extra cash.
One thing that the Webster Theatre does a little differently than other venues is combine their main room with their smaller Webster Underground space – giving local bands the chance to play on larger tours like this. A local act, Lesser Men, actually earned a main-stage spot for this show. They’re your typical CT hardcore band, but with a bit more polish.
The first supporting act on the tour was Sienna Skies. They were very catchy and have a We Came As Romans-type feel to them and it baffled me that I had not heard of them before. No wonder though, they’re from Australia and had been hiding down under. One of the things that stood out to me a lot about these guys were how humble and grateful they were to be on such a large tour and showed a lot of support for their fellow tourmates. After the show we made sure to stop by their merch booth to say hello and grab a copy of their album The Constant Climb. I really hope these guys return to the states again soon.
Next up was another band I had never heard of, I Am King, hailing from Pennsylvania. The moment they stepped foot on stage there was an energy about them that drew you in. The mix of melodic vocals and screaming seemed to be a theme for the evening, and these guys definitely hit the nail on the head. They may be a supporting act on this tour but they’re going to be big. I really dig Sam Sky’s voice, it kinda reminds me of a pretty version of Bert McCracken from The Used. Not once during their performance did they drop the energy that they started the set with. I’d love to see these guys headlining a hometown show and see just how intense they can really be.
It was pretty obvious that Set It Off were one of the fan favorites on the tour, especially with the younger crowd. Imagine if The Used and Panic At The Disco had a baby – that’s Set It Off in a nutshell. Vocalist Cody Carson had a Joker-esque creepy cool to him as he ran from one end of the stage to the other, frequently stoping to interact with the crowd as well as his bandmates. The term “evil genius” would be a good description of his live performance, capturing just the right level of crazy to please the masses while still upholding a friendly, lovable vibe. The best part is that you can tell this is who he is and not some act to gain more attention (Miley Cyrus please take note, you could learn a thing or two from Cody). While he may be the star of the show, his bandmates shine pretty bright as well. They are a well oiled machine that compliments each other perfectly. Another band showing this tour was a well thought out mix of legends and soon-to-be legends.
Seeing Hawthorne Heights get up on stage reminded me just how old they (and we) are. They aren’t the youngsters they used to be, but you wouldn’t know that by their performance. They still sound exactly the same, but with a little less energy than they used to have. Songs like “Ohio Is For Lovers” and “Niki Fm” will always bring back memories as well as unleash the adrenaline fueled sing alongs for a lot of us. A lot of the screamo/post-hardcore music from today’s bands were influenced by artists like Hawthorne Heights. At one point during their set, I closed my eyes and found myself back in time when every single person in the audience would be screaming along to every word and there was an intensity throughout the room – and then I would open my eyes and see that some of those same people were up in front of the stage, singing along without missing a word. It makes me smile when I see long-time fans still out there supporting the bands they loved when they were younger.
And then it was time for Story Of The Year to take the stage. The energy and adrenaline was suddenly pumping through my veins – something that only Story Of The Year and a few other select bands can do to me. It was hard to focus on taking photos during the first 3 songs when all I wanted to do was sing along at the top of my lungs. SOTY never fail to put on one of the best rock shows you will ever see. The positive vibes, the silliness, the smiles, the heart, the drive – all the things that you want to feel coming from a band when you listen to their music and see them up on stage. It’s hard to believe that some of the songs they were performing were released 10 years ago and that the band still performed them with as much heart as they did the first time I had ever seen them, although maybe with a few less flips/kicks. I don’t know how they keep up such high energy night after night, especially when I get tired after just a few songs. Some things haven’t changed with the band, like Ryan Phillips deciding to hop off the stage and go for a walk in the crowd while not missing a note on guitar, and that moment that my trigger finger is always excited and ready for, when they all jump during “In The Shadows”. Watching their set left a smile on my face for days after the event. SOTY are one of those bands that I could listen to non-stop and never get sick of them. They are one of the most talented groups of musicians, vocalists and writers you will ever come across in your lifetime. I am proud to say that they are one of my favorite bands and that I will always support them, Until The Day I Die (yes, pun intended).