The Story So Far performed at the Crystal Ballroom this past Tuesday, with headliners Joyce Manor, Mom Jeans, and Microwave. The Story So Far formed in 2007 in Walnut Creek, California. Their most recently released album, Proper Dose, debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200 chart. Though it marked their exit from pop-punk and introduction to indie rock, plenty of fans flocked to the sold out show on May 10th.
The Crystal Ballroom’s capacity is set at 1500 guests, including artists, promoter guests, and house staff. The historical building was built over 100 years ago and is still one of the city’s largest and most popular music venues. Aside from hosting legendary acts, the Crystal Ballroom is known for its bouncy floors. Most guests have trouble explaining what makes the floor bouncy, but it is well-loved. The floor surprisingly makes a big difference when moshing/dancing along to your favorite song.
The first on the roster were Microwave, which had a pretty calm start to the night. I was pleased to hear them live and the crowd seemed to like them too. Next was Mom Jeans, who ignited the audience. The crowd was picking up energy and clearly getting more excited as Joyce Manor played their set as well.
By the time The Story So Far came onto the stage, the crowd was filled with anticipation. It had been a while since the band played in Portland. Their set started strong with Clairvoyant and followed with all of their hits from past albums. The show was altogether relaxing, having the best parts of an acoustic show and a classic pop-punk one as well. Though the venue is quite large, it felt very intimate. In the past, I’ve been to a couple of shows where the band have played and the crowd was rough. It was certainly enjoyable, but it felt a lot more stripped and gentle at this show — although, that may just be because of Parker Cannon’s cleaner vocals. Even in the pit as fans began to circle, there was a greater sense of calm and unity, like a wave crashing against the shore. It perfectly matched the feeling I got when I first listened to their most recent album release. The show finished off with a timeless favorite, Quicksand. Altogether, this show envisioned everything that the band has recently set out to do in their work: finding balance and bridging the gap of who you are.