Live Review: The Story So Far // Manchester – o2 Ritz

While The Story So Far hail from California, for frontman Parker Cannon, their show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz was something of a spiritual homecoming.

The frontman’s idolisation of Oasis and his parody of Liam Gallagher reached new heights as he swaggered out on stage in his Parka to ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ before the band launched into ‘Nerve’ from the eponymously titled 3rd album.

The singer, with his perfected Liam Gallagher stance, declared he was “mad fer it” as they shared the title track from their latest album ‘Proper Dose’. With ‘Out of It’ and ‘Let It Go’ also appearing early in the set, the change in direction The Story So Far have taken on their latest album was highlighted as the tracks sat comfortably alongside anthems like ‘Things I Can’t Change’, ‘Heavy Gloom’ and ‘Roam’.

What was clear from the increasingly sweaty crowd was how TSSF have nailed the opening riff. Almost as iconic as the choruses which follow, each opening few notes were cheered like it was everyone’s own personal anthem as the band tore through hits both new and old.

It’d be hard to maintain the intensity throughout the set and as the band explored more of ‘Proper Dose’, the pace slowed and the guitar tones became brighter, hazier, as they meandered through ‘Upside Down’ and ‘Take Me as You Please’. It’s a conscious departure from their straight-up pop-punk sound on ‘Proper Dose’ and Parker Cannon acknowledged that and the band didn’t shy away from that either while trying to stay true to the hits that made them so important.

Rather than end the set on the high of ‘Quicksand’, the band came back out for an encore of their saddest song in ‘Clairvoyant’ which meant the set ended as something a little anti-climatic. But, for the overall show, The Story So Far smashed it. The worry was never about the Oasis impersonation but whether their performance would a caricature of themselves now that their sound and style has changed so much in this new album. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case and the performance showed that The Story So Far have only expanded their sound while still managing to embrace their pop punk roots.

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